Skip to content

Equine Performance, Health and Welfare MRes / MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

This suite of postgraduate courses provides a thorough understanding of equine health, performance and welfare within the context of the human use of horses. The courses have been designed to meet the growing number of equestrian professions that require a high level of theoretical knowledge, and strong research skills.

If you have any questions about our Equine course, you can now chat to our experienced lecturers and course leaders through Unibuddy.

  • NTU boasts major investment in biological sciences teaching and laboratory facilities. The specialist facilities for equine courses include several research arenas, floodlit outdoor riding arena, indoor school, a horse walker, round pen, a dedicated performance analysis room with mechanical horse and a variety of equine housing systems including, traditional style stabling, American-barn housing and crew yards. Study routes available include taught MRes and MSc options.
  • Specialist research equipment is available for use during student projects and teaching led activities including, heart rate monitors, GPS equipment, Qualisys motion capture system, DartfishProSuite(R), Tekscanpressure mapping, Flir thermal camera, infrared camera system to monitor 24 hour time budgets, Observer behavioural analysis software and mobile eye tracking systems.
  • Modules are delivered by academics qualified to PhD level, who are research active in their area of expertise. Their international research links provide opportunities and scope for a wide range of research projects in the field of Equine Performance, Health and Welfare. These are unique courses in the UK focusing on Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at postgraduate level.
  • Students can specialise in key areas of interest, for example nutrition, behaviour, exercise physiology, genetics and reproduction. Research in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has been recognised as being of international importance (RAE 2013). Undertake a major research project supported by research active academics. Research projects can be undertaken in the UK or abroad.

What you’ll study

This suite of courses is unique in the UK. The courses focus on the recent advances in equine health and disease, sports horse nutrition, behaviour, ethics, exercise physiology, equitation science, and genetics in the context of enhancing equine performance, health and welfare.

You'll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of equine performance, health and welfare, and the philosophical, ethical and legal issues related to these. You'll gain an insight into the latest scientific research findings, and critically examine these in a practical context. The research project enables you to undertake and develop your own research interests with the support of experienced supervisors.

The MRes courses offer you the chance to develop even further your understanding of equine research and specialise within the fields of either performance or health and welfare. On these courses, you'll enhance your research expertise, enabling you to analyse and report findings to a high scientific standard, and communicate them to a wide range of audiences.

Equine Health

(20 credit points)

This module integrates recent advances in equine genetics, immunology, epidemiology and nutrition with current knowledge on the prevention of disease and sickness, in order to safeguard equine welfare. The topics covered include:

- clinical and applied nutrition

- immunology

- parasitology and microbiology

- equine genetic disease, and immunogentics

- global disease factors

- aetiology and epidemiology of equine diseases

This module is assessed by a written assignment (100%)

Equestrian Performance

(40 credit points)

Critically evaluate recent developments in the area of exercise physiology, injury and rehabilitation, in relation to performance horse management and welfare. A strong component of this module is the practical application of research tools to the measurement of performance. The topics covered include:

- equitation science

- biomechanics

- exercise physiology

- evaluation of the nutritional management of the performance horse

- assessment of fitness and performance for both horse and rider

- rehabilitation of the equine athlete

This module is assessed by a written assignment (50%) and an exam (50%)

Ethics and Consultation

(20 credit points)

Explore ethical aspects of the modern horse-human relationship within the context of recent advances in animal welfare philosophy. Review the ethical and legal implications of advising and consulting within the horse industry in a professional capacity. The topics covered include:

- moral philosophy

- animal welfare and ethics

- cultural and social influences of attitudes to animals

- regulation of animal welfare (in statutory and regulatory organisations)

- the use of the horse in sport, production, research, and as a companion

- consultation, knowledge dissemination, and legal implications

This module is assessed by an oral assessment (50%) and written assignment (50%)

Ethology and Welfare

(20 credit points)

Evaluate the behaviour and management of the domestic horse (Equus Caballus) from a comparative ethological perspective. Compare the members of the Equidae and related species, taking account of habitat, ecological niche and patterns of behaviour. Evaluate methods of recording behaviour, and apply findings to the management and behaviour of the domestic horse. Review theoretical and practical methods of evaluating welfare, and apply them to a variety of situations, including stabled horses and those used in conversation projects. The topics covered include:

- diversity of Equidae and related species

- behavioural ecology

- methods of recording behaviour

- behaviour patterns in free-ranging and domestic species

- equine perception and cognition

- practical and theoretical aspects of welfare assessment

This module is assessed by a written assignment (60%) and an oral assessment (40%)

Research Methods and Data Analysis

(20 credit points)

Learn advanced skills in the interpretation of quantitative and qualitative research data relevant to whole-organism biology, and develop a critical understanding of the ethical considerations involved in the collection of data. You'll present your findings and research in a variety of ways, as well as critically evaluating, interpreting and relaying knowledge gained from secondary sources, to peers.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Research Project

(MRes 120 credit points, MSc 60 credit points)

Research in depth a chosen topic area related to equine performance, health, or welfare. Design and implement a relevant research project or equivalent technical or professional enquiry, with a strong aspect of originality. Communicate the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Our Equine Performance, Health and Welfare courses are offered as two Masters degrees (MSc and MRes)

MSc

The MSc comprises a taught programme of five modules and a research project.

MRes

The MRes offers two or three taught modules (depending on your specialism), and the opportunity to undertake an extended research project. You can choose to specialise in either equine performance, or equine health and welfare.

