BSc (Hons) Equine Health and Welfare (Top-up)




Royal Agricultural University Campus


1 Year Full-time

Academic Year

30 September 2024 to 30 May 2025

If you are looking for a course that offers you real flexibility and advances your scientific, management skills in horse health and welfare, this course is for you.

Course overview

Coming from a Foundation degree or HND background, you will be able to tailor your studies to develop skills including equine behaviour and welfare, and aspects of vetinary science applicable to the species. This course is a springboard to further research or employment in the equine industry with careers in equine media, equine higher education or any number of avenues successfully pursued by our graduates.

Industry experience

You will benefit from lecturers who are experts in their fields and continue to produce vital research in topics such as horse nutrition, equine behaviour and gut health. Guest speakers will give you industry insight. Previous guests have included Tim Hadaway (Director of Games and Championships for the FEI) and Lucy Rees (prominent Horse Behaviour Researcher). 

You will also take part in field visits to equine organisations such as Cheltenham Racecourse and the Blue Cross Rescue Centre.


Course content

You will gain solid grounding with three core modules that cover equine health, behaviour and welfare and then have the option to build your ideal course from a range of elective modules. You can choose to focus on applied equine science, business or both. You will benefit from lectures, seminars, group projects, visits and laboratory demonstrations. Modules are assessed through research projects, examinations, presentations and case studies.

The research project is an integral part of the course, the successful completion of which leads to the BSc (Hons) classification. You can choose to focus on either science or business and you could also see your research project featured in one of the many prestigious academic journals that regularly publish our students’ work.


Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and societies activities.


All full-time academic programmes at the RAU are constructed using a selection of modules, each of which requires engagement with a variety of learning activities. Successful completion of module assessments will result in the award of credits, and students are required to achieve a total of 120 credits. Part-time students are required to achieve a 60 credits per year over two years.

Each module represents a value of 15 credits or multiples thereof. Each 15-credit module represents a minimum of 150 hours of student learning, effort and assessment. To achieve the award of BSc (Hons) in Equine Health and Welfare, a student must achieve a minimum of 120 credits. For this BSc (Hons) Top-up course, your grade is calculated entirely on this course's modules. 

The modules available for this degree are shown below. They may change for your year of study as we regularly review our module offerings to ensure they’re informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

  • 3058 Equine Behaviour and Welfare:
  • 3200 Equine Health:
  • 3300 Research Project / Dissertation: Develop a detailed research proposal that presents a well-developed research aim supported by clear research objectives
  • 3332 Specialist Study: Undertake a self-directed study within the chosen specialist area

Plus a choice of THREE electives, examples given below:

  • 3041 Corporate Finance: Explore how finance affects the corporate world and the individual
  • 3078 Equine Performance Nutrition:
  • 3206 Equine Breeding Management​: Investigate the physiological basis of reproduction in both the mare and stallion
  • 3217 Advances in Training the Equine Athlete: Synthesise principles from equine physiology, genetics, behaviour, and welfare and apply these to the management of the equine athlete
  • 3242 Negotiation in Business: Explore the process of negotiation as a form of persuasion and problem-solving within professional and personal communication contexts
  • 3317 International Marketing: Explore the impact of the global environment on international marketing decisions
  • 3325 Rural Entrepreneurship: Gain the skills needed to successfully launch your own business

The availability of electives to individual students will be dependent on timetabling considerations and on sufficient students electing to take part.

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

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Careers and graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers within companies worldwide and within the following roles:
  • Lecturer in equine science
  • Equine journalist
  • Nutritionist
  • Research scientist
  • Racecourse management
  • Yard management
  • Horse sports administration

"I chose the RAU because I wanted to further my education in the equine industry. The lecturers are well respected within
the industry and have the relevant equine knowledge. The RAU has brilliant reputation, also you are surrounded by friendly, hardworking and like-minded students. In the future I would love to work in the equine welfare industry."

Lily Thomas, Student

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Entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A foundation degree or an HND award in a related subject, achieving 240 credits overall and gained in the last five years
  • Depending on previous studies, you may be required to complete additional ‘bridging’ studies prior to enrolling on the Honours course in order to cover identified gaps in previous learning

Flexible entry

The University welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. A wide range of qualifications and experience are accepted in order to join University degree programmes. The University always considers evidence of personal, professional (APL) and educational experience, (APEL), which show an ability to meet the demands of their intended programme of study.

Further information

Read more general information about our entry requirements.

International students will also need to achieve IELTS Academic or equivalent at the appropriate level for your programme of study. English language requirements for international students.

For any further help, please contact our admissions team:  

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Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing modules, re-sit fees or coursework resubmission). Any costs associated with work placements will be the student's responsibility.

2024-25 Applicants

For the academic year 2024-25 the tuition fees for this course are: 

  UK International
Full-time £9,250 per year £15,300 per year

For part-time study, please contact for further information.

Please also refer to the funding your time at university page.

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

If you are an Irish national you can check if you meet the requirements for Home Fees. Please visit the UKCISA website and consult the pdf guide “England HE – who pays Home Fees”. First check category ‘3 years in Republic of Ireland/UK/Islands, settled in UK’ or ‘Brexit temporary offer for courses starting before 2028: Irish citizens with residence in Europe or overseas territories’. You will possibly need to be fee assessed when you submit an application for study to the RAU.


The University offers a wide range of generous fee waivers and bursaries. To find out more about the these, please visit the bursaries, awards and scholarships page.

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Ready to take the plunge? Apply now

Applications to study at the Royal Agricultural University must be made through the UCAS system. This applies to all undergraduate courses.

Applications should be made by the UCAS deadline to ensure we are able to offer you a place on your first choice course. However, if you have missed the deadline please contact as there are usually places available.

If you would like to apply during UCAS Extra or Clearing, please check that we have places available.

Applicants wishing to study on a course on a part-time basis will need to apply directly to the RAU.

Please contact to discuss your requirements and obtain an application form.