Msci Equine Science

Equine Science


Get ahead by completing an undergraduate and postgraduate level qualification in four years. You'll study a range of equine science topics, underpinned by up-to-the-minute research and industry developments. You'll benefit from leading academic and industry expertise and outstanding facilities.

Combining theory with practice on this applied science degree, you'll make use of our outstanding facilities, including our equine therapy centre, industry-standard science labs and horses, all onsite. You’ll hear from leading industry and research experts and strengthen your learning through practical application and field trips.

Key Information

Course Duration: 4 or 5 years full time; part-time available
UC UCAS Code: D336
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Integrated Master's (MSci)
Placement Year: Optional
Typical Offer: 128 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

Throughout the course, you can expect to gain a thorough understanding of how the horse functions and the impact of exercise. After your first year, you’ll be able to tailor your studies with optional modules. You'll study topics such as nutrition, health and disease and breeding, with the option to delve deeper into biomechanics, therapy and rehabilitation, and behaviour as well.

Your first two years will follow the standard BSc route. You’ll then begin integrating master’s level modules into your learning. Your final MSci year will be dedicated to master’s-level study only, culminating in undertaking two research projects focusing on a topic of your choice.

All you need is a passion for horses and the drive to develop knowledge through research within the equine industry.

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 128 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science.

  • A-level | Typical offer is ABB or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A-levels including one in a Science subject such as Biology, Physics, or Chemistry at D or above.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a DDM in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma to include a minimum of a pass in a Science subject such as Biology, Physics, or Chemistry module at Level 3.

  • IB | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 or above, including one in a Science subject such as Biology, Physics, or Chemistry at D or above.
    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher and one Higher, to include one in a Science subject such as Biology, Physics, or Chemistry at D or above.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers, including one in a Science subject such as Biology, Physics, or Chemistry at D or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a DMM in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level | Typical offer is Distinction in you T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Contact the admissions team to discuss further.

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.

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Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placement opportunities

With the optional integrated placement between year two and year three, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience. 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. Students have previously worked with organisations such as the School of Veterinary Studies (University of Edinburgh), pharmaceutical companies, equine welfare centres, and equine studs.

Our commercial Equine Therapy Centre also offers opportunities to gain industry experience – either on work placements or in a voluntary role.

Guest lecturers and field trips

Industry professionals form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses and careers. Recent guest lecturers have included professionals from equine nutrition companies, such as Baileys Horse Feeds and Saracens Horse Feeds, Three Counties Equine Hospital, and equine charities, such as Horse World, as well as leading researchers within the field of equine science.

Field trips are also used to enhance your learning experience. Recent field trips included visits to Lambourn Equine Vets and the KWPN Stallion Grading in Holland.

Study internationally

Our Study Abroad programme means you can make the most of opportunities to study a semester of your degree at one of our partner institutions, while achieving credits towards your degree. Current study abroad partnerships include Delaware University in the USA.

Graduate destinations

As an equine science graduate, your career opportunities are diverse. You may go on to work for equine charities, nutrition companies, governing bodies within the wider equine industry or progress into further postgraduate study. Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role.

Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Nutritionist
  • University lecturer
  • PhD research
  • Research assistant
Success Stories

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.

Academic support

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.

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. The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

Throughout this exciting and industry-leading course, you’ll cover a wide range of equine science topics through compulsory and optional modules.

Core topics include anatomy and physiology of the horse, equine health, nutrition, reproduction and genetics, and exercise physiology. A wide range of optional modules will allow you to specialise your degree to suit your interests and career goals.

Module credits

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

During your first year, you'll focus on fundamental topics relating to the horse, developing your knowledge of key areas that underpin the rest of the course. Expect to study the equine industry in more detail and explore functional anatomy of the horse. In this first year, we’ll also help you lay the foundations of scientific research and learn more about equine nutrition.

Compulsory Modules 

Equine Functional Anatomy

Learn about the biological systems of the horse, how they interact and how they can be managed.

Equine Industry

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

Fundamental Skills for the Equine Scientist

Get to grips with the basics of data analysis, key laboratory practices and safety procedures.

Introduction to Equine Nutrition

Study the basic principles of equine feeding and nutrition.

