UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Performance with Placement Year

If you dream of a career immersed in the equestrian sports performance industry, this degree with placement year* is for you. This course focuses on the athletic performance of horse and rider and prepares students for a career in equestrian performance, coaching or team performance management.

With the UK equestrian sector generating £4.7 billion of consumer spending, 3 million regular riders, nearly one million resident horses and 6.4% of the equestrian population being within a competitive club (BETA, 2019), there has never been a better time to pursue a career in the equine sports performance industry.

*To be eligible for the placement year you must achieve at least 50% in your Level 5 modules year of studies.

People in Action - Equine

Course Overview

Thanks to our strong industry partnerships, graduates will not only have the necessary combination of knowledge, skills and experience but will graduate as career ready individuals able to contribute to the success and growth of the equestrian performance industry. 

Equestrian Centre at University Centre Reaseheath

Course Features

  • 4-year, full-time course with a one-year work placement
  • Use of our commercial equestrian centre including indoor and outdoor arenas, 60-stable accommodation and covered 8-stall Claydon horse walker
  • Understanding of underlying factors affecting performance
  • Sports performance lab and analysis equipment
  • Mechanical horse-riding simulator
  • Range of techniques to enhance performance
  • Extensive input from industry partners
  • Opportunity to work towards British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications and Personal Training Certificates*
  • Opportunity to be involved in riding clinics and affiliated and unaffiliated equestrian events*


*will incur addition costs

Career Options

After completing the BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Performance degree with placement year, just some of the careers that will be available to you include: 

  • Performance coach
  • Team manager
  • Equestrian biomechanics analyst
  • Equestrian performance analysts
  • Employed or self-employed roles within a competitive team
  • Equestrian sport performance roles
  • Management roles in equine allied industry sectors – Progression to postgraduate study such as MSc or PhD

Course Information

Find out more about the BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Performance with placement year, including entry requirements, modules, assessment methods and more using the drop down menu below. 

  • A minimum of 112 tariff points from A and AS levels. A science subject is preferred
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade DMM in an Animal, Equine or Science related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade D*D* in an Animal, Equine or Science related subject
  • Access to HE Diploma – a minimum of 112 tariff points
  • Scottish Higher – a minimum of 112 tariff points from Higher and Advanced Higher in an Animal, Equine or Science related subject
  • T Level – M (Merit)
  • Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to Higher Education course
  • Introduction to Psychology for Equestrian Sports
  • Equine Sports Horse Industry and Management
  • Equine Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Rider Fitness and Training
  • Principles of Equitation
  • Introduction to Scientific Communication

(Year 1)

  • Equine Nutrition and Health
  • Equine Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics
  • Equine Injury and Rehabilitation
  • Research Methods
  • Physiological Measurement Techniques for Equestrian Performance*
  • Sports Nutrition for Equestrian Athletes*
  • Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries*
  • Experiential Learning*


*Choose two optional modules

(Year 2)

  • UCR Placement Year
  • Contemporary Issues and Developments in Equestrian Sports
  • Equine Fitness and Performance
  • Dissertation at Reaseheath
  • Biomechanical Analysis of Equestrian Performance*
  • Rider Performance Optimisation*
  • Advanced Equine Nutrition*


*Choose two optional modules

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course: 

Year 1:  

30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity 

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:       360 hours 

Independent Study:                                    840 hours 

Year 2:  

22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity 

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:       252 hours 

Placement:                                                    100 hours 

Independent Study:                                     848 hours 

Year 3: 

15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity 

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:         174 hours 

Independent Study:                                       1026 hours 

Class sizes average between 10 – 60 for modules exclusively delivered on the programme. For those modules offered across several programmes, class size could be as high as 80 individual learners. 

Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and skills valued in the workplace. They include a combination of coursework and timed online assessments. Coursework may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence and practical competency assessments. The timed online assessments vary, depending on the nature of the module and level of study, but may take the form of multiple-choice papers, essays, practical assessments, data handling questions, and short answer quizzes. The placement will be a minimum of 9 months and will be credit bearing with a portfolio assessment and professional discussion required to evidence your achievement

The balance of assessment by timed online assessment and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1
42% coursework
37% timed online assessment
22% practical

Year 2
66% coursework
28% timed online assessment
6% practical

Year 3
30% presentation and plenary discussion
70% placement portfolio

Year 4
70% coursework
14% timed online assessment
16% practical


Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend four days per week on campus in their first year, three days in their second year and two days in their final year.

Tuition fee for placement year is £1,850 (all other years charged at £9,250).

Optional study tours may be organised by your course team. Costs vary depending on location, duration and activities although have typically cost £350 in previous years. 

Equestrian yard uniform, consisting of grey jodhpurs and a grey polo shirt, is expected to be worn for all practical sessions. Branded UCR polo shirts are available through the UCR online shop for approximately £15. Students would be expected to provide their own PPE with minimum riding hat standard of PAS015, Level 3 (Blue; 2018) body protector (for jumping if riding) and suitable leather riding boots (not chaps). Students should also be prepared to purchase riding gloves and a waterproof coat without a hood.

You can expect equipment costs to be in the region of £300 depending on brand and retailer. Lab coats are provided however students can purchase their own if preferred.

Apply directly through UCAS


A minimum of 112 UCAS points

September 2025

Full-time: 4 years

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit our additional financial support page.

For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our UCR Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.