BSc Equine Science

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

BSc Equine Science student riding a horse

Equine Science at Aber is a biological degree focusing on the horse for examples of key concepts. This includes how the horse is bred for superior traits, its nutrition, welfare and care for maximum performance and its management in relation to reproduction, exercise physiology, behaviour and wellbeing. Aberystwyth is a traditional University with a long history of teaching equine science related courses dating back to the 1970’s, in fact when studying at Aber you will be joining the longest-established Department offering this type of degree in the UK.

And if that is not enough, here’s also why we think Aber is a great place to study and become an Equine Scientist:

  • Superb teaching and research facilities including state of the art labs
  • Internationally renowned passionate teaching staff who are experts in their fields
  • A fantastic equine centre with Olympic size indoor arena, all-weather manège, round pen, horse walker and livery facilities
  • A stunning coastal location with miles of unspoilt beaches to gallop upon a few miles from the equine centre!
  • Opportunities for work experience, foreign exchanges, internships, bursaries and training towards BHS exams

 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from IBERS who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

Aberystwyth University is a leading centre for animal science and equine research. This 3 year course provides a comprehensive understanding of the science of the horse. When you have completed it you will have the skills and knowledge to follow a rewarding career in the equine industry. If you wish to continue your studies to a higher level, our highly rated MSc Equine Science course may be something to aim for.

A detailed course structure can be found by clicking the tab ‘course content’. Topics studied within the course may include:

  •  Equine anatomy 
  • Equine exercise physiology
  • Animal behaviour and welfare
  • Equine nutrition
  • Equine stud management and breeding
  • Applied veterinary science 
  • Animal Bioethics

This course will be delivered through a balanced programme of lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, field visits, and lab work. You will receive thorough training in concepts, research and methodology relating to equine science. You will explore this learning in laboratory research and experimentation, as well as hands-on exercises. You will also participate in a study tour, which will cover a range of different equine-related organizations and may include racing training stables, studs, racecourses and veterinary hospitals.

You’ll be taught by expert scientists with an international reputation, who conduct research in a wide range of animal science and equine areas. Our lecturers are passionate teachers too, with years of experience of communicating the science of the horse. One of the staff recently became a senior fellow at the Higher Education Academy!

A prize-winning institute that can help you achieve your full potential

  • Our students have won the “Biology Student of the Year” award at the European Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Awards, and the Welsh Ornithologists’ Union Student Prize!
  • Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) received the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' award at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards. 
  • Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in conjunction with Bangor University had the 5th strongest submission in the UK for the Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014).

We have all the facilities you need to develop into a first rate equine scientist. Facilities include:

  • State of the art laboratories
  • Olympic size indoor arena
  • Stables, horse walker and all-weather ménage
  • Livery facilities

Students can elect to study a number of IBERS modules in the medium of Welsh. Ask the department for further details.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (80 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Biology Of The Cell BR10310

Equine Anatomy And Physiology BR10910

Equine Industry And Study Tour BR11200

Genetics BR11310

Biological Molecules And Methods BR11710

Semester 2

Equine Exercise Physiology BR11010

Equine Industry And Study Tour BR11220

Metabolism BR12010

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Bioleg Cymhwysol Anifeiliad BG13300

Applied Animal Biology BR13300

Semester 2

Bioleg Cymhwysol Anifeiliad BG13320

Applied Animal Biology BR13320

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Sgiliau Astudio A Chyfathrebu BG12410

Study And Communication Skills BR12410

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Amrywiaeth Microbau BG12110

Microbial Diversity BR12110

Year 2 Core (60 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Equine And Human Exercise Physiology BR21520

Semester 2

Applied Animal Behaviour And Welfare BR20510

Immunology BR22220

Reproductive Physiology, Growth And Development BR23310

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Maeth Anifeiliaid Fferm, Ceffylau Ac Anifeiliaid Anwes BG20720

Applied Nutrition Of Livestock, Horses And Companion Animals BR20720

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Profiad Gwaith BG24200

Work Experience BR24200

Semester 2

Profiad Gwaith BG24210

Work Experience BR24210

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23400

Research Methods BR23400

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23420

Research Methods BR23420

Year 2 Options Choose 10 credits

Semester 1

Principles Of Veterinary Science BR23110

Grassland Management BR25110

Semester 2

Equine Business BR25010

Final Year Core (60 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Equine Stud Management BR32500

Veterinary Infectious Diseases BR34120

Semester 2

Advanced Equine Nutrition And Digestive Disorders BR30310

Animal Breeding BR30710

Equine Stud Management BR32520

Final Year Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig BG32300

Dissertation BR32300

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig BG32330

Dissertation BR32330

Final Year Options Choose 30 credits

Semester 1

Animal Bioethics BR30510

Equine Marketing And Small Business Management BR34700

Semester 2

Livestock And Equine 'omic' Technologies BR30610

Veterinary Pharmacology And Toxicology BR32610

Equine Marketing And Small Business Management BR34720

Both Semesters

Cyfathrebu Ymchwil BG31710

Communicating Research BR31710

Employability

You will be fully supported with developing your employability skills throughout the degree scheme. The degree will allow you to develop specialist skills such as the ability to evaluate the welfare needs of horses and undertake physiological assessment and determine training needs for horses as well as developing a range of transferable skills highly valued by employers. You will join a department that has excellent facilities to support your studies; £55 million pounds has been invested over the last five years in IBERS infrastructure. You will have access to highly specialised facilities, the Lluest Equine Centre is a British Horse Society approved training centre offering tuition for BHS stages (Riding and Care) up to Instructor level. These facilities enable students to develop their specialist skills and knowledge preparing them for a successful transition into the workplace. Guest lecturers and expert external teachers also contribute to the curriculum to pass on their industry expertise and knowledge.  The department also organises visiting riding lecture demonstrations.