Equine Veterinary Science

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

Equine Genetics

An introduction to genetics and its role within the equine population.

In your second year, you'll apply the knowledge you have gained in year one in real-world settings and investigate more complex concepts with the support of your tutors. You'll delve deeper into specific areas including nutrition, reproduction, health and disease, and exercise physiology.

Alongside your core modules, you’ll start tailoring your degree to your interests, choosing from our diverse range of applied science modules, such as behaviour, microbiology, therapy, or biomechanics.

Compulsory Modules 

Equine Exercise Physiology

Equine Exercise Physiology explores the range of short‐term physiological responses and the long‐term physiological adaptations that equine body systems undergo during various intensities of exercise and training. The module considers how this might be used to optimise training for improved performance, delayed fatigue, and a reduced risk of injury.

Equine Nutrition

Explore the horse’s digestive system, their required nutrient intake for different activities and how to manage a horse’s diet.

Research Methods for Equine Science

This module introduces students to research methods and analysis in equine sciences, helping to prepare them for reading research literature and conducting research projects in the future.

Equine Disease

This module covers immunological concepts and pain physiology in the context of equine diseases and disorders, including infectious and contagious conditions and associated biosecurity protocols.

Equine Reproductive Physiology

Students will cover equine reproductive anatomy and physiology concepts and consider how these influence successful management of breeding and non‐breeding horses.


Optional Modules 

Animal Microbiology

Animal Microbiology introduces students to a variety of disease-causing microorganisms in animals. This module allows students to examine the interactions between infectious agents and the host, considering the determinations for disease exposure and control.

Equine Musculoskeletal Diagnostics

Students will learn about diagnostic procedures used by vets for common lameness conditions.

EITHER International Academic Study Project OR International Academic Portfolio

A reflection upon a period of international study.

International Stud Management

This module allows student to gain an understanding of stud management when breeding Thoroughbreds or Warmbloods, and challenges this involves. The module combines the application of scientific principles to the required decision making and actions during the annual stud cycle.

Introduction to Equine Behaviour

Develop an understanding of behaviour of horses and the neurological pathways resulting in the development of these behaviours.

Introduction to Equine Biomechanics

Introduction to Equine Biomechanics aims to create a solid foundation of understanding of the key biomechanics concepts applied to equine and equestrian examples.

Integrated placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between years two and three allows you to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience. Many students get their graduate careers with the organisation with which they completed their work placement.

Level six (year three or four)

In year three, contemporary challenges and developments within the field of equine science will feed into modules, requiring you to develop your investigative and critical thinking skills, something essential to scientific research and practice.

Through optional modules, you can focus on your unique areas of interest. The research project module will allow you to complete a significant piece of research, requiring you to plan, implement and report on a specialist topic. You'll also complete your first master’s level module.

Compulsory Modules

Undergraduate Dissertation

This module involves independent research and analysis in an animal‐related field with one to one support from an academic.

Investigating Equestrian Research

Gain exposure to, and analysis of, research across a wide range of topics within the field of equine science including seminar and conference attendance.


Optional Modules

Advanced Animal Microbiology

Advanced Animal Microbiology builds on the knowledge and understanding obtained from the Animal Microbiology module at level 5. This module analyses a range of biotechnologies and diagnostics used in the study of animal microbiology, providing students with an in-depth understanding of the underlying principles behind these advanced techniques. Students will evaluate current developments in microbial molecular genetics and how this research is applied to advance treatment and control strategies in veterinary science.

Applied Equine Biomechanics

The Applied Equine Biomechanics module utilises the University’s Rider Performance Centre and biomechanical analysis resources to support students in applying and implementing biomechanical principles and theoretical concepts to practical research and industry scenarios.

Equine Nutrition for Performance

Evolution of feeding strategies to support athletic performance in the horse, whilst maintaining good health.

Equine Sports Medicine

Review and evaluate equine sports injuries and exercise intolerance and associated treatment options.

Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation

This module appraises current research and practice in complementary therapy and rehabilitation for equine orthopaedic conditions.


Pharmacology covers the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of common drug classes used in veterinary species. The module also examines topics such as resistance and residues, as well as controlled drug prescription, storage and disposal requirements.

