students in a lecture at Hartpury

Animal, Agriculture, Equine, Sport, Veterinary

Typical offer: 2:1 honours degree (2:2 applicants considered individually)

Duration: 1-3 years; full-time and part-time options

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

Technological and scientific developments are rapidly influencing our industries, making innovative research essential to sustainable real-world practice. We provide the ideal environment to support the development of new skills, providing access to academic expertise, advanced scientific equipment and extensive research subjects.

This postgraduate degree provides an exciting opportunity for you to advance your knowledge and skills through a valuable piece of research in any area of animal, agriculture, equine, sport or veterinary subjects that we don’t currently offer. You can focus your research on an external setting or utilise the fantastic environment we provide at Hartpury.

You’ll be supported by our research-active lecturers and professors, most of whom are also successful industry professionals, to understand and implement research methodologies to suit your project, enabling you to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging challenges in your chosen topic.

The course is ideal for those keen to progress onto a PhD or wanting to advance their own and their industry’s professional practice. Delivery is flexible and often provided at weekends to fit around your work or other commitments.

Apply now Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

What you'll study

This  degree is designed for those who want to progress into a postgraduate qualification but whose specific interests lie outside our current qualifications. You’ll develop new theoretical and practical expertise to help progress your career, as well as advance future scientific research and real-world practice.

Modules have been designed to equip you with advanced research expertise through taught lectures, seminars and one-to-one sessions.

These will equip you with the skills required for critical evaluation of research, effective research design and accurate statistical analysis, allowing you to apply current scientific thinking to your specific research topic, which you’ll conduct in your own time alongside your learning.

Alongside this, you’ll select an optional module to complement your research topic from our diverse range of specialist postgraduate modules across all courses – this provides you with the opportunity to advance new knowledge to help shape your research and your professional practice.

You’ll be encouraged to attend industry conferences and familiarise yourself with academic journals, with opportunities to present and publish your research. You’ll be able to make the most of our extensive professional networks, including strong links with national governing bodies, which will provide you with opportunities to develop your reputation with key industry professionals and organisations.


Below you’ll find the modules for this course. You’ll also be able to choose from a subject-specific optional module from our diverse specialist portfolio to suit your interests and career goals. Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands.

Compulsory modules

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

Explore literature, advanced research methodologies and data analysis aligned to your area of specific interest, leading to the design, completion and write up of a preliminary research project. Dissemination of research outputs will also be covered to develop your scientific communication skills.

Develop and undertake a research project of your choosing.

Optional modules

An additional 15-credit postgraduate module can be selected from the suite of animal, agriculture, equine, sport or veterinary physiotherapy fields, excluding Veterinary Physiotherapy Professional Practice modules.

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before having to decide which one you wish to study.

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 while you're here so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one. This will range from your lecturers, supervisors and personal tutor to our specialist academic (Achievement and Success Centre), employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) and wellbeing teams.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your understanding of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions.

Further details

One year, full-time

You can study each of these qualifications full-time and subsequently complete each within one year.

Two-three years, part-time

Alternatively, we offer flexible part-time options to help students to manage their studies alongside other commitments. These options can be tailored to suit your own needs, enabling you to complete your qualification in two or three years. Please enquire for further details.

This course is made up of compulsory modules focusing on research design and methods, alongside one optional subject-specific module from our diverse range of specialist postgraduate modules.

Upon successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain may contribute towards your final master’s degree differential award (pass, merit or distinction).

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.

The course is taught in English.

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Teaching contact time and method will vary depending on the module that you are studying.

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of written, practical and oral exams, coursework and production of research reports. 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. The types of assessments will vary depending on which modules the student selects.

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This degree is taught over three semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks.

The majority of modules are offered via on-site and online learning, incorporating a mixture of interactive campus-based and online sessions, alongside independent research.

Learning is mostly independent apart from the research process delivered over two weekends in semester one and your optional module.


