University of Chester

Programme Specification
Equine Science and Sports Performance BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Equine Science and Sports Performance

Equine Science and Sports Performance

University of Chester

Reaseheath College

Reaseheath College

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September

4A12

C600

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Sport and Community Engagement

Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (2016)

n/a

Sport and Community Engagement MAB

Wednesday 5th July 2017

The overarching aims of the single honours Equine Science and Sport Performance programme are to enable students to:

  • gain knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject and specific pathway orientation
  • acquire cognitive skills through synthesising information, applying knowledge to solving problems, formulating and testing hypotheses
  • develop subject and pathway specific practical and professional skills in a range of laboratory, workshop, coaching, vocational and research settings
  • develop personal and transferrable skills
  • enhance career opportunities for employment in a wide variety of performance analysis related fields
  • become equipped with the necessary learning and study skills to progress to postgraduate courses.

The specific aims of the single honours Equine Science and Sport Performance programme is to enable students to:

  • gain knowledge and understanding of the equine elite sports horse industry
  • acquire cognitive skills through synthesising information, applying knowledge to solving problems, formulating and testing hypotheses
  • develop equine science and sports performance specific practical and professional skills including a range of laboratory, biomechanical, physiological, vocational and research settings skills
  • develop personal and transferrable skills necessary for success in the equine industry
  • enhance career opportunities for employment in a wide variety of performance analysis related fields
  • become equipped with the necessary learning and study skills to progress to postgraduate courses.

As a caveat these benchmarking statements (Hospitality, Leisure and Sport) are aligned as closely as possible to the degree route but there are no specific benchmarks for this route.

The development of knowledge and understanding of underlying principles associated with sport and exercise sciences is fundamental in enabling the application and critique of core concepts and ideas, and the subsequent synthesis of new knowledge during the student’s progression through the programme. Therefore upon successful completion of this programme the students should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4:

(A) In the study of human and equine responses to sport and exercise;

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human and equine structure and function. (RC4008, RC4009, RC4010, RC4011)

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects of sport and exercise intervention on the participant (human and equine) (RC4008, RC4003, RC4009, RC40011).

(iii) Provide a critical appreciation of the relationship between sport and exercise activity and intervention in a variety of participant groups (human and equine). This will include special populations such as specific age groups, those with disabilities or special considerations (RC4003, RC4005, RC40011).

 

(B)  In the study of performance of sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis;

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the performance of the component elements of equestrian sport RC4012, RC4009, RC4011).

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate sports performance in laboratories and/or field settings (RC4012, RC4009, RC40011).

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery of enhanced sport performance (RC4003, RC4005, RC4009, RC4011).

 

(C)  In the study of the historical, social, political economic and cultural diffusion, distribution and impact of sport;

(i) Display a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for sport, and the political ramifications arising from these (RC4005).

(ii) Employ social, economic and political theory to explain the development and differentiation of sport throughout society (RC4005)

(iii) Demonstrate the application of the social and cultural meanings attached to sport and their impact on participation and regulation RC4003, RC4005).

FHEQ Level 5

(A) In the study of human and equine responses to sport and exercise;

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human and equine structure and function (RC5001, RC5002,).

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects of sport and exercise on the human and equine participant (RC5002, RC5010, RC5011)

(iii) Provide a critical appreciation of the relationship between sport and exercise activity and intervention in a variety of human and equine participant groups.(RC5002, RC5010).

 

(B)  In the study of performance of sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis;

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of sports (RC5001, RC5002, RC5010, RC5004, RC5005, RC5011, RC5012).

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate sports performance in laboratories and/or field settings (RC5010, RC5004, RC5012).

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery of enhanced sport performance (RC5010, RC5005, RC5011, RC5012).

FHEQ Level 6

(A) In the study of human and equine responses to sport and exercise;

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human and equine structure and function. (RC6001, RC6002, RC6007)

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects of sport and exercise intervention on the participant (human and equine) (RC6001, RC6005, RC6007).

