MRes / MSc

Equine Performance, Health and Welfare

Horse jumping over fence
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

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.

Why study Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at Nottingham Trent University?

  • These are unique courses in the UK focusing on Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at postgraduate level
  • 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.
  • Specialist research equipment is available for use during student projects and teaching led activities including, heart rate monitors, GPS equipment, Pegasys gait analysis system, DartfishProSuite(R), Tekscanpressure mapping, infrared camera system to monitor 24 hour time budgets, Observer behavioural analysis software, mobile eye tracking systems and Equistat Pro system
  • 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
  • Students can specialise in key areas of interest, for example nutrition, behaviour, exercise physiology, genetics and reproduction
  • Recent Masters graduates are now employed as lecturers, nutritionists, research assistants, equine journalists and independent consultants
  • Research in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has been recognised as being of international importance (RAE 2013)
  • Study routes available include taught MRes and MSc options
  • Undertake a major research project supported by research active experst. 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.

  • Modules

    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 (50%)

    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%)
  • Deciding between an MRes and an MSc

    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.

    ModulesMSc Equine Performance, Health and WelfareMRes Equine Health and WelfareMRes Equine Performance
    Research Methods and Data AnalysisIncludedIncludedIncluded
    Ethics and ConsultationIncludedOptional*Not included
    Ethology and WeflareIncludedOptional*Not included
    Equine HealthIncludedIncludedNot included
    Equestrian PerformanceIncludedNot includedIncluded
    Research ProjectIncludedIncludedIncluded

    *Choose one of the optional modules

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

93% of postgraduate students studying within the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences would recommend their course to other students (PTES, 2018).

How you’re taught

You'll be taught through a mixture of lectures, laboratory classes, 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 be able to use specialist equipment, including heart rate monitors, GPS equipment, Pegasys gait analysis system, DartfishProSuite®, Tekscanpressure mapping, infrared camera system, mobile eye tracking systems, and the Equistat Pro system. You'll also have access to specialised teaching and laboratory facilities.

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.

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. The programme team for Equine Health and Welfare has links with the University of Sydney Australia through our visiting professor Paul McGreevy, Guelph University Canada and Virginia TECH Mare Centre.

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.

95% of NTU postgraduates are employed or engaged in further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE, 2014/5).

Teaching is supported by our British Horse Society-approved Equestrian Centre.

Entry requirements

For 2019 entry you will need:

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 email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more. 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.

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

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

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.

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

Fees and funding

Course fees for September 2019 entry are:

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,000£14,500
Part-time£3,500 (for Year One*) 

*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 25% alumni discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU alumni. 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.

Course fees for September 2019 entry are:

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,000£14,500
Part-time£3,500 (for Year One*) 

*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.

For a list of international fees for all courses and study routes in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences please visit our postgraduate fees and funding page.

When and how to pay your fees

For advice and guidance on making secure international payments to the University, please visit our international fees page.

Scholarships and other funding

If you're an international or EU student holding an offer to study with us, you can apply for one of our international scholarships.

Please visit our international scholarships page for details.

You'll also find information about EU tuition fee loans and external scholarships to study in the UK on these pages.

Advice and guidance

If you have any questions about international fees, scholarships and other funding please contact the International Development Office at international@ntu.ac.uk or +44 (0)115 848 8175.

NTU offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help fund your studies.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418