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Level 3 Extended Diploma

Equine Management

Student jumping with horse

Year Of Entry

  • Level(s) of study: Further education
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2022
  • Course duration: Two years full-time

About the course

This course will include horse science, riding, and stable management, providing you with the knowledge and skills required for a career in the equine industry. You’ll gain practical riding experience on the flat and over jumps while studying towards the British Horse Society (BHS) examinations. We also offer a non-riding option for those that want to develop skills that could lead to a career in competition grooming or rehabilitation and therapy.

Our BHS-approved Equestrian Centre has stabling for 65 horses. There is even the option to keep your own horse here. It also features indoor and outdoor riding arenas, turnout fields, a horse walker and a mechanical horse simulator – great for perfecting your position.

Download a course brochure

Course leader Liz Taylor is available on Unibuddy to answer any questions you may have about our Equine Management course.

Why choose Brackenhurst

Brackenhurst is set in stunning countryside just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre. We are part of Nottingham Trent University. We offer college courses alongside our degree courses, all taught by our skilled, experienced and supportive staff.

At Brackenhurst, you’ll have access to incredible facilities. These include an Animal Unit, Equestrian Centre, Laboratories, Library and gardens and fields that are overflowing with plants and wildlife. Studying with us means that you’ll be a part of an amazing learning environment. You get all the perks of being part of a big university, but you will still enjoy the comforts of a friendly college.

We have limited on-site accommodation available for students studying on this course. Please contact us for more details.

We also run a Rider / Groom's Academy for all students across further and higher education to support talented riders and grooms to realise their potential whilst continuing their academic studies.

Getting here

Brackenhurst is easy to get to. We’re just 14 miles from Nottingham city centre, next to the town of Southwell. Find out more about getting here.

What you'll study

You'll study the care of horses and improve your riding skills. You'll gain knowledge of horse science and stable management, which will involve a lot of practical work and being outdoors, to support you with a career in the equine industry.

  • Year One

      • Principles of Health and Safety
        Gain an understanding of health and safety in the equestrian-sector. Learn how these principles can be applied to improve attitudes and behaviour in the workplace.
      • Work-related Experience in the Land-based Industries
        This module will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in the equine industry. You’ll take part in practical duties at our Equestrian Centre. You'll also complete four weeks of work experience, both at the centre and externally at a place of your choice (subject to approval).
      • Undertake Stable Yard Operations
        In this module, you’ll plan and produce daily work routines and manage the work of others on the yard. You’ll be able to carry out health care checks and produce care treatment schedules.
      • Equine Health
        You’ll learn to recognise the signs of good and ill health in equines, carry out health checks and produce health plans. You’ll also learn about the prevention and treatment of a range of diseases and disorders.
      • Horse Tack and Equipment
        In this module, you’ll develop the skills to carry out the fitting and evaluation of horse tack and equipment. This includes the fitting of saddles, bridles, rugs, bandages, boots and other equipment.
      • Biological Systems of the Horse
        Develop an understanding of the structure and function of the horse's biological systems, to support with health monitoring.
      • Prepare Horses for Presentation
        You’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to carry out the preparation of horses for public presentation.
      • Equine Feeding and Nutrition
        In this module, you’ll develop an understanding of a balanced diet for equines. You'll also explore the effects of watering and feeding animals at different life stages.
      • Horse Behaviour and Welfare
        Gain an understanding of horse behaviour, the effects of domestication and welfare. You’ll observe horses, record the results and analyse your findings.

      Optional module (riding)

      • Exercising Horses
        You will ride lots of different types of horses in the arena, in the open and on a road. You will ride through a jumping grid, and jump a short course of small fences.

      Optional module (non-riding)

      • Principles of Competition Grooming
        Develop the skills and knowledge to be able to prepare a horse for competition. Learn about the necessary equipment and the importance of aftercare including exercise, transport, tack and clothing.
  • Year Two

    • Working and Training Horses from the Ground
      In this module, you’ll learn how to work horses from the ground. You’ll investigate a range of techniques, including Parelli, Join Up, lunging, long reining and loose schooling.
    • Principles of Equitation
      Develop an understanding of how and why theory is important to riding horses. Study the scales of training, the history of riding horses and the theory behind modern competitive disciplines including dressage, show jumping, and eventing.
    • Managing an Equine Event
      Gain an understanding of how to plan, organise, deliver and evaluate an equine event.
    • The Principles of Horse Fitness
      Learn about horse fitness and the effects of stress and changes in metabolism. You’ll learn how to prepare horses for fitness programmes, including the nutritional requirements. You'll also learn how to develop and monitor horse and rider fitness programmes.
    • Business Management in the Land-based Sector
      Gain an understanding of businesses within the land based sector, the roles and responsibilities of those employed and the resource needed to run a business.

    Optional modules (riding)

    • Riding Horses on the Flat
      You’ll gain an understanding of riding horses on the flat. You will ride a wide variety of horses of all ages and levels and be encouraged to engage with the theory of training horses to enhance their abilities.
    • Riding Horses over Fences
      You’ll gain an understanding of riding horses over fences and be encouraged to engage with the theory of training horses to enhance their abilities. You will take part in internal competitions run by the Equestrian Centre and also dressage tests, musical rides, jump grids and show jumping / cross country courses. You will have the opportunity to take part in trials for the Rider Academy.
    • Introduction to Equestrian Coaching
      This module focuses on developing and enhancing your teaching skills with practical and theory sessions. You’ll learn how to deliver riding lessons on the flat and over ground poles, plus lead rein and lunge lessons. You'll also look at how to deliver a short lecture.