(iii) Provide a critical appreciation of the relationship between sport and exercise activity and intervention in a variety of participant groups (human and equine). This will include special populations such as specific age groups, those with disabilities or special considerations (RC6001, RC6009, RC6010).

 

(B)  In the study of performance of sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis;

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the performance of the component elements of equestrian sport (RC6001, RC6002, RC6009, RC6007, RC6008).

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate sports performance in laboratories and/or field settings (RC6007, RC6001, RC6008).

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery of enhanced sport performance (RC6009, RC6001, RC6010, RC6007, RC6008).

 

(C)  In the study of the historical, social, political economic and cultural diffusion, distribution and impact of sport;

(i) Display a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for sport, and the political ramifications arising from these (RC6010, RC6005, RC6009).

 

 

Core cognitive skills are expected to be evidenced throughout all three years of study. To start, students undertaking study at level 4 should expect to demonstrate clear lines of thinking, description, knowledge recall and understanding, with progression towards an ability to reason in a scientific manner, critically evaluate and analyse and to synthesise new knowledge. Therefore upon successful completion of this programme students should be able to;

 

FHEQ Level 4

  • Demonstrate an ability to present, evaluate and interpret both physiological and performance data of a qualitative and quantitative nature, with view to utilise these to make informed judgements (RC4012, RC4009).
  • Synthesise information from a range of sources to answer problems and review material from sub-areas (RC4012, RC4010).
  • Demonstrate capacity to plan, conduct, report and evaluate an investigation in the area of fitness and conditioning for performance (RC4009).

FHEQ Level 5

  • Utilise a range of approaches to undertake critical analysis of information pertaining to key topics in equestrian performance, but also professional development and developing solutions to problems which may have arisen (all modules).
  • Develop an understanding of the limitations of their subject knowledge, and how this influences their own analysis and interpretation (RC5004).

FHEQ Level 6

  • Impose critical judgement within the context of independent scholarly activity (RC6003).
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the arguments, theories, assumptions, abstract concepts and scientific evidence in order to make informed judgements, synthesise new knowledge and identify a range of appropriate solutions to given problems including those encountered within applied aspects of equestrian performance (all modules).

All students should be expected to evidence the development and enhancement of practical and professional skills during their studies. Emphasis is primarily placed on the development of soft skills that can be transferred to the employment sector as a graduate (e.g. communication, time management and team working skills, problem-solving abilities). Technical skills should be appropriate to discipline.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Undertake practical training in the development of newly acquired skills specific to performance horse management and performance monitoring including laboratory work (RC4009, RC4005).
  • Demonstrate an ability to present, evaluate and interpret both physiological and performance data of a qualitative and quantitative nature, with the view to utilise these to make informed judgments (RC4012, RC4009).
  • Demonstrate an ability to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to problem solving, specific to both generic academic practices (revision techniques, approaches to coursework completion, team work etc) and also discipline based practices (selection of appropriate survey techniques, experimental design and statistical analyses etc) (RC 4012).

FHEQ Level 5

  • Undertake training to  develop existing skills and acquire new competencies that will afford some significant responsibility, including the use of gait analysis software, project management, further laboratory skills and the ability to self-reflect and support one-self in context with an industry-relevant placement (RC5010, RC5004, RC5002, RC5012).
  • Use a range of techniques to undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose a solution to the problems arising from that analysis (RC5001, RC5005, RC5011, RC5012).

FHEQ Level 6

  • Demonstrate an ability to deploy a range of established techniques, including skills utilised within the laboratory, gait analysis and the collection of data, experimental design and data analysis (RC6007, RC6001, RC6003).
  • Demonstrate an ability to manage one’s own learning, and to make use of primary sources of literature to formulate new ideas and draw conclusions (all modules).

Upon successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Demonstrate an ability to present, evaluate and interpret both physiological and performance data of a qualitative and quantitative nature, with the view to utilise these to make informed judgments (RC4009, RC4012, RC4010).

 

FHEQ Level 5

  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis to a range of audiences (all modules).

 

FHEQ Level 6

  • Communicate information, ideas and problems to a range of audiences (all modules).

