UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

FdSc Equine Training and Rehabilitation

Is working at the forefront of equine training, rehabilitation and welfare the next step on your equine journey? 

If so, then this programme is for you. This course will provide you with unique skills to combine an understanding of equine behaviour, training and rehabilitation reflective of current needs within the equine industry. 

Portraits - Equine

Course Overview

With guidance from our expert staff, you will develop an understanding of equine behaviour, and learning theory and how this is used to apply training techniques more effectively. Emphasis is placed upon establishing the links between key areas of equine rehabilitation including behaviour modification, biomechanics, injury, and exercise physiology.

Course Features

  • Use of our commercial equestrian centre including indoor and outdoor arenas, 60 stable accommodation and 8 stall Claydon horse walker
  • Explore physical rehabilitation techniques
  • Assess changes in horse behaviour and training needs
  • Biomechanics and gait analysis
  • Data collection using the latest technology 
  • Opportunity to work towards British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications *
  • Opportunity to be involved in riding clinics and affiliated and unaffiliated equestrian events
  • External speakers and industry visits


*  Will incur additional costs

Career Options

  • Physical rehabilitation & therapy 
  • Equine education 
  • Equine welfare field officer 
  • Rehabilitation officer/manager 
  • Advocacy & communication 
  • Policy advisory  

BSc Equine Behaviour & Welfare (Top-up)

This course can be followed by a one year Top-up course to gain a full honours degree.

Student Success

Chelsea Williams | FdSc Equine Training and Rehabilitation & BSc (Hons) Equine Behaviour and Welfare (Top-Up)

“I had heard a lot of good things about University Centre Reaseheath, and after touring the campus at an Open Day, I was instantly impressed with the facilities, how friendly the staff were, and how well the courses prepare you for employment.

“I chose to study FdSc Equine Training and Rehabilitation, followed by the BSc (Hons) Equine Behaviour and Welfare (Top-Up) because once I graduate, I would like to progress into an equine rehabilitation or behaviour role. I am gaining a lot of experience through practicals on-site and day trips to local equine businesses and shows, and I feel well supported by my lecturers who have a lot of industry knowledge.

“Alongside my studies, I joined the student equine and canine societies for extra experience and to meet other students with the same interests as me. I also volunteer on campus every week with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), which is really rewarding and a great addition to my CV!”

Photo taken by Emma Barton Photography

UCR Equine Science undergraduate Chelsea Williams

Course Information

In the first year of study for the FdSc Equine Training and Rehabilitation you will study core modules which are compulsory to take. In the second year you will study a combination of compulsory and optional modules.

  • A minimum of 64 tariff points from A and AS levels to include Biology
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) a minimum of grade MPP in an Animal or Science related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade MM in an Animal or Science related subject
  • Access to HE Diploma – a minimum of 64 tariff points
  • Scottish Highers – a minimum grade of CCC from an Animal or Science related subject
  • T Level – a minimum grade of Pass (D or E)
  • 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

Interviews may be used to help make decisions on borderline applications and those where the Programme Leader needs to gain further information.

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 HE course.

To safeguard the wellbeing of our horses, comply with health and safety requirements, ensure high levels of animal welfare and ensure a high-quality student experience we have to make an assessment of who can ride our horses safely, and this is based on a number of factors. These factors can impact on our decisions regarding which students are able to ride as part of their course.

Current research from the Saddle Research Trust and Animal Health Trust with leading equine professionals, scientists and researchers has advised that horses should only be carrying 10- 20% of their own optimum bodyweight when being ridden, this includes the clothing and tack used. If carrying over 20%, there is a substantial effect on the horse’s gait, behaviour, soundness and welfare in response to rider weight.

The pool of horses that we have access to at the College does fluctuate each year, but we try to ensure that their general size, age and health are reasonably constant within an agreed tolerance, to appeal to and accommodate as many students as possible. However, this does mean that for some students who are at either end of the optimum height and weight for our horses, we may not be able to allow them to ride safely as part of their course. General guidelines for height/ weight ratios can be found below, however, this is used as a guide and are only one part of a holistic assessment of the individual for riding. An experienced and qualified member of staff will assign horses to students for riding and rider height and weight will be considered to ensure both horse welfare and the health and safety of the individual.

Rider weight guidelines:

Height               Weight (St)Weight (KG)
Up to 4’10”               957
4’11 – 5’2”           1064
5’3 – 5’6”            1170
5’7” – 5’9”               1276
5’10” – 6’1”               1382.5
6’2” – 6’4”               1489
6’5” upwards         1595.2

Whilst rider height, weight and fitness are factors in our riding assessment, it is important that students do not view this as any prompt to eat or diet unhealthily.

The main factors we have to consider when assessing suitability of riders in the Equestrian Centre are:

• Weight a horse can carry safely
• Rider weight and height
• Rider ability and balance
• Level and duration of work
• Range and frequency of use
• Availability of horses

Our rider assessment involves an initial questionnaire to be completed by the student, which will evaluate rider experience. Following successful acceptance of the initial paper assessment, students will need to attend a holistic Ride Standard Setting Session to assess student riding ability on the mechanical horse. If riding skills are suitable, students will then progress to an assessment on a live horse, with extensive feedback provided by one of our BHS coaches.

  • Equine Sports Horse Industry and Management
  • Equine Groundwork
  • Equine Training Theories
  • Equine Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Scientific Communication
  • Introduction to Behaviour in Animals
  • Research Methods 
  • Equine Behaviour Modification and Handling 
  • Equine Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics 
  • Equine Injury and Rehabilitation 

Option 1

  • Behavioural Physiology and Cognition 
  • Equine Nutrition & Health
  • Animal Nutrition

You will be able to choose one

Option 2

  • Work Based Learning 
  • Experiential Learning

You will be able to choose one

Optional modules run subject to sufficient uptake. Module selection will take place in the previous academic year. On this degree you will study:

  • Year 1 – SIX core modules
  • Year 2 – FOUR core modules with 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:  

21% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity 

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:       260 hours 

Placement:                                                         150 hours 

Independent Study:                                        780 hours 


Class sizes vary depending on module being studied. Some shared modules may be taught in large groups in the lecture theatre although most will be taught in groups up to 30 students. 

Assessment Methods

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 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 

  • 50% coursework 
  • 30% timed online assessment 
  • 20% practical 

Year 2

  • 85% coursework 
  • 15% timed online assessment  


Opportunities for feedback on your progress will be available throughout your course. This will be provided in many formats, including written and verbal. Feedback on graded work is supplied online via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of assessment submissions are made online via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within 20 working days after the submission date.

Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.

Timetables will be distributed during induction week.  Students will be expected to attend all timetabled sessions. In years 1 and 2 sessions are typically timetabled 3 to 3.5 days per week.

Students have the option of completing the level 5 module ‘Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries’ module which includes 150 hours of work-based industry placement and professional development.

Students studying the alternative ‘RC5508 Experiential Learning’ module may also undertake industry-based placements as part of their experiential learning.

The responsibility of finding a suitable placement lies with the student who is also responsible for any financial cost associated with such placement.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.

Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Additional Costs

Study Tours

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.

Equipment costs

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,  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.

You may wish to take the opportunity to undertake additional training and qualifications such as British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications. These will be an additional cost to the degree.

The equine centre hosts a range of riding clinics and affiliated and unaffiliated equestrian sporting events in a range of disciplines. These events are usually an additional cost and are typically £10-£50.

Apply directly through UCAS


A minimum of 64 UCAS points

September 2024
September 2025

Full-time: 2 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 the additional financial support pages.

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.