The department has resources on the virtual learning environment, Aberlearn Blackboard to support your development and has a dedicated Twitter feed to keep students informed of career developmental opportunities and work experience. Students have participated in a work experience module to help them identify and reflect on the employability skills they are developing through their work experience.

The department has a close working relationship with the Careers Service who can help and support you sourcing work experience opportunities locally and nationally. You will be eligible to take part in the GO Wales scheme which offers opportunities for work tasters and paid placements to develop your experience in the workplace. Students from the department have participated in work taster opportunities in local secondary schools to gain experience of teaching science and volunteering with local wildlife trusts. You can also participate in the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) to gain graduate level work experience and IBERS students have successfully gained placements with a number of employers across the UK and abroad.

As a specialist branch of Zoology, your BSc in Equine Science opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. In addition, the work placement opportunities available to you will help you gain valuable industry experience. This will be of significant help to you when working as an equine veterinary scientist, feed research officer, stud manager, or equine consultant. Graduates also find work in agri-businesses, scientific journalism, teaching and research.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

You will investigate the subject from both clinical and welfare perspectives through to the latest developments in animal biotechnology, bioethics and animal diversity.

In the first year you will study the anatomy and physiology of the horse alongside the key principles of genetics and metabolism. You will examine equine exercise physiology, the effects of exercise and training upon specific body systems, and the successful management of the performance horse. You will also participate in a study tour, which will cover a range of different equine-related organizations and may include racing training stables, studs, racecourses and sales. Other enterprises examined may include veterinary laboratories, veterinary practices or schools, equine sporting events, non-thoroughbred breeding and/or training centres, and auction houses.

In the second year you will be introduced to the principles of veterinary science, animal behaviour and welfare, applied nutrition, immunology, and mammalian reproductive anatomy and physiology. A compulsory period of work experience will enable you to put your academic learning to practical use in a relevant industry.

In the third year you will study equine stud management, advanced equine nutrition and digestive disorders, animal breeding, applied veterinary science, and parasitology. You will have the opportunity to undertake research projects and a longer dissertation on a relevant topic. Some projects will be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises; others will comprise a computer modelling exercise based on secondary data sources or the development of a detailed business plan, or a critical review of published literature.

Among many skills, you will learn to: describe the structure and function of equine biology at cellular and physiological levels; interpret biological imagery and manipulate data; understand and explain the implications of developments in subjects such as animal welfare; research literature and question visiting speakers; and respond to new data through investigation on equine subjects.

How will I be taught?

This course will be delivered through a balanced programme of lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, field visits, and lab work. You will receive thorough training in concepts, research and methodology relating to equine science. You will explore this learning in laboratory research and experimentation, as well as hands-on exercises.

Assessment methods take various forms including essays, practical exercises, oral presentations, exams,  lab reports, worksheets, practical reports, portfolios, reflective diaries, feed analysis and/or rationing exercises, magazine articles, webpages and podcasts. In all these areas you will need to demonstrate scientific rigour and apply a systematic approach to the problems with which you are presented.

The University's scientific community and the Institute's supportive staff will greatly assist you in your equine training. You will also benefit from the many opportunities within the institute and the university to develop your theoretical and practical expertise so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

D322 Equine Science, is a tight-knit course involving some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers! The trips that are available to us are fuelled by passion for the equine industry. Modules entwine perfectly; this may seem unlikely at first, but at the end your thirst for knowledge is successfully fulfilled! The fact that the university is located in some of the most beautiful coastal scenery is nothing more than a bonus! Ria Mclean

Studying Equine Science has allowed me to gain an in-depth knowledge of biology whilst also applying what I am learning to the subject area I am interested in and want to base my career around. This specificity of this course also means I am surrounded by people who have similar interests, and we inspire one another to perform to the best of our abilities. Daniel Rutland Barrington

I enjoyed the time I spent in Aberystwyth and quickly found that the Equine Science degree encouraged me to challenge what I already knew about horses. This experience allowed me to gain a strong foundation in equestrian knowledge that I now use to integrate new information gained from continuing professional development.
Jenni - Equine Behaviour and training consultant

I returned to Higher Education as a mature student and have very fond memories of Aber and thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there. If asked why I chose to study at Aberystwyth I would have to say that it was because of the warm welcome I received at my initial interview and for the excellent learning support facilities available
Elizabeth - Bloodstock Administrator for Tattersalls Ltd, Newmarket

I found the BSc Equine Science course really enjoyable; it offered a good balance between scientific theory and practical knowledge, not just related to horses, but other animals and humans, too. I have no regrets about choosing to study at Aber – it combines great tuition, support and facilities with a fantastic night-life. It’s a small, friendly place with stunning scenery – as a place to study, I’d recommend it to everyone
Melenie - Editorial Assistant, Horse & Rider Magazine

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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Key Facts

UCAS Code: D322

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 270 - 320

Entry Requirements: GCSE: grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics and a science subject. A level: grade B in Biology or Human Biology required. Lower tariff points offers will be given to students studying more science subjects at A level, in addition to Biology or Human Biology.

Course Length: 3 Years

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