The programme is designed to facilitate the development of academic knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of equestrian exercise physiology and performance, with a particular emphasis on the development of transferable, work-related skills and their application in a work-based environment

The curriculum has three distinct levels of study consisting of core modules in fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology and sports performance with optional modules which allow for more specialist pathways to be developed. Within the programme students are expected to undertake 120 credits of study each year. Modules have a value of 20 credits with the exception of the Level 6 Dissertation module, which is 40 credits. Modules are assessed on a 4000 word-equivalent basis using a variety of assessment strategies such as presentations, discussion groups, scientific reports and examinations.

The development of the programme reflects level-related characteristics, as indicated in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.  In respect of subject knowledge, emphasis at Level 4 concerns “describing” and “knowing about” fundamental principles that can be reinforced and developed when constructing rational argument and questioning skills. Level 5 encourages and promotes more research informed study, making  reference to, and linking, complex elements of knowledge, and subsequently allowing students to demonstrate their own critical approach to data and evidence. Level 6 focusses on analysis and synthesis of knowledge, data and evidence, which requires students to develop a more reflective approach to skills and concepts. Level-specific characteristics are embedded in the learning outcomes of the programme and Level 6 outcomes necessitate high order cognitive application in both generic and subject-specific areas. 

Level 4 

The modules at Level 4 provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for a range of students. Students undertake five core modules with the choice of one of two option modules at this level, to ensure that students develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, skills and concepts necessary for the study of equine science and sports performance. Of paramount importance here, is the development of core industry knowledge in the sports horse industry and management in module RC4005, and in underlying anatomy and physiology in module RC4008, but also the exploration of scientific research, its applications and the command of experimental design and statistical analysis through module RC4012. In addition further emphasis is placed on developing core academic skills (e.g. scientific writing, presenting/communicating research and referencing in accordance to a prescribed style), which are expected to be applied across many areas of study as the progress towards Levels 5 & 6.

Level 5

Level 5  requires students to study five core modules and select one optional module from a choice of two. The study of modules at Level 5 involves far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing knowledge and further enhance key concepts and skills.  Core modules at Level 5 includes Research Methods (RC5004) and Equine Nutrition and Health (RC5001) and Equestrian Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics (RC5002), both of which are in keeping with relevant themes studied at Level 4. In addition, students begin to develop their skills in laboratory analysis of performance in Physiological Measurement Techniques for Athletic Performance Management (RC5010).  The role of nutrition and manual therapies in supporting and enhancing equestrian performance allows a choice of specialisation in level 5 study (RC5011 and RC5005).

The development of practical and vocational skills within the industry is offerred in the optional Principles of Equitation from level 4 (RC4011) and further supported for all students at level 5 in Equestrian Sporting Discipline Management (RC5012)`The placement element of this module provides an opportunity to get experience directly relevant to their career aspirations. Typically, the students will work with guidance from the placement co-ordinator and their Course Manager or will make their own arrangements where appropriate.

Level 6

Modules at Level 6 of the programme are directed towards developing academic expertise and professional skills within the equine sports performance sector. Students are required to study three core modules, with the opportunity to select two of five optional modules on offer.

Central to study at Level 6 is the ability for students to undertake independent research. To facilitate this, students will undertake a 40 credit Dissertation (RC6003) module. The dissertation module allows students to focus on individual research interests, and will require them to utilise advanced knowledge and understanding, as well as practical skills, in exercise physiology and sports performance.

The programme structure herein endeavours to provide learners with clear module combinations and themed pathways with which to allow them to develop and enhance core transferable skills relevant to the industry, but also to select modular pathways that resonates with their career aspirations and specialist interests. For example, the programme structure ensures our students continually develop their skills in scientific enquiry, experimental design, data collection and analysis through undertaking Academic and Professional Development at Level 4, and Research Methods at Level 5. It is envisaged that undertaking this pathway of study will prime the students with the skills necessary to successfully complete an independent piece of research through the Dissertation module.

