Hartpury students watching horseracing at Chepstow Racecourse
BSc (Hons)

Racehorse Performance and Rehabilitation (with Foundation Year)


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: https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/university/courses/undergraduate/bsc-hons-racehorse-performance-and-rehabilitation-with-foundation-year/bsc-hons-racehorse-performance-and-rehabilitation-with-foundation-year-2024/


Course overview

If you want to develop your expertise in racehorse performance and rehabilitation, then this is the course for you.

This foundation year pathway 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 onto the full BSc (Hons) Racehorse Performance and Rehabilitation qualification.

Throughout your degree, you'll learn how to achieve optimal racehorse performance including returning the thoroughbred to peak condition following an injury.

Our county of Gloucestershire is renowned for horseracing, with leading trainers and facilities on site and nearby.

You’ll benefit from our strong links with racing professionals as well as our research-active commercial Equine Therapy Centre on campus, which rehabilitates racehorses, and other equine athletes, back to competition.

The skills and industry connections you develop will help you take advantage of global opportunities that exist in an innovative, fast-paced industry.

You'll graduate with a strong awareness of the racing industry, combined with the ability to apply scientific principles to training practices, analyse performance and understand the rehabilitation process of the racehorse.

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

What you'll study

What you'll study

The horseracing industry offers an abundance of varied and exciting careers all over the world. Live briefs, field trips and work experience will strengthen your understanding of equine performance and rehabilitation in the racing world.

You’ll also have opportunities to support the rehabilitation of racehorses in our commercial Equine Therapy Centre, experiencing first-hand the latest scientific approaches to racehorse training and rehabilitation post-injury.

You’ll graduate with a strong portfolio of skills and experience, ready to take your next step into employment or further study.

Level three foundation year (year one)

Your foundation year will focus on developing your skills and knowledge of key information, to enable you to excel in the years that follow.

Compulsory modules

Learn about the scientific method and enquiry, team working, research skills and effective time management.

Undertake an internship role at Hartpury, linked to the programme of study, to develop reflective, practical and transferable skills in preparation for future study.

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

An introduction to 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.

Study fundamental biological aspects and acquire a clear understanding of how organisms come about and how they function and operate for survival and performance.

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)

Your first year will provide a real-world introduction to the thoroughbred industry, to ensure you have the knowledge you need to progress into year two.

You’ll learn about international racehorse management and the facets that make up the global racing industry.

Alongside this, you’ll develop your understanding of the biology of the racehorse, including how functional anatomy and physiology, nutrition, genetics and health combine to underpin performance and success.

Compulsory modules

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

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.

An introduction to academic and professional development in relation to desired career paths.

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

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)

In your second year, you’ll delve deeper into the fascinating principles that underpin training approaches by looking at the performance physiology of the racehorse and performance analysis techniques.

You’ll also explore diagnostics and therapy, with an option to undertake a work placement too.

Compulsory modules

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

Develop your physiological and biomechanical knowledge alongside gaining an understanding of common performance measures.

Explore the physiological and biomechanical responses to exercise and training alongside the efficacy of racehorse rehabilitation regimens.

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.

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

Optional modules

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

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.

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

Discover key aspects of hydrotherapy in both equine and canine centres.

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.

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.

Placement year (optional)

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

Level six (final year)

In your final year, you’ll be able to focus on areas that interest you, with optional modules enabling you to specialise in an area to suit your interests and career goals. This could include topics around equine sports medicine, performance analysis or rehabilitation and therapy of the racehorse.

Compulsory modules

Carry out independent research and analysis in a related area of your choice.

Performance analysis within training and the role of musculoskeletal function in locomotor and competition performance.

Develop your practical assistant skills alongside knowledge and understanding of functional anatomy to evaluate performance and therapeutic training regimes.

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

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.

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

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

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

A chance to critically review an approved topic of your choice linked to the programme aims.

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 final 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 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 (year one)30%0%70%
Level four (year two)27%0%73%
Level five (year three)24%0%76%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%
Level six (final year)16%3%81%

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.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level three (year one)28%44%28%
Level four (year two)13%39%48%
Level five (year three)41%28%31%
Placement year (optional)0%0%100%
Level six (year three)19%38%43%

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.

You’ll benefit from our industry links with the likes of Cheltenham Racecourse, the British Horseracing Association and a number of trainers. 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.

Our county of Gloucestershire 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 Association. They also work at racecourses across the UK and organisations such as the Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

Equine Therapy Centre

Our commercial Equine Therapy Centre also offers opportunities for you to gain industry experience ready for your career – either on work placement or in a voluntary role.

Guest lecturers and field trips

Industry professionals and field trips form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses and careers. You’ll encounter a wide range of industry speakers from across various aspects of the racing industry throughout the programme.

Graduate destinations

Several of our graduates from our 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:

  • Management positions within the Irish National Stud
  • Bloodstock Nominations Manager
  • Racehorse Trainer
  • Sports therapy and rehabilitation for horse and rider
  • Graduate Scheme, British Horseracing Authority


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 Centre

The Equine Therapy Centre has extensive facilities including a Sato high-speed treadmill and an Aquafit water treadmill. You'll have the opportunity to gain industry experience working alongside the therapy team as they rehabilitate racehorses and other equine athletes. The facilities are also used as part of teaching, providing opportunities for demonstrations and data collection as part of research projects.

Local Gloucestershire area

Our county of Gloucestershire is renowned for horseracing, with one of the world’s most prestigious annual races nearby – 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 and work at racecourses across the UK and with organisations such as the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, as well as through our partnerships with key governing bodies including the British Horseracing Association.


Our laboratories are modern and well-equipped, providing the ideal spaces for scientific activities and research. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.

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 Advanced Higher.

  • 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:

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 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 £1,800)

You'll be encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. It is estimated these costs will be approximately £1800. A comprehensive package of non-repayable financial support is available to facilitate engagement with placements and study tours/trips where additional costs are involved.

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.

Real-world experience

Make the most of our research-active Equine Therapy Centre, which includes a Sato high-speed treadmill and an Aquafit water treadmill. Gain industry-standard experience alongside the therapy team and benefit from world-class facilities being part of your learning.

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 2021.