Student Steven Caley and Carl Hester with horse during work placement
FdSc

Equine Performance

UCAS Code: D427

Typical offer: 64-80 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 2 or 3 years full time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here: https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/university/courses/foundation/fdsc-equine-performance/fdsc-equine-performance-2021/

Overview

Course overview

Immerse yourself in the field of professional horse performance and gain applied knowledge and practical experience on this foundation degree. Focus on the latest industry practices and undertake work-based learning. Develop your skills to work with horses at the highest competitive levels and benefit from a course with 100% student satisfaction (NSS 2020).

This hands-on course will give you the experience required to work within the performance horse industry. This could be as a top-level groom, yard manager, or as a coordinator within a governing body or industry organisation. You’ll focus on maximising equine performance with an emphasis on training, management, and the nutritional requirements of competing horses. Industry-focused modules will prepare you to make important decisions in your chosen career.

You’ll develop your skills while undertaking valuable industry experience to ensure you’re ready for your career when you graduate from the course. You’ll benefit from industry-leading facilities, including our commercial equine therapy and rider performance centres. Our relationships with local and national equine businesses will provide opportunities for you to gain a feel for life in industry.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

What you'll study

This course is comprised of both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suit your interests and career goals. Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

You'll cover a broad range of fundamental equine topics through compulsory modules, from managing performance horses to exercise physiology and performance as well as a work placement in industry.

In addition to these topics, you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from, allowing you to specialise your learning to suit your interests and career goals. Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Level four (year one)

In your first year, you’ll study a wide range of topics as you assess and hone current industry practices, and begin to understand what’s involved in the management of equine facilities. You’ll explore health and disease, look at equine anatomy and gain an understanding of acceptable industry standards of practice. You’ll also complete a work placement on Hartpury’s commercial yard to gain real-world experience.

Compulsory modules

Discuss acceptable industry standards of practice and the scientific principles behind them.

Understand the balance between health and disease and apply management and control theories to practical situations.

Learn about the management and construction of equine facilities and the legislation that governs them.

Learn about equine anatomy, biological systems of the horse and how they interact.

Discuss the scope and management of the equine industry in the UK and Europe.

Optional modules

Develop your riding knowledge and your ability to assess horses under saddle. Please be aware that Hartpury Equine operates a weight limit of 15 stone (or 95kg) for flatwork and 14 stone (or 89kg) for jumping.

Develop your knowledge of equitation and acquire an ability to assess the horse’s way of going.

Level five (year two)

During your second year, you’ll tailor your studies to suit your interests and career goals through a range of exciting optional modules. In addition, you'll complete compulsory modules looking at equine performance and physiology.

As well as a placement in the equine industry, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of modules to tailor your interests further. On successful completion of this course, you’ll have the opportunity to top up your foundation degree to a full honours degree in one year.

Compulsory modules

Explore equine performance management practices and professional development, including how staffing and horse management can be developed through the application of scientific and industry literature.

Understand how performance horses are exercised and trained to meet the specific demands of various disciplines.

You'll be supported to complete a minimum of 150 hours of work experience during the year, which can be in a variety of equine focused establishments in the UK or abroad.

Optional modules

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands.

Recent modules have included Diagnostics and Therapy, Nutrition and Biomechanics, related business topics and preparation for further studies.

You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study. 

Integrated placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between your first and second years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience. Many students gain their graduate roles with the organisation with which they undertook their work placement.

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

How you'll study

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential, which is why you'll receive a minimum of 15 hours of scheduled teaching time per week in your first year - this is 25% above the UK average.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career.

Further details

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second year may contribute towards your final degree classification.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level four (year one)26%7%67%
Level five (year two)21%12%67%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%

You’ll receive a minimum of 15 hours scheduled contact time per week in your first year. In subsequent years, scheduled contact will vary depending on the modules you select but is typically around 12 hours per week.

