Hartpury College

Masters in Research Equestrian Performance

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Course Overview

Utilising our outstanding facilities, industry links and staff expertise this programme supports students to engage actively within research related to equestrian performance (including the dyadic nature of horse and rider and triadic nature of horse, rider and coach).

This programme will provide you with the opportunity to advance and expand the underpinning knowledge you gained from your related degree.  You will also gain the required knowledge and skills to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging problems in equestrian performance science.

It begins with 60 credits of taught modules, including the key principles of equine science and research methods.  These modules tend to be taught in two day blocks. This means that the teaching is condensed to allow the Masters study to occur round other commitments in our students' lives. It will enable you to critically read research papers, analyse your data and report your findings. These skills, along with one to one support, will allow you to understand and apply current scientific thinking, develop new ideas and evaluate current processes and practices. This will allow you to effectively design and carry out a 120 credit research dissertation project that will make a valuable contribution to the field of equestrian performance. The dissertation is flexible and can be tailored to specific interests and career aspirations. Graduates have previously progressed to a PhD in a related topic or entered industry in Equestrian Sport Research, Research Consultancy, Equine Behaviour and Lecturing.

The programme can be completed full time in one year; part time routes are available and should be planned with your Programme Manager.

For further information on the programme, please contact the Programme Manager Kirsty Lesniakkirsty.lesniak@hartpury.ac.uk 01452 702 488

Our students have gone on to some fantastic careers in a wide range of industries and enjoyed some exceptional work placements all over the world, helping them open doors to their dream careers. You can read our students’ stories here

MRes students are also eligible to put in an application for funding to the Hartpury Scholarship committee up to a maximum of £1000 to cover research project costs.

Entry Requirements


Applicants should have at least a lower second class Honours Degree in a relevant subject and a strong desire to engage in research.

For the most up to date information on your programme, you can find your course information sheet here

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In Brief


1 Year

Tuition fees

  • Masters by Research UK/EU                         £5250.00

  • Masters by Research International              £10500.00

Are you a member of the UWE or Hartpury Alumni? You are entitled to a 20% discount on full time fees or 10% on part time fees

For information on funding, please click here

When should I apply

Applications for postgraduate study can be submitted at any point through the year; however as places are limited on some courses, we recommend that you apply early. You can apply for September 2016 entry now.

How to apply

Please complete the on-line application form

Click to see more course information

Course breakdown

Core Modules:


  • The research process
  • The extended postgraduate dissertation

Optional Modules:

  • Breeding for performance
  • Independent study
  • Equine exercise physiology
  • Equine therapy and rehabilitation
  • Equine behavior and welfare
  • Rider performance


Jess Williams – Equine lecturer and outreach co-ordinator

Why I chose Hartpury College

I visited Hartpury on an open day and was impressed by the campus, lecture theatres and facilities. I was also sold on the content of the course. There was a good choice of modules for me to tailor my course to my individual strengths and interests. The opportunity to apply and trial for the Equine Academy was the ultimate selling point though. Having the opportunity to train with world class trainers and use Hartpury’s top class facilities is amazing and could not be replicated at any other university.

Foundation degree experiences

I found the Foundation degree to be very similar to the BSc honours degree that my friends were studying but it included work based learning modules, which allowed me to gain valuable work experience as part of my degree. This allowed me to apply the theoretical knowledge I had gained during my course to a practical situation, increasing my skill level and employability.

Why I chose to do the top-up?

I initially looked at the BSc honours degree but I didn’t have the required subjects at A-level. The transition to the top-up was straight-forward as I was very well prepared during my foundation degree through the support of my lecturers and the graduate development programme, which focused on the skills essential for third year, such as critical analysis and the research process. Why I went on to do my Masters?

I loved producing my undergraduate dissertation and wanted the opportunity to develop a piece of research that had more scope than at undergraduate level. I chose the MSc by Research Equestrian Performance for this reason, which has more focus on the research process and less taught modules to do. I enjoy finding gaps in current literature and developing research methodologies to eliminate the gaps as well as the experimental process and analysis of results. I now hope to see my Masters dissertation research published.

What opportunities are available to equine students?

Being an equine student at Hartpury, there are so many opportunities to help out at national and international level competitions like the British Dressage Championships and the Hartpury International Horse Trials. Students are also offered the chance to attend conferences such as the British Eventing International Eventing Conference and Alltech-Hartpury Conference, where we can display and present our research. Those opportunities are particularly important to support your postgraduate studies.

While studying for my Masters, I also took up a Graduate Assistant role within Hartpury’s own Equine Therapy Centre. That gave me invaluable real-life work experience that looks great on my CV and equipped me with lots of new skills. Outside of equine, there are plenty of recreational sports activities and clubs and societies to get involved in at Hartpury, plus there’s a great atmosphere at the Sports Academy on game days for the rugby and football.

My hopes for the future?

My primary interest would be in finding a research post, specifically equine or animal. It was only in my top-up year that I realised how much I enjoyed the research process and contributing to equine industry knowledge. I have been lucky enough to be offered a lecturer role at Hartpury, as well as being given the Equine outreach activity to manage. It’s a challenging remit but I’m thrilled to have been given the chance to take this forward and continue to develop our strong links with schools, colleges and the equine industry. 

course blog post

30 Sep 2016

Equine Academy Trip to Belgium

Our Equine Academy are currently in Belgium for two weeks supporting members who are competing at an International SJ competition. Content provided by Phillipa Winters -www.hartpury.ac.uk/belgium


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