Graduate Ali Seawell working at Cheltenham Racecourse
BA (Hons)

Equine Business Management (with Foundation Year)

UCAS Code: DF42

Typical offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 4 or 5 years full-time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

If you want to develop business skills and pursue your equine passion while gaining real-world commercial experience, then this is the ideal course for you. You’ll be able to tailor your studies to suit your individual career goals and apply your skills practically through industry work placements.

The foundation year entry provides an alternative route into degree-level study. It’s ideal for those who need to gain subject-specific knowledge and skills in order to progress with the full BA (Hons) qualification.

Compulsory modules will equip you with the skills to succeed in a commercial equine environment, covering core business subjects including finance, management and marketing. A comprehensive range of optional modules will allow you to apply your acquired knowledge and skills to the areas of the equine industry you’re most passionate about.

You could focus on horse performance, equine nutrition or take an active role in the planning and organisation of successful events and competitions. Alternatively, you might choose to delve deeper into business through accounting and commercial decision-making, or explore the vibrant equine sport and hospitality sector.

Whatever route you choose, you’ll be able to apply the key principles of successful business on a campus brimming with commercial opportunities. Alongside your studies you’ll have the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes taste of equine business. Students gain experience at our regular international and national equine competitions and events, as well as in our commercial equine therapy and rider performance centres.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to study a semester of your degree at an overseas institution. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete an industry-recognised Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification to enhance your learning.

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

What you'll study

What you'll study

This course includes a varied and vibrant selection of modules covering a number of specific commercial areas. You'll study 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. The modular structure of the programme gives you flexibility and choice, and you can attend introductory sessions for optional modules to help you decide which ones are best for your individual career pathway.

During your studies, you’ll also have the opportunity to complete an industry-recognised Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Level 3 Award in Marketing Principles. The CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing body.

Level three foundation year (year one)

The foundation year includes lectures in equine topics, study skills, science and/or management, depending upon your previous academic background. Within the year, you’ll be supported to enhance your skills and knowledge to ensure you're fully prepared to succeed on the BA (Hons) Equine Business Management course.

Compulsory modules

The module aims to provide you with an understanding of the scientific method and inquiry, teamwork, research skills and effective time management.

You'll develop reflective, practical and transferable skills in preparation for level four study based on an internship role at Hartpury linked to your programme of study.

The module aims to develop your understanding and knowledge of literature reviews including constructing a rationale, summarising and presenting relevant information to suit a purpose, subject and audience.

Study the central anatomy, physiology, welfare and health that underpin best husbandry and management practices, along with key legislation and health and safety requirements in the equine industry.

This module covers the learning and understanding of the balance of theory and practice in contemporary business practice; an appreciation of the complexity of modern organisational environments and the critical role of enterprise and innovation.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level four (year two) 

This year will focus on fundamental business topics and help you to gain essential skills and knowledge across a wide range of areas. This varied second year will not only equip you to study at higher levels, but will also help you identify which areas of business and the equine industry are most of interest for your future career.

Compulsory modules

Learn to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to leadership and teamwork.

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

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

An introduction into macro and microeconomics.

Study various financial statements and their use.

An introduction to marketing models and strategies.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level five (year three) 

During this year, you’ll be able to select from a wide range of optional modules that you’re interested in, which may include equine events management or hospitality, or you may wish to study equine-specific modules. The industry placement forms an important and exciting part of your second year, helping to prepare you for your final year and graduate career.

Compulsory modules

We’ll support you 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 even abroad.

This module will introduce you to the methods of research and analysis, helping to prepare you for the research project (dissertation) in your final year.

Optional modules

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

Recent modules have included topics both in business and equine science ranging from Human Resource Management, Events Management, and Corporate Hospitality, to Equine Performance, Stud Management, Diagnostics and Therapy and Applied Equine Nutrition. These modules generally focus on how these topics are applied in the equine industry, taking a particular interest in the business and commercial aspects. Students are given the option of completing an integrated placement year between their second and final years, which has previously covered a wide range of international and national placements utilising Hartpury and student links.

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

Integrated placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year before your final year 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.

Level six (final year) 

Your final year allows you to focus on areas of particular interest to you, and you’ll be able to select from a range of optional modules to support you in your future business career or postgraduate study.

One module is your dissertation, a substantial research project that enables you to plan, implement and report on a specialist topic. In addition, you’ll be exposed to contemporary commercial challenges and advanced theory and practice including insights into areas of focus for industry research.

Compulsory modules

Immerse yourself in independent research and analysis in a related area with one-to-one support from an academic.

Apply theoretical concepts gathered over the duration of your degree to explore the structure and governance of the equine industry and its distribution of power.