The development of transferrable skills is carefully planned throughout the degree route.  A detailed assessment diet table is given for all modules in appendix 3 of the Programme Critical Review.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
RC4003 4 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY FOR EQUESTRIAN SPORT 20 Comp
RC4005 4 Equine Sports Horse Industry and Management 20 Comp
RC4008 4 Anatomy and Physiology for Equestrian Performance 20 Comp
RC4009 4 Introduction to Rider Fitness and Training 20 Comp
RC4010 4 Equine Genetics and Breeding for Athletic Potential 20 Optional
RC4011 4 Principles of Equitation 20 Optional
RC4012 4 Academic and Professional Development 20 Comp
RC5001 5 Equine Nutrition and Health 20 Comp
RC5002 5 Equine Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics 20 Comp
RC5004 5 Research Methods 20 Comp
RC5005 5 Equestrian Manual Therapies 20 Optional
RC5010 5 Physiological Measurement Techniques for Equestrian Performance 20 Comp
RC5011 5 Sports Nutrition for Equestrian Athletes 20 Optional
RC5012 5 Equestrian Sporting Discipline Management 20 Comp
RC6001 6 Equestrian Fitness and Performance 20 Comp
RC6002 6 Equestrian Injury and Rehabilitation 20 Comp
RC6003 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
RC6005 6 Welfare, Ethics and Safety in Equestrian Sport 20 Optional
RC6007 6 Biomechanical Analysis of Equestrian Performance 20 Optional
RC6008 6 Rider Performance Optimisation 20 Optional
RC6009 6 Advances in Complementary Therapy use in Equestrian Sports 20 Optional
RC6010 6 Contemporary Issues and Developments in Equestrian Sports 20 Optional

Level 4: modules are all 20 credits. A candidate who successfully completes level four will have accumulated 120 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of Certificate of Higher Education. These 120 academic credit points can be carried forward cumulatively towards the award of an honours level undergraduate degree award.

Level 5: modules are all 20 credits. A candidate successfully completing level five will have accumulated 240 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of Diploma of Higher Education*. These 240 academic credit points can be carried forward cumulatively towards the award of an honours level undergraduate degree award.

Level 6: modules are either 20 or 40 credits A candidate successfully completing level six will have accumulated 360 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of an honours degree.

(*see the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland—August 2008

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A minimum of 112 UCAS points which may be obtained from GCE A Levels, or one of the following qualifications in a relevant subject:

  • BTEC National Certificate/Diploma
  • OCR National Diploma/Extended Diploma
  • Irish / Scottish Highers in relevant subject
  • Advanced GNVQ
  • QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma, Open College Units or Open University Credits
  • For mature students (aged 21+) substantial work experience will be considered, as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma / Diploma.

Ridden ability and experience of the equine industry is highly desirable.  The option routes allow for successful completion as a non-ridden route.  Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard backgrounds with extensive equine industry experience.  Reaseheath College has extensive HE support mechanisms to facilitate the success of students from  diverse backgrounds.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), Accreditation of Certified Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Experiential Learning (APEL) 

Appropriate consideration will be given to applicants previously certified and/or being assessed for award classification within an accepted biological/life science discipline.  Similarly, any applicant who has not received certification for prior learning experiences, but has worked within the discipline, will also be considered. Acceptable work-based experience could include one, or a combination of several, of the following: BHS instructor, elite level competitor, Equestrian yard manager, Equine veterinary nursing assistant.

The University will assess whether the learning derived from experience and/or prior certificated study is equivalent to that of the learning derived from the programme of study.  This evidence may include a combination of skills and learning outcomes, in addition to the level and relevance of the subject knowledge and understanding to be evidenced by the applicant. Prior accredited learning must be supported by a transcript indicating the number, and level, of credits, achieved, and the titles of the courses for which they were awarded.

An applicant not accredited on a certificate or transcript, would be asked to map their experience against the module, and/or programme learning outcomes, to provide a clear, evidenced paper submission.  Conversely, applications stating certified learning experience must be accompanied by the certificate awarded for the qualification. In most cases, these must have been achieved within five years of the date of application.

