BA (Hons)

International Horseracing Business

UCAS Code: D4N2

Typical offer: 112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 3 or 4 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/undergraduate/ba-hons-international-horseracing-business-sw/ba-hons-international-horseracing-business-2024/


Course overview

Study horseracing business with practising industry professionals and gain the experience you need to succeed in the global racing business.

The international horseracing industry is growing, especially in the UK, Dubai, Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Australia, and there is a range of exciting global career opportunities. This degree has been designed to prepare you to enter the industry. You’ll develop strong practical knowledge and experience, whilst making valuable contacts for your dream career.

Alongside core business and racing topics, you’ll be able to tailor your degree to suit your interests and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to delve deeper into fundamental areas of international horseracing business including hospitality, marketing, sponsorship and media. You’ll also be able to study the equine management side of the commercial racing world, developing your expertise whilst gaining practical and professional experience to enhance your CV.

Throughout the course, you’ll make valuable connections that can open the doors to a range of exciting work experience and graduate employment opportunities. You’ll also have opportunities to visit horseracing yards and racecourses across the UK and further afield, which will give you valuable insights ready for your career. Live business briefs, field trips and work experience will strengthen your understanding of the global racing world.

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

What you'll study

What you'll study

This course covers a broad range of commercial business and horseracing topics through core modules. The course is comprised of both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suite 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)

This year will focus on the fundamentals of business while developing your knowledge of all aspects of the horseracing industry. You'll gain expertise across a wide range of areas including marketing and finance, as well as studying the key stakeholders in racing and the sector’s overall funding structure.

Compulsory modules

An introduction to learning theory and human behaviour in relation to developing an understanding of
reflection of self and how humans interact and influence others.

An introduction to the different stakeholders and funding of the racing industry.

Gain an understanding of the importance of project management and self‐reflection to aid professional

Take a closer look at the macro- and microeconomics of horseracing.

This module will introduce you to financial statements and their use.

Explore marketing models and key 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 two)

In this year you’ll study a compulsory horseracing industry module, focusing on global perspectives. You’ll also undertake a work placement in industry and choose from a broad variety of business modules, looking at specific areas of hospitality, sponsorship and fundraising

Compulsory modules

You'll 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.

Through data driven analysis of customer perceptions and service expectations carry out market research to plan and problem solve to positively impact equestrian business performance.

Explore the structure, communication and relationships within the international horseracing industry.

Explore the complexities of Public Relations in the sports industry and develop press writing skills.

Optional modules

This module is designed to help undergraduate appreciate the role of management accounting within organisations, it majors upon capital investment, product and service costing, budgeting and working capital management.

Explore the operational aspects of event management and the customer experience.

This module enables students to explore the holistic human resource process of recruitment within organisations. As part of the assessment students will have the opportunity to develop and engage in ‘real life’ assessment centre activities, creating vital preparation for future employment opportunities.

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.

You will engage in a programme relevant study trip which will provide a context for you to synthesise content from across your programme of study and make applications and inferences to this real world setting, while expanding your horizons.

Integrated placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between your second and final years allows you to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience. Many students get their graduate roles with the organisations with which they undertook their work placements.

Level six (final year)

Your final year allows you to focus on areas of particular interest to you, streamlining your learning to those topics that will best support your future career. One module is your dissertation, a substantial research project that will require you to plan, implement and report on a specialist topic. You’ll also be able to choose from a range of business modules around specialist topics such as strategic management, leadership and social media.

Compulsory modules

You'll partake in independent research and analysis in a related area with one-to-one support from an academic.

Explore and analyse current business practice within the global equestrian industry in relation to long term

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

Optional modules

Explore and create industry ready media content for a variety of media platforms.

Exploring the structure, diversity and culture of organisations in relation to leadership and change management.

Gain strategies and techniques to develop communications skills in order to influence, sell and negotiate within the equine industry.

This module allows students to explore the role and significance of sponsorship within the sports industry. They will have the opportunity to align theory with practice by developing a new sponsorship proposal for a chosen sports property.

This module allows students to explore the strategic practices and principles utilised by global companies. Through an appreciation key external and internal impact factors students will put theory into practice and create a new strategic direction for an allocated organisation.

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.

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 and third years 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)27%0%73%
Level five (year two)21%12%67%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%
Level six (final year)18%0%82%

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)13%47%40%
Level five (year two)0%34%66%
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, with an overview below:

  • 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 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 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. Previous students have used these opportunities to explore new areas of the racing industry, as well as to further their understanding of a racing yard.

Our county of Gloucestershire is renowned for horseracing and hosts one of the world’s most prestigious annual race meetings – the Cheltenham Festival. The county is home to some of the world’s most prestigious racehorse trainers and racing facilities, which we make good use of to facilitate realworld learning.

Our students gain experience with many of these organisations, as well as through our partnerships with key governing bodies including the British Horseracing Authority. They also work at racecourses across the UK and organisations such as the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.

Guest lecturers and field trips

Industry professionals form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses and careers. A wide range of speakers from across various aspects of the racing industry will feature throughout your programme to ensure you gain a full understanding of the breadth of opportunities within racing, and how industry stakeholders work together. You’ll also make valuable industry connections, in preparation for your career.

Graduate destinations

Several of our graduates from equine programmes have gone on to forge successful careers within the horseracing industry. One has even gone on to become the UK’s youngest racehorse trainer. Roles include:

  • Marketing manager, Thirsk and York racecourses
  • Graduate Scheme, British Horseracing Authority
  • Graduate Scheme, Jockey Club Racecourses
  • Irish National Stud


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:

Equine therapy and rider performance centres

Our centres are home to a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic equipment including a high-speed water treadmill and high-tech riding simulators. The centre, run by a team of dedicated and passionate professionals, also provides our students with the ideal opportunity to explore equine rehabilitation. Dr Kathryn Nankervis, Principal Lecturer in Equine Therapy, is actively involved in a number of industry projects, and opportunities for students exist in all areas of research.

Commercial yard and competition centre

Hartpury Equine 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 plenty of opportunity for hands-on learning. The arenas play host to annual international competitions including the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials and NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, allowing students to gain experience in other areas of equine sport and business.

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.

Local area

Our county of Gloucestershire is renowned for horseracing and hosts one of the world’s most prestigious annual race meetings – the Cheltenham Festival. The county is home to some of the world’s most prestigious racehorse trainers and racing facilities, which we make good use of to facilitate real-world learning. Our students gain experience with many of these organisations, as well as through our partnerships with key governing bodies including the British Horseracing Authority. They also work at racecourses across the UK and organisations such as the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 112 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 BBC or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A-levels.

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

  • Access | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • IB | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 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 112 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Higher and one Advanced Higher.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers. 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 Merit in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

  • The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 72 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.

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

  • Some evidence of the awareness of the Horseracing industry within the personal statement

  • 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 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.

Optional field trips (up to approximately £1,800)

Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. While many of these are included in the course fees, there is the opportunity to engage in additional significant study tours, experiencing international racing practices in person.

Work placement opportunities

Travel costs are self-funded.

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 2021.