Professional practice

Some optional modules require you to reflect on your current professional practice, so if you are currently working in a professional role (voluntary, paid, full or part-time), this will be an ideal supplement to your studies.

Research in commercial environments

You may want to progress your research in an external environment, but you may also be keen to make the most of our own commercial activities on campus. These include our farm and Agri-Tech Centre, equine and canine therapy centres, equine events centre, sports academy and injury clinics, and performance sports teams.

We have strong industry partnerships across all subject areas that students can utilise and benefit from for their research. These include partnerships with national governing bodies, LEAF Farms, Animal Health Trust, NAF, NFU, BEF, Jockey club, UK Agility, Arctic Quest, West Bromwich Albion Football Club, England Rugby and Gloucester Rugby.

Graduate destinations

Studying a Masters in Research provides you with the necessary skills for further PhD studies. It will also support you to advance your own professional practice – contemporary research experience will place you at the forefront of knowledge within your discipline.


Valegro on water treadmill in Hartpury Equine Theerapy Centre

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 lectures halls and workshop spaces, these include:


  • Over 70 animal species in our own animal collection – domestics, exotics, invertebrates and amphibians – as well as a wealth of wildlife across our 360-hectare rural site
  • Animal science laboratories and a veterinary nursing centre include a thermal imager, new magnifiers and binocular and trinocular microscopes, Dietcheck software, a veterinary haematology analyser and microplate reader
  • Canine Hydrotherapy Centre and dog agility arena and equipment


  • Award-winning 400-hectare commercial farm across five sites, including Home Farm on campus featuring livestock and arable farming activities
  • Exceptional facilities including a dairy bull-beef rearing unit, 296-cubicle dairy unit and a Shearwell Te Pari Racewell HD3 Sheep Handler. Our land is helping to shape the future of crop biodiversity, as a chosen base for ADAS’s important environmental research plots.‏‏‏‎ ‎
  • New £2 million Agri-Tech Centre that includes the latest smart farming technologies to collaborate on real-world projects to improve productivity and profitability across the UK


  • Equine Therapy Centre including Sato high-speed and Aquafit water treadmills
  • Rider Performance Centre including advanced riding simulators, 3D motion capture and electromyography technology, weight-lifting platforms and a dedicated sports therapy area
  • Veterinary facilities including an examination room where procedures such as nerve blocking, joint medication and radiography are carried out
  • International competition arenas and over 230 horses and riders of all levels on campus, from professional to recreational
  • Equine events centre, hosting two international equestrian competitions each year (dressage and eventing), as well as over 100 national and local events


  • New £8.8 million Sports Academy that includes therapy suites, rehabilitation gym, biomechanics laboratory, human performance laboratory and double sports hall
  • Specific equipment includes an anti-gravity treadmill, altitude chamber, force platforms and 3D high-speed digital cameras
  • Power and cross-training gyms with the latest strength and conditioning equipment, such as NordBord, Optojump and GymAware
  • 3G all-weather surfaces for rugby (tested to IRB regulations) and football (certified the FA)
  • Performance and development sports teams and athletes on campus, alongside a range of performance sport expertise

Veterinary Nursing

  • Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills Centre equipped with veterinary facilities and treatment spaces
  • A dedicated area featuring animal simulators and training models

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces, as well as our Study Zone – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.  Postgraduate students also have a specially designated study area with 24-hour access.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Students with 2:2 and relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis.


Students with non-relevant qualifications but with sufficient work experience or professional experience will be considered on an individual basis.


In addition to the academic qualification an IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

Please contact us for further information:

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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.

MRes Bursary

You may be eligible for a £1,000 bursary to support your research project. Please visit our finance page for more details.

Below you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course, as well as costs associated with living and extra-curricular activities that might be of interest.

Clothing and footwear for optional module

You may need to purchase appropriate clothing and footwear for your optional module, depending upon which one you select. You’ll be informed about this prior to selection.

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

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

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.

*Reflects activities after 15 months for those who graduated in 2019.