The design of the programme has taken account of, and, where appropriate, incorporated the recommendations of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) benchmarks for programmes broadly concerned with sport. Unit 25 benchmark statement for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (2008) (HLST) has been used as an important reference point in the construction of the programme’s learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and content together with the methods of learning, teaching and assessment. Particular reference has been made to  the threshold statements - these being the minimum requirement described in the benchmarking statements by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Any individual student will take the equivalent to 18 modules in total, which will include core and optional modules. The structure and content of the core modules is such that  all students will have the opportunity to develop the "skills and attributes acquired by the HLST graduate...for a career in sports performance or elsewhere, and make them valued by employers." (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2007.  HLST). Within these domains, examples of topics to be covered (as suggested by the QAA benchmark statement) include:

  • The study of human (and equine) responses to sport and exercise
  • Appraising and evaluating the effects of sport and exercise intervention on the participant
  • Showing skills required to monitor and evaluate human and equine responses to sport/exercise
  • The study of performance of equestrian sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis
  • Monitoring, analysing, diagnosing and prescribing action to enhance the performance of the component elements of sport

The topics described above are all introduced at Level 4 and subsequently enhanced at either Level 5 or Level 6. It is expected by the QAA that more specialised areas will be offered, especially at higher levels of study, and there is provision for this in the non-core modules. Specific research based topics are specifically developed within modules at levels 4 and 5, with the view that students can apply these skills as appropriate during completion of the dissertation, in addition to other project work.

Applied modules enable students to utilise the myriad of concepts and perspectives to compare, contrast, analyse and critique, to inform new knowledge and to problem solve. Students will be expected to engage in a number of platforms whereby these skills underpin the philosophy of the module. An example of this can be seen in the RC 6001 Equestrian Fitness and Performance module, whereby students undertake a number of elite yard evaluations and present as seminars to discuss the issues at the coal-face of the discipline, where they are charged with devising viable solutions to problems posed. 

The more generic "soft" skills identified in the benchmark statements, including time management, reflective practice, team work, communication, use of data, information technology, information retrieval and presentation, are all explicitly embedded in the majority of modules presented within the programmes, either assessed formatively through classroom based activities, or alternatively through components of assessment. Furthermore, such skills are enhanced through the provision of a non-credited "Study skills" session, which comprises a dedicated additional hour on the weekly timetable that provides students with opportunity to further develop transferable skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes are clearly stated and mapped to Module Aims. These are linked to performance criteria, included in assignment briefs and written into Module Handbooks. There is a comprehensive College framework for the monitoring and improvement of quality and standards in learning and teaching and these will be used, where and when appropriate.

Students will encounter a broad range of teaching and learning experiences across all levels of study as befits the subject matter. Methods of teaching and learning are indicated clearly in each module descriptor and the list below describes the variety of approaches used by tutors.

The Reaseheath Campus has a combination of excellent equestrian facilities including a range of horses from numerous disciplines, a mechanical horse, gait analysis equipment and all other elements to be seen in a professional equestrian centre. In addition there is an extensive gymnasium and sports performance lab, together with the scientific laboratories, suitable for a broad range of investigations and dissections. The bespoke HE faculty provides excellent lecture, seminar and IT facilities for theoretical delivery together with an atrium area for scientific poster sessions and mini-symposia.

Lectures

These feature in most modules as an effective way of imparting important content, themes and pointers for further study. They will be used to set a framework for further study and inform students of the value of the discipline. However, they are supplemented by a variety of other methods of teaching and learning as described below.

Practical classes/Fieldwork

The majority of modules at Levels 4 and 5 include practical classes. These provide the opportunity for students to develop their data handling and analytical skills as well as their practical skills (e.g. gait analysis techniques and performance monitoring skills; equine husbandry). An important aspect of practical work is the opportunity for students to engage in group work thus encouraging working with others. At level 6, the amount of taught practical work is reduced, although the dissertation module would require the application of practical techniques developed at Levels 4 and 5, for example, biomechanical and performance monitoring skills and/or use of statistical analysis software.

Seminars

Seminars are used most often in Level 6 optional modules in which group sizes are relatively small and students tend to be more confident. Selected topics within module content are chosen to provide the opportunity for more in-depth study and dissemination of ideas.  Amongst other key skills, students are able to practise oral communication skills in a relatively informal context.