Optional modules

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

Recent subjects have included topics within business such as brand development, sponsorship and strategic management, as well as a more in-depth understanding of the previously-covered equine science topics.

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

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

Your unique potential

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 foundation and first years - 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. This will enable 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 awards. The marks you gain in your final two years on campus may contribute towards your final degree classification.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. You're 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 foundation year includes an internship using Hartpury’s on-site facilities and industry links.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level three foundation year (year one)30%0%70%
Level four (year two)30%7%63%
Level five (year three)21%10%69%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%
Level six (final year)18%0%82%

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

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 online (electronic and oral), and in some cases face to face.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level three foundation year (year one)16%40%44%
Level four (year two)20%29%51%
Level five (year three)6%17%77%
Placement year (optional)0%0%100%
Level six (final year)13%16%71%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks.

During scheduled teaching you'll have a day without timetabled sessions to support you in managing your workload, gaining valuable volunteering and work experience and completing part-time work.

  • 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
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week


Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse. We’ll help you to develop the skills, experience and connections needed for a successful graduate career in equine business management. Many of our students even go on to secure their graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

You’ll undertake a compulsory work placement in year two, allowing you to work in the industry and put what you’ve learned into practice. Students have recently completed placements at British Dressage, our own NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials, the British Equestrian Trade Association and Cirencester Park Polo Club. You could work in a variety of roles including media and marketing, sales, or sponsorship and events. An optional integrated placement year between your second and final years may also help you acquire more extensive industry experience.

On-campus opportunities

Our commercial equine facilities can offer opportunities to gain industry experience. You’ll have access to our world-class equine facilities including a state-of-the-art rider performance centre with the most advanced riding simulators in the world, a leading Equine Therapy Centre, international competition arenas and stabling for 230 horses.

Alongside this, our equine events, rider performance and equine therapy centres are successful businesses in their own right, providing opportunities for you to gain invaluable work experience in a commercial environment. These experiences not only help you develop your knowledge but also help you make valuable connections among our professional equine contacts.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Visits and lectures from industry professionals form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses and enterprises, and develop your career.

You'll develop a greater understanding of commercial business and equine management practices as you take part in study trips to local and national equine business organisations. Hearing from industry experts and professionals in lectures will also help you explore potential career paths. Previous guest lecturers have included representatives from Cheltenham Racecourse.

Study internationally

Our Study Abroad programme means that you can make the most of opportunities to study a semester or full year of your degree at one of our partner institutions while achieving credits towards your degree.

Graduate destinations

As an Equine Business Management graduate, you may go on to work in racecourses, event management, teaching, biomechanics, and sales, commercial or operational management. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • South West Regional Marketing Executive for the Jockey Club
  • New Business Development Merchandiser at Lindt
  • Development Assistant at British Equestrian Federation
  • Account Manager at RDW Exhibitions
  • Events Management at Grandstand Media
  • Nominations Executive at Tweenhills Stud
  • Account Executive at Henson Franklin


Hartpury International Festival of Dressage competitor

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:

International competition centre

Our equestrian centre hosts major international events as well as a busy calendar of local and regional competitions. Our international events attract competitors, sponsors and spectators from across the globe including European, World and Olympic champions. These events are the perfect place for you to make valuable connections, while volunteering and gaining invaluable experience alongside your peers.

Commercial yard

You could also make the most of work experience or voluntary work on our busy commercial yard, learning about the day-to-day management of a real equine facility and its residents. The yard has stabling for 230 horses, including 125 boxes for student livery. Facilities also include two horse walkers, four indoor schools, three outdoor schools, limited turnout and a non-slip trot-up, so there’s always something going on.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has books, journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces. In addition, we have a 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 32-48 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 and Mathematics.

  • A-level | Typical offer is EE-DD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of one A-level.

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

  • Access | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Higher.

  • 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)

You’ll need to purchase some specialist kit and clothing before you enrol, or during enrolment week. In particular, appropriate footwear for practical sessions on the yard. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to purchase in your enrolment guide.

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 £1,800)

You'll have the chance to engage in various trips and visits as part of your course. While many of these are included in the course fees, there is the opportunity to engage in additional significant study tours, experiencing international horse management practices in person. It is estimated these costs will be approximately £1,800.

Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification

During your degree you’ll have the opportunity to complete the CIM Level 3 Award in Marketing Principles. This is a self-funded opportunity – please enquire for the latest costs on application.

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.

International event management 

Gain insights into international equestrian events management, volunteering with our experienced events team. From logistics and people finances to management and marketing, there are plenty of opportunitiesd to make a difference. 

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.

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