Within your final year, you'll be studying completely at master’s level. Developments in research and contemporary challenges will continue to feed into your modules as you’ll be expected to demonstrate critical thinking in your work, applying proven theory and contemporary research to your chosen topics.

Another research project on a topic of your choosing will allow you develop and demonstrate these skills. We’ll encourage you to aim high with your research project, supported by leading equine academics with vast experience of published research.

Compulsory Modules

Postgraduate Independent Project in Equine Science

Develop and implement a research project of your choosing.

The Research Process

Discussion of research methodologies and applications, as well as strengths, weaknesses and limitations of different methods.

Developing a Sustainable Equine Industry

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and analytical skills to critically examine the ethics and the sustainability of practices within the global equine industry in relation to a variety of

Optional Modules

Advances in Equestrian Biomechanics

The application and assessment of biomechanical principles to equestrian athletic performance.

Applied Equine Exercise Physiology

This module allows students to explore the fundamentals of equine exercise physiology in the context of different equestrian disciplines and their application to training.

Equine Behaviour

This module introduces you to natural and domestic behavioural patterns of the horse, covering, amongst other topics, learning theory in relation to training and management.

Equine Management for Optimal Performance and Welfare

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and evaluative skills to debate the ethics and practicalities surrounding management of the horse within a range of societal pressures and the wider social responsibilities of the industry.

Postgraduate Independent Study

You will undertake an extended literature review in an area of your choice, supported by an academic supervisor.

Therapy and Rehabilitation of the Equine Athlete

Evaluate the practical techniques used within therapeutic care of the sports horse.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning and independent learning. Scheduled learning can consist of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, allowing for the application of theory in different formats. You'll be expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour.

The course is taught in English.

Year Contact learning Independent learning Placement learning
Level four (year one) 24% 76% 0%
Level five (year two) 24% 76% 0%
Placement year (optional) 1% 19% 80%
Level six (year three or four) 17% 83% 0%
Level seven (final year) 16% 84% 0%

You'll 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.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level four (year one) 44% 50% 6%
Level five (year two) 50% 37% 13%
Placement year (optional) 0% 0% 100%
Level six (year three or four) 21% 29% 50%
Level seven (final year) 0% 19% 81%

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:

  • During your first three years on campus, scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • In your final year (level seven), teaching will be delivered via weekend only, for both full-time and part-time students. Master’s level modules are generally delivered during weekend blocks (Friday – Sunday). On average, you would have no more than two weekends of teaching per month.
  • In your final year (level seven), you'll be taught alongside master’s students.
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week
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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 associat​ed with studying this course.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

You’ll need some specialist kit and clothing for the course, such as yard boots, riding hats and gloves to be prepared for your practical sessions. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to bring before enrolment.

Hartpury University branded clothing is also available through our online shop, for those who wish to purchase it. However, this is not essential.

Optional field trips (up to circa £500)

You’ll be encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the course. These are often included as part of the modules. There's also the opportunity to engage in additional study trips, which would incur minimal fees relating to travel and/or expenses.

Optional semester abroad

You'll have the opportunity to take an optional semester abroad in your second year. This will incur additional travel costs.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.


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.

Fees & Finance

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


If you’re playing sport competitively, or you have the talent and drive to do so, you may want to join one of our Sports Academies. Over 200 international athletes have developed their talents with us over the past 10 years. You could be our next success story. We're a semi-professional sports environment offering world-class facilities and professional coaching and support services.

Hartpury College Mens Football Academy


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation


We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance
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TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

NSS 2023 Academic Support

Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Dhruvpal Anchan
“We get lots of support with study skills and great materials to help us to prepare for lectures. Hartpury is such a nurturing place to be.”
Dhruvpal Anchan
MSc Applied Equine Science

High-performance equine environment

We have an international reputation for equine education. Our students are challenged to reach new heights in their fields.

If you’re passionate, hard-working and motivated to make a difference, we’ll give you the skills and connections to channel this energy into an exciting equine career. Whatever your career aspirations, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to gain experience on and off campus.

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Student And Horse In Equine Yard

Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

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.