When students have specific queries that have not been addressed during formal teaching sessions, they can contact module tutors directly. In practice, these discussions tend to focus on assessment issues, including feedback on formative essays and performance in examinations. A system is in operation whereby students can make appointments to consult tutors.   

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

The University has a VLE (Portal/Moodle)available to all students on or off campus. This offers access to a wide range of facilities including Learning Resources, the Library and all modular support materials. Staff are committed to using the VLE interface for making additional support materials available for students.

Directed reading

As reading is central to the process of knowledge acquisition in higher education, module tutors provide reading lists to guide their students to appropriate material. Increasingly, these lists include references to the Internet and electronic sources, as well as more traditional book and journal references. Primary reference lists, comprising key texts, can be found in the module descriptors, which form the centre point of any module. Additional reading is also provided in the module handbooks to promote further reading around the subject area.

Group work

The QCA Key Skills document lists ‘working with others’ as one of the six categories of Key Skills that needs to be demonstrated in higher education.  Throughout the programme, working with others has been incorporated at each level. In many modules, particularly in practical work in the laboratory or field, students are encouraged to work in groups and to share ideas. The assessment in certain modules is based on group assignments.  In some level 6 modules this extends to the development of a consultative team.

In the main, teaching and learning activities take place on the campus.  Timetabling is arranged centrally, except for individual tutorials. There is some flexibility for students to change groups for laboratory classes and group tutorials to suit part-time students and those who have family commitments or transport difficulties. This is in accordance with the University's widening access and participation strategy.  It is possible for all students to access support materials at home via the ‘Sharepoint Portal'.

Independent research 

In line with benchmarking and the Department's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, the need for students to become effective as independent learners is planned for and encouraged. The programme structures its learning outcomes so that this will happen progressively across the programme.  At Level 6, students have the opportunity to do an extensive piece of independent research (equivalent to two modules) that requires them to plan and implement a research project, analyse data and report on their study.

Assessment Criteria 

The University's over-arching level-related criteria are a key reference when designing modular assessments. Therefore, progression towards more complex and involved assessments, that require greater levels of study autonomy and greater levels of critical analysis, underpins the overall assessment strategy of the programme.   

In addition, all students who pass any part of a degree are expected to possess such basic skills as the ability to make use of numerical and statistical information; the ability to locate internet sites from given web addresses; the ability to send and receive e-mail messages; the ability to use basic software packages such as Word; the ability to perform basic searches on standard electronic retrieval systems, and the ability to write legibly. Students who succeed at Level 4 and above should be able to construct an essay using correct grammar, spelling and referencing according to the American Psychological Association (APA) system of referencing.

In the preparation of coursework, which can include essays, laboratory/field exercises and presentation, students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes, particularly where an examination would be inappropriate.  However, the institutions are aware that examinations have an important role to play in summative assessment, and give academic credibility to the degree programme. 

The programme uses a wide range of forms of assessment including:

  • Essays and written assignments - testing the ability to write within word limits, convey ideas with clarity and accuracy, reference to an academic standard and the ability to conduct private study and research.
  • Oral presentations - testing presentation skills, the ability to discuss issues with clarity and respond to questions.
  • Dissertation - testing the ability to conduct individual primary research and communicate ideas and information effectively in an academic manner and within word limits.
  • Portfolio - testing the ability to acquire key case study skills, analyse performance or response data and present material in a clear, effective manner
  • Short-based seminar exercises
  • Reading of academic texts and discussion exercises
  • Close analysis of texts
  • Literature reviews
  • Critical Reviews
  • Online multiple-choice and short answer exams
  • Scientific poster presentations
  • Management plans
  • Scientific debates
  • Technical Bulletins