    Optional modules (non-riding)

    • Specialist Project in the Land-based Sector
      You will develop project management skills by investigating a chosen topic of interest. Learn how to plan and carry out the project, including working to meet deadlines and finishing with an evaluation report.
    • The Principles of Horse Rehabilitation and Therapy
      Learn about horse performance injuries and where these usually occur on the horse’s body. Look at the causes injury, the therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques used, and the complimentary therapies used to improve performance.

How you’re taught

You’ll learn through practical demonstrations, group discussions, and lectures in our fantastic facilities. You’ll be taught by tutors who work within the horse industry as competitors, judges and British Horse Society (BHS) assessors.

You’ll go on trips to competition yards, rehabilitation centres and British Eventing competitions. You’ll hear from guest speakers from the equine industry.

You can take part in trials for our Rider Academy, and you can get involved with our Groom’s Academy. You can take the BHS Progressive Riding Tests (PRT) Stages 1 – 6 and the Ride Safe exam in Year One. In Year Two, you can work towards BHS Stage 2 or higher.

The course is split so that approximately 40% is practical work and 60% is theory work. It also includes a work placement. This will develop your skills and knowledge and look good to future employers. You can work at places like local competitions yards, yards specialising in natural horsemanship, or in tack shops or feed merchants.

How you’ll be assessed

You'll be assessed through written assignments, presentations, practical assessments, class tests and external exams.

Careers and employability

After completing this course there are a number of options and routes that you can take. You could choose to continue your studies and go onto a higher education course or pursue a career in an equine-related industry.

If you are successful and achieve the right combination of results, you’ll be able to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science or BSc (Hons) Equine Behaviour, Health and Welfare degrees right here at NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus.

Future jobs within the equine industry include:

  • Competition or Stud Groom - you could earn up to £15,000
  • Equine Retail Worker - you could earn up to £15,000
  • Veterinary Equine Nurse - you could earn up to £21,000
  • Riding Instructor or Coach - you could earn up to £25,000
  • Yard Manager - you could earn up to £25,000

Placement opportunities

Work placements are a great way to broaden your knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity to take part in work experience in a range of equine related sectors.

With our great links to industry you'll have the opportunity to work in top yards such as:

  • Billy Twomey
  • Michael Whittaker
  • Lucinda Frederick's.

Other opportunities also include working with a British Dressage Judge or with the British Horse Society.


All staff remain active within the industry, either by training and competing, judging or examining and pass on their knowledge and connections to students. You will also have the opportunity to go out to shows and network to make your own connections.

Additional certificates

As well as completing your course, you will have the opportunity to undertake additional industry-focused certificates including:

  • the British Horse Society Progressive Riding tests 1 - 6
  • Ride Safe
  • British Horse Society stage 2 or 3, depending on your ability.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Entry requirements

For 2022 entry you'll need:
  • Four GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above including:
    • Science
    • Maths or English Language (with the other subject at grade 3 / D or above).
  • We will accept students with grade 3 / D in Maths or English Language where the other subject is at least grade 4 / C. You will need to complete Maths or English Language GCSE retakes as a mandatory part of your study programme.
  • At interview, you’ll need to demonstrate that you can ride at all paces to be offered a place on the course. For the non-riding option you will be given a practical task, which involves tacking up on the yard.
  • For the health and welfare of our horses there is a maximum rider weight limit of 14 stone.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Applications are welcome from mature and international students.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.

We welcome applications from international students. Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 to discuss how your qualifications match our course requirements.

How to apply

Applying is really easy. Follow our step-by-step guide below.

Fill in an application form

  • Download an application form. Remember to show your passion for your chosen subject in your personal statement.
  • Provide contact details for two referees - usually one teacher from your current School or College and one character reference which could refer to any volunteering, work experience or hobbies you may have (i.e. Sea Scouts, sports clubs etc.). Alternatively, this can be a long standing family friend or neighbour.

Come for an interview

  • If you meet the criteria for the course, we’ll invite you in for an interview. We’ll send you details of what will happen on the day in advance through the post. Don’t panic! Our tutors are really friendly and will help you to do your best.

Get your offer

  • We’ll write to you and let you know how you got on at the interview. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you a place on the course. This offer might be conditional on your upcoming exam results – for example GCSEs.

Accept your offer

  • You need to tell us that you want to accept your offer of a place by returning your confirmation slip to us or calling us on 0115 848 5299.

Get your exam results

  • If you’re taking GCSEs or other exams, you’ll get your results over the summer. Once you’ve got your results you need to let us know what they are. Then we can confirm your place.

Start at Brackenhurst

  • We’ll send out all the information you need to start with us in the post at the end of August. We hold an enrolment day in the first week of September. This allows you to get your student ID and start meeting your new friends and tutors.

Any questions?

Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us or give us a call on 0115 848 5299.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on how to apply.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

In our last ofsted assessment we received a ‘good’ grade with some outstanding features

Fees and funding

If you are aged 16-18 and applying for a Level 2 or 3 course

There are no course fees if you’re aged under 19 on 31 August of the year you start your course.

If you are aged 19+ and applying for a Level 2, Level 3 or Access to Higher Education course

If you’re studying your first full Level 3 or Access to Higher Education qualification you may be eligible for free tuition. You will still need to pay the registration fee applicable for your course.

If you are applying for the Level 2 qualification or have already completed a full Level 3 qualification, tuition and registration fees will apply.

To cover the cost of tuition when applying for a Level 3 and Access to Higher Education qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the UK Government. It is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You will not have to pay anything back until your income is over £25,000.

Please visit fees and funding information for more information.

Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on fees and funding.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418