Modules MSc Equine Performance, Health and Welfare MRes Equine Health and Welfare MRes Equine Performance
Research Methods and Data Analysis Included Included Included
Ethics and Consultation Included Optional* Not included
Ethology and Weflare Included Optional* Not included
Equine Health Included Included Not included
Equestrian Performance Included Not included Included
Research Project Included Included Included

*Choose one of the optional modules

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Louise Evans

Equine Performance, Health and Welfare

On the whole I would recommend NTU for postgraduate study. Brackenhurst campus is small and close-knit which makes for a strong community feel amongst postgraduate students.

Chloe Mabbutt

Equine Performance, Health and Welfare

NTU helped me blossom as a person and turn my passion into a career.

Lucile Vigouroux

Equine Performance, Health and Welfare

The course modules offered the well-rounded focus on equine science that I was looking for.

How you’re taught

You'll be taught through a mixture of lectures, practical sessions, demonstrations, and project work. You'll also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required, and you'll undertake high-quality research for the Masters awards. You'll research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our British Horse Society-approved Equestrian Centre, which has stabling for over 65 horses. Its facilities include international-size indoor and floodlit outdoor riding arenas, a research arena, horse walker, round pen, group housing pens, a dedicated performance analysis room with mechanical horse, and a variety of equine housing systems including, traditional style stabling, American-barn style housing and crew yards. You'll also have access to specialised teaching and laboratory facilities.

Staff Profiles

Sarah Upton

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Sarah Upton

Careers and employability

The course will provide you with the professional skills, experience and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide range of careers within the area of equine science and health and welfare. Potential positions and fields include:

  • research assistant in animal or biological sciences
  • nutritionist
  • medical marketing and sales
  • scientific journalist
  • lecturer
  • equine consultancy
  • rehabilitation
  • sports psychology and coaching
  • equine behaviourist.

In particular students wishing to pursue the MRes course may continue their career in research.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From conservation management to sustainable farming, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more

Research project: UK or abroad

Postgraduate students can undertake a research project in a chosen area of interest. This can be undertaken at Brackenhurst campus or elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

The School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has many excellent links to partner organisations, conservation and welfare projects and academic institutions across the world. Because of our reputation, we’ve got some incredible global connections. Some of our industry and academic partners include:

  • World Horse Welfare
  • Fitzpatrick Referrals
  • University of Guelph
  • Swiss National Stud
  • Newmarket Equine Hospital

Current research activity includes

  • performance analysis of horse and rider
  • assessing ridden behaviour
  • monitoring activity patterns
  • assessing feeding behaviour
  • welfare.

Find out more about equestrian research taking place at Nottingham Trent University.

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.

Campus and facilities

The Equestrian Centre and its many facilities at Brackenhurst campus are an essential resource for the students studying on equine courses here at Nottingham Trent University.

Mary King Arena

The Equestrian Centre's indoor riding arena was re-launched by six time Olympian Mary King in May 2012. This is a 60 x 40 metres with a Prowax sand riding surface which includes a seating gallery area capable of seating 279 people for events or observing training and research.  Indoor Cross Country jumps are available as well as a full range of show jumps.  The Mary King Arena is effectively used for research, allowing horses to be loose schooled and our camera system records both training and research that can then be analysed using various software for both staff and student use. In November 2013, a large screen was installed within the arena which has a record and playback facility. This will be used within teaching and research and can take footage from the four separate camera points around the arena.

Outdoor Riding School

60 x 40 metres with waxed sand and fibre surface, enclosed by fencing and fully floodlit with a full range of show jumps. We also have three permanent cross country fences that interlink onto a grass area to allow for cross country training.

Research Arena

This is a 40 x 20 metres waxed sand surface which is fully enclosed by seven foot fencing to allow loose schooling. Observation holes in the fence allow staff and students to observe the horse(s) from outside the arena to reduce any influence on natural behaviour.

Stabling

The Equestrian Centre boosts a variety of housing for stabling the horses ranging from individual stabling in American barns to crew yards and pens. The varied housing allows for research and ensures the students experience a range of stabling options.

Park Hill

Park Hill is located a short drive away from our main Equestrian Centre and is home to five semi-feral ponies that are re-homed from Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare Centre. The facility has grazing paddocks with field shelters, a round pen and an all weather surface area for working with the horses. The horses housed at Park Hill are used extensively for research and also teaching within horse human relationship and working horses from the ground modules.

Equine Centre Classroom

Seats 24 and has fully installed audio visual equipment.

Livery

Stabling for over 30 DIY student liveries that includes use of the Equestrian Centre facilities.

Performance Analysis Room

Houses mechanical horse, iJoy Ride, Balimo Chair, Tekscan Pressure testing equipment and mirrors, all of which are utilised for clinics and workshops.

Technical Room

Computer equipment for student use during project work including use of research software such as Observer, OnTrack and Dartfish. This room can also be used for downloading data from cameras, heart rate monitors, mobile eye and other data collecting equipment.

And much more...

  • Cross Country schooling paddock
  • Horse walker
  • Round pens for lunging/research
  • Stocks and solarium
  • Washbox
  • Project rooms for staff and student research
  • Large lecture rooms complete with A/V equipment located in the Bramley building
  • Laboratory facilities located in the Bramley building and Veterinary Nursing Unit.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

MRes

  • A minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

MSc 

  • A minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

What are we looking for?

MRes

  • A minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

MSc 

  • A minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for September 2022

Mode of study

Home (UK) tuition fee

Full-time

£8,800

Part-time*

£4,400

*please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding page will answer all your questions.

Scholarships

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Alumni Discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 20% alumni discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU alumni for September 2020 and January 2021 entry. This discount is currently available for those starting an eligible postgraduate taught, postgraduate research or professional course.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on  +44 (0)115 848 2494 or for Scholarship help please contact us on +44 (0)115 848 4460.

Tuition fees for September 2022

Mode of study

International tuition fee

Full-time

£15,850

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.