Formative assessment and feedback

All students receive written comments on assessed components of work and additional feedback on the work is given more informally by individual tutors during group workshops and one-to-one tutorials. All electronically generated assessed work is submitted via Reaseheath College VLE using 'Turn-it-in' software.  This facility allows feedback to be disseminated electonically allowing staff and students to have a repository of marked work to use as reflection for development throughout the programme.  Formative feedback is an important and essential component of all taught modules. The nature of the assessment and feedback varies from module to module but typically takes the form of a written assignment done under time constraints, marked by the module tutor. Formative feedback is staggered throughout the year. The programme also makes use of on-line formative feedback in the form of electronic marking and self-evaluation forms

Reassessment Methods   

Reassessment will address the learning outcomes not achieved in the failed components. And will normally take the form of the resubmission of all failed component(s) of the modular assessment strategy. Here students will be expected to resubmit the coursework or re-sit the exam in its original format, albeit using a different perspective or suite of questions.

The programme is designed to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge and practical (transferable) skills to embark on careers within the areas of equine performance, equine biomechanics, para-veterinary fields, teaching, further training for specialist careers or postgraduate studies. Whilst it is expected that many students in each cohort will initially embark on such career pathways, the embedded transferable skills throughout the programme make the graduate highly employable in a variety of directions. The degree will also enable students to progress to postgraduate programmes, including Equine Science, Veterinary Physiotherapy, Sports Science, Biomechanics and Locomotion, Veterinary Sciences and Biosciences.

The route will prepare students for employment in the fields of equestrian performance, coaching and team performance management. Roles as a Performance Coach, Team Manager or Equestrian Biomechanics Analyst can be a self-employed, employed within a competitive team (e.g. Polo) or larger competition yard as a career option. These roles are important to analyse the fitness, performance and biomechanics of the horse and rider to optimise performance and reduce incidence of injury. Many of the larger equine veterinary hospitals also employ Equestrian Poor Performance Analysts who work together in a team with vets to identify the reasons for referral cases which may be related to rider fitness, core strength and asymmetry but be presenting as a lameness issue in the horse. Sport England, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and the British Equine Trade Association (BETA) also look to recruit graduates who are able to analyse and advise on training, performance, safety and equipment impact on equestrian sport performance. In addition graduates from this route will be able to enter into management in other sectors such as equine welfare and allied industry sectors. For students undertaking study in this programme,  the general graduate level characteristics listed earlier will stand them in good stead. More specifically, the following attributes fostered in this programme should be of use to students in many careers.

Graduates would be able to display the following key competencies:

    • Write and communicate coherently, logically and with a style and format appropriate to audience
    • Examine evidence and evaluate arguments, synthesising new information
    • Collect, present and draw consistent conclusions from ecological data
    • Apply a critically and theoretically informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments in conservation and environmental science
    • Apply and evaluate a scientific approach to academic study
    • Adopt appropriate team work, problem-solving, communication. presentation and advanced ICT skills

Plan and implement an appropriate research project, and critically reflect on their practice

Both Reaseheath College and the University of Chester are committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity.  Both institutions seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivery is to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 

Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.

There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.

The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.

Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.

Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking also enhances equal opportunity, fairness and independence to all students.

In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.

All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.

All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of both institutional Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise. 

Reaseheath College offers specific support for students with specified learning needs, encompassing all physical abilities, in conjunction with the Higher Education Support Team (HEST) on campus.  In collaboration with student support services, and safeguarding task groups, the college's equality and diversity policy aims to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the College have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job. The policy also aims to eliminate discrimination, which is unlawful or unfair.

The programme places emphasis on the development of key transferable skills, as required by representatives of the industry. Most notably focus is geared towards the enhancement of basic skills, for example, equine management and laboratory skills; towards more complex skills derived from basic understanding and knowledge of the subject (i.e. problem solving in performance enhancement and critical thinking). Students should expect to develop and/or enhance these skills via a range of pathways. Students regularly undertake practical management work at Level 4 to lay the foundations of equine husbandry, experimental design and analytical skills. Furthermore, students engage in a bi-directional, interactive mode of learning through seminar discussions, group work and lectures. The programme team are committed to providing additional opportunities that may fall outside the scope of the programme, again with the view to enhance employability and promote self-discovery. As a result, students regularly undertake off-site visits, conference attendance and industry-linked research opportunities to help consolidate the learning that occurs in class

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