You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given via a mixture of written bullet point-style feedback and/or oral feedback.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level four (year one)19%20%61%
Level five (year two)25%38%37%
Placement year (optional)0%0%100%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
  • You will always have one day without timetabled sessions
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week

Employability

Your career

There are many ways that you'll be introduced to the industry as part of this course. You'll complete two work placements and encounter a range of guest speakers as part of your studies - the perfect opportunity to network with leading industry professionals.

Work placements and experience

These form part of compulsory modules, alongside an optional integrated placement year. We’ll support you to secure a placement with a UK-based or international employer, to match your interests and career goals. Placements can be paid or unpaid, depending on the position. Former students have obtained placements with employers in the UK, Europe, and around the world and have been situated in rehabilitation centres, top competition yards, and studs.

Our commercial Equine Therapy Centre also offers opportunities for you to gain industry experience ready for your future career – either on work placements or as part of voluntary roles.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers and best practices.

Recent trips have included visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, as well as the KWPN Stallion Show. Extra costs are required – please see the fees tab.

Recent guest lecturers have included vets, veterinary physiotherapists, equine nutritionists and an Equestrian Health and Safety Consultant.

Graduate destinations

As an Equine Performance graduate, you may go on to complete a one-year top-up to a full degree, in Equine Management. However, you may also go into industry either directly with horses or within larger organisations, as you will have acquired a range of transferable skills.

Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • BSc (Hons) Level 6 Equine Management
  • Paralympic Groom, Canadian National Team
  • Racing Secretary
  • Event Organiser
  • Governing Body Coordinator

Facilities

World-class facilities

You’ll have access to a diverse range of facilities while you’re here, many of which are newly built and world class. Alongside lecture halls and workshop spaces, these include:

Hartpury equine yard

With capacity on-site for 240 horses including school horses, you'll develop skills and gain experience of the organisation and management required for a large-scale commercial yard.

Equine Therapy Centre

You’re encouraged to get involved at our on-site Hartpury Therapy Centre, where you can spend time on placement, learning to work with horses on the high-speed treadmill, water treadmill, and other diagnostic facilities.

Equine Events Centre

Our equestrian centre plays host to a number of affiliated and unaffiliated shows and events throughout the year as well as various lectures and demonstrations. Our international events attract competitors, sponsors and spectators from across the globe. You'll have the opportunity to volunteer to be a part of these events, where you can experience behind the scenes and make valuable industry connections, as well as see the best horses and riders compete.

Study spaces

You’ll have access to our University Learning Centre for journals, ebooks, computers and break-out study spaces, as well as our Study Lounge – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 64-80 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) or equivalent, to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science.

  • A-level | Typical offer is CC-CDD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of one A-level preferably in a Biological Science.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is MPP-MMP in an Extended Diploma or equivalent in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 64-80 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma preferably to include a pass in a Biological Science module at Level 3.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 64-80 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Higher preferably in a Biological Science.

  • We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

  • We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

  • Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

  • Please contact us for further information:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Below, you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

  • Lab coat - Although not essential, you may wish to purchase your own laboratory coat which costs approximately £18.
  • Yard clothing – You’ll be required to attend practical sessions on the yard, for which you’ll need to wear waterproof outerwear and appropriate footwear. A Hartpury equine clothing pack is available at a cost of approximately £75 but is not a compulsory purchase.

Optional field trips (circa £500)

Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. Additional costs may occur – please enquire on application.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Livery

We have stabling for 230 horses on campus. If you're interested in having your horse at Hartpury on DIY livery while you study, please visit our livery page for details and costs.


Equine Academy

If you have the talent and drive to develop your skills as an equestrian athlete alongside your studies, you may be eligible to join our Equine Academy. For further details including costs, please visit our Equine Academy page.

Our international events centre

Gain voluntary experience working behind the scenes at one of our international equestrian events: Hartpury Five-Star International Horse Trials and Hartpury International Festival of Dressage. You’ll also have access to leading riders from across the globe.

Book open day

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.