Skip to content

Equine Behaviour, Health and Welfare BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): DC38; DC39
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time or four years with placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

This course reflects the growing awareness of the need to develop a greater understanding of equine behaviour. This course covers all areas of equine behaviour, health and welfare, offering an extensive range of subjects from anatomy and physiology to equitation science. The course will help you build the fundamental knowledge of behaviour and physiology – as well as the laboratory skills – needed to optimise the welfare of horses in our care, allowing them to thrive and perform as required in industry.

  • You'll be based at our Brackenhurst Campus where you'll benefit from our extensive Equestrian Centre. Throughout the course you'll use the centre to gain the practical and research skills needed for careers in the equine industry. We also offer student livery at the centre.
  • You can spend six months on international exchange with a partner university in Australia or Canada during your second year of study. The equine team have close links with the University of Guelph, Canada. We also have an optional international equine management module which runs as a ten day field course in Switzerland based at the Swiss National Stud.
  • Your course complements study towards the internationally recognised British Horse Society (BHS) examinations and United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC). We also offer sport scholarships to elite athletes across a range of sports, including high-level riders.
  • We're ranked first in the UK for student satisfaction in Animal Science subjects (National Student Survey, 2022).

What you’ll study

Your learning will be based upon equine behaviour, health and welfare, including the anatomy and physiology of the horse, and equitation science. You'll develop your knowledge in specialist areas including:

  • equine learning and cognition
  • behavioural analysis
  • disease and diagnostics
  • optimising equine welfare
  • therapeutic use of horses.

Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology

Study the fundamental biological systems of mammals, and how these work together to maintain homeostasis.

Equine Behaviour and Welfare

Explore the roles that evolution and domestication have played in the development of innate and learned equine behaviour. Assess the consequences of a variety of current approaches to horse management on behaviour and welfare.

Academic, Research and Professional Skills

Develop the practical, technical and communication skills required for the application of science to the equestrian industry.

Science of Equitation

Investigate and apply the science behind the riding and training of horses, whilst developing the horsemanship skills required by industry.

Equine Management and Health

Study the veterinary science of horse health, and practically apply these principles to the management of the horse.

Equine Nutrition

Learn how to apply the fundamental science of nutrition to equine feeding practices. Consider how discipline and sustainability of food sources influence nutritional management around the world.

Applied Exercise Physiology

Investigate the physiological responses to exercise and training in the equine and human athlete, developing your understanding of the demands of equestrian sports

Research Methods for Animal Sciences

Explore research principles as applicable to animal science, and use these to plan and execute a small group research project.

Equine Learning and Cognition

Discuss the various approaches to horse management and training and the biological basis of learning. You’ll also look at the neural adaptations that occur in relation to different types of learning and memory.

Nutrition for Health and Performance

Explore the effect of nutrition on the health and performance of the sports horse, and how this can be managed.

Reproduction, Breeding and Genetics

Study the physiological basis of equine reproduction, and evaluate the veterinary and stud management practices and technologies used to support the selection and breeding of performance horses.

Human Animal Interaction

Discuss ideas and findings in human, equine and sports psychology and use these to design appropriate therapeutic uses of the horse. The module will also introduce you to the use of animals in a wide range of human therapies and how they can aid different areas of personal development.

    This is a placement year for students on the four year course

Dissertation

Carry out an original investigation into a topic area of your choice – plan, execute and analyse your project, demonstrating critical independent thought and key project management skills.

Emerging Issues and Ethics

Investigate and examine emerging welfare and performance issues related to the equestrian industry worldwide, and critically consider these using established ethical philosophies.

Equine Disease and Diagnostics

Understand equine diseases in regional and global context, and develop practical ability in laboratory and non-laboratory procedures used in industry and veterinary science

The Sustainable Equine

Recognise and explain developments in research that influence emerging advances for sustainability in equids. You’ll also critically evaluate current international issues relating to sustainability in the equine industry.

Advances in Equitation Science

Study the practical aspects of applying equitation science in the equine industry. You’ll look at key areas of interest and determine and develop key areas for change.

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

Our current students and recent graduates tell you all about their time at NTU and what they've gone on to do next.

Student Profiles

Alena Studt

Equine Behaviour, Health and Welfare

The lecturers are all extremely supportive, approachable, helpful, and very friendly. When you come from a different country, you of course have some expectations, and I can say that these have been exceeded.

Alice Woodhead

Equine Behaviour, Health and Welfare

If you’re interested in the science behind the horse and developing your academic skills and knowledge this is the course for you.

Video Gallery

Learn more about our equine science courses here at NTU and see how the subject is empowering women to pursue a career in STEM and further scientific knowledge. You can also take a tour of our facilities and watch an online taster session.
Video Icon
 

How you’re taught

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, group discussion and practical work. Throughout the course, you’ll also hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and demonstrations. You'll also get the opportunity to take part in field trips to a range of equestrian and research establishments.

Please note that field trip locations may vary and are subject to availability and change.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (26%), independent study (74%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (26%), independent study (74%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.

