BSc (Hons)

Equine Sports Science

Horse jumping over fence
  • UCAS code(s): DC37 / DC36
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Sandwich / Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 4 / 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This course will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of the physiological principles of equine sports science, and enable you to relate them to different equestrian disciplines. It is specifically designed for students wishing to further their knowledge of the science behind the production, management and training of performance horses, and develop their practical application of key scientific principles.

Why choose this course?

This course will provide you with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to improve the husbandry, performance and welfare of the horse as an athlete. With a strong focus on the science behind nutrition, sport and training, you’ll learn the practical and investigative skills required for a career in the equine sciences and related industries.

  • Brackenhurst is home to our Equestrian Centre which has international-sized indoor and outdoor arenas, plus modern laboratories for the scientific study of nutrition, physiology, disease and genetics.
  • You will have the option to take a work placement during your third year of study.
  • Equestrian industry guest speakers and eventing professionals give lectures and demonstrations to students.
  • The Mary King Arena was opened in May 2012 by the Olympian herself.
  • NTU is recognised as a centre of world-class research into all aspects of equine and equestrian science.
  • We offer sport scholarships to elite athletes across a range of sports, including high-level riders.
  • You can spend six months on international exchange with a partner university in Australia, Canada or Hungary during your second year of study. The equine team have close links with the University of Guelph, Canada.
Video Icon
A day in the life of Lizzie Baugh, BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science student
Lizzie Baugh tells us about her life as a BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science student and sports scholar.

What you'll study

Your study will centre on the major scientific themes of performance, nutrition, veterinary science, reproduction, and exercise physiology. You’ll explore the specialist areas of biomechanics and rider performance, as well as looking at how equine performance is affected by behaviour, welfare, health, injury and training.

The course complements study towards the internationally recognised British Horse Society (BHS) examinations and United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC).

  • Year One

    Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology

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

    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.

    Academic, Research and Professional Skills

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

    Equine Behaviour and Welfare

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

    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.

  • Year Two

    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.

    Nutrition for Health and Performance

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

    Sports Injury

    Develop a detailed understanding of the common injuries affecting sports horses, and the diagnosis, repair and healing of musculoskeletal tissues.

    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.

    Biomechanics

    Assess the relationship between anatomy and movement, and evaluate methods of biomechanical assessment for horse and rider.

    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.

  • Year Three

      This is a placement year for students on the four-year course.
  • Final year

    Optimising Performance

    Evaluate established and emerging technologies and training techniques in order to take a multidisciplinary approach to sustainably optimising the performance of the equestrian athlete.

    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.

    Advances in Rider Performance

    Explore the use of current and future training methods and technologies available to human athletes in order to enhance rider performance.

    Equine Disease and Diagnostics

    Understand equine diseases in regional and global contexts. Develop practical abilities in the laboratory and non-laboratory procedures used in industry and veterinary science.

    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.

Course specification

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

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%), written (33%) and practical (17%).
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
  • Year 3 coursework (66%), written (17%) and practical (17%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%) and placements (0%).

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

You'll hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and visits to a range of equestrian and research establishments.

Careers and employability

Your future career

Graduates from this course are well-placed to take up a variety of careers within the equine sports industry, in nutrition, veterinary-related, the racing industry and equine charities.

Our graduates work for companies such as:

  • the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)
  • The Jockey Club
  • Newmarket Equine Hospital

Some have also gone on to secure places on the prestigious British Horse Racing Authority Graduate Development Programme. You could also progress on to postgraduate study.

Excellent placement opportunities

You will have the option to take a year's placement in industry.

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.

Students have gained valuable experience through recent placements 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

Our Brackenhurst Campus Equestrian Centre is home to a British Horse Society (BHS) approved training and livery establishment.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC, including a Science subject; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Science modules; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level equivalent in a Science subject; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Sports Science / Physical Education.

Applicants without A-levels will have their applications assessed for subject compatibility.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

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.

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 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.

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? 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.

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

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

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.

Apply now

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

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

All students will also 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 overalls, wellington boots and sturdy footwear.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

All students will also 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 overalls, wellington boots and sturdy footwear.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418