Staff Profiles

Sarah Upton

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Dr Sarah Upton

Lauren Birkbeck

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Lauren Birkbeck is the Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science programme. She holds an Honours degree in Equine Sports Science, a Masters by Research degree in Sport…

Alison Northrop

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Alison Northrop’s area of expertise broadly comprises understanding more about the biomechanics and physiology of the horse and rider that considers improving performance, health and welfare.

Samuel White

Senior Lecturer

Animal and Equine Science

Dr Samuel White is a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Equine Science.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (50%), written exam (33%), practical (17%)
  • Year 2 coursework (33%), written exam (50%), practical (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (66%), written exam (17%), practical (17%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

Upon graduation you'll be equipped to enter a variety of careers. Our graduates have entered fields as diverse as nutrition, veterinary-related roles, equine behaviour retraining, equine assisted therapy and equine charities.

Our students have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • the Irish equine Aqua Centre
  • the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)
  • Newmarket Equine Hospital

Some students have continued on to postgraduate study in equine and animal subjects, or embarked on second degrees in physiotherapy-related degrees.

Excellent placement opportunities

You'll be encouraged and supported to gain relevant industry experience at appropriate organisations throughout the course. Our students have previously been based at places such as behaviour clinics, rehabilitation and retraining centres in the thoroughbred industry in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.

Students have carried out placements at companies such as:

  • Australian Equine Behaviour Centre (Andrew McLean)
  • Bellerive Stud, Australia
  • Bennett Equine Sport Rehabilitation
  • Fittocks Stud Newmarket
  • Hartstone Equestrian Ltd
  • Pakiri Beach Horse Riding, New Zealand

Why undertake a placement?

  • You will gain vital experience in a vocational position.
  • It will boost your CV and build useful contacts for your future career.
  • There are some exciting and challenging opportunities available within organisations such as Kentucky Equine Research, and Sydney, Edinburgh and Liverpool Universities.
  • You will also have the opportunity to carry out research for your final year dissertation.
  • Your placement opportunity may lead to a supplementary Certificate or Diploma in Professional Studies.

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

Study on an equine course at NTU and you'll have access to our extensive Equestrian Centre. The centre is also used by various organisations including local pony clubs and the Great Britain eventing team (senior and junior).

Throughout your course you'll use the Equestrian Centre to gain the practical and research skills needed for careers in the equine industry.

The centre is a British Horse Society (BHS) approved training and livery establishment and also holds a full local authority riding school licence.

Facilities include:

  • a range of stabling types for comparative study, including social housing and combi barns pioneered by NTU
  • international-size indoor and outdoor riding arenas
  • a horse walker
  • a Racewood equestrian simulator
  • a 40 x 20 research arena surrounded by a 7-foot fence to allow loose schooling
  • observation holes in the fence, allowing you to observe horses from outside the arena

Our horses

There are approximately 30 horses at the Equestrian Centre, including school masters, competition horses, and youngsters. The horses are available for:

  • riding instruction
  • coaching
  • stable management
  • research.

Student livery

We offer a limited DIY student livery.

Entry requirements

  • 104 - 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications, including an A-level Science subject or equivalent.
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology and Psychology.

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.


Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form.

  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications, including an A-level Science subject or equivalent.
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology and Psychology.

International qualifications

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

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation 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:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before. This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

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

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 pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

Non-residential UK day excursions are included in the tuition fee. You will be charged a maximum of 20% of the price per student cost for any compulsory residential trips or courses in the UK, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. For example, a typical 5-day UK residential field trip cost would be approx. £500 per student, and we would ask for a £100 contribution from students. You will be charged a maximum of 30% of the price per student cost for any compulsory overseas residential courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and associated trip fees where applicable. For example, a typical 6-day residential overseas field trip cost would be approx. £600 per student, and we would ask for a £180 contribution from students. Other non-compulsory field trip opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at 80% cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will be expected to provide their own riding equipment to include jodhpurs or breeches; hairnet; riding hat; gloves; long boots or jodhpur boots with matching half chaps; polo short and sweatshirt.

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons, waterproof trousers and coat.

Tuition fees for September 2023 entry

Mode of study

International tuition fee

Full-time

£15,600

Full-time with placement

£15,600 + £1,385 (placement year)

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 undergraduate 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.

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

Non-residential UK day excursions are included in the tuition fee. You will be charged a maximum of 20% of the price per student cost for any compulsory residential trips or courses in the UK, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. For example, a typical 5-day UK residential field trip cost would be approx. £500 per student, and we would ask for a £100 contribution from students. You will be charged a maximum of 30% of the price per student cost for any compulsory overseas residential courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and associated trip fees where applicable. For example, a typical 6-day residential overseas field trip cost would be approx. £600 per student, and we would ask for a £180 contribution from students. Other non-compulsory field trip opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at 80% cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will be expected to provide their own riding equipment to include jodhpurs or breeches; hairnet; riding hat; gloves; long boots or jodhpur boots with matching half chaps; polo short and sweatshirt.

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons, waterproof trousers and coat.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good 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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on 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:

Advice on writing a good personal statement

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.

More from School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences