University of Chester

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

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Equine Science

Equine Science (Reaseheath)

University of Chester

Reaseheath College

Reaseheath College

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

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

3 years full-time, 7 years part-time

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Biological Sciences

The QAA Biosciences (2015) benchmarking statement has been used to inform the academic development of the programme.

Department of Biological Sciences

Friday 25th November 2016

The BSc (Hons) Equine Science award aims to provide the following:

1)     To enable students to progress in a professional career involving a scientific or technical role within the equine industry.

2)     To develop students understanding of the scientific principles and management practices associated with the maintenance of optimal equine health and full athletic performance.

3)     To develop the student’s ability to identify and solve problems associated with the sphere of equine science.

4)     To enhance the student’s understanding of equine related scientific research conducted to date.

5)     To enable students to undertake an appraisal of equine science industry sector strategies.

6)     To enable students to undertake an appraisal of equine industry sector strategies.

7)     To facilitate the development of students’ team based problem solving skills within the equine science sector.

The development of knowledge and understanding of underlying principles associated with equine science is fundamental in enabling the application and critique of core concepts and ideas, and the subsequent synthesis of new knowledge during students' progression through the programme. Therefore, upon successful completion of this programme, BSc (Hons) Equine Science graduates should be able to:

 FHEQ Level 4

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with equine and animal science, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of that area of study (all modules).
  • Communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established scientific principles related to equine physiology, and of the way in which those principles have developed (all modules)
  • Understanding the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations based on that knowledge (RC5028)

FHEQ Level 6

  • A systematic understanding of key aspects of their field of study, including acquisition of coherent and detailed knowledge, at least some of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of equine science (all modules).
  • An ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within a discipline (Advances in Equine Reproduction RC6014, Equine Fitness and Performance RC6011).
  • An appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge (All modules)

Core cognitive skills are expected to be evidenced throughout the 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 synthese new knowledge. Therefore, upon successful completion of this programme, BSc (Hons) Equine Science graduates should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of their subject(s) of study. (Academic Skills Development RC4208, Equine Behaviour and Welfare RC4017)
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to their area(s) of study and/or work (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context (all modules).
  • Evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of study (all modules).
  • Apply subject knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems (All modules).
  • Recognise the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct (Equine Industry Experience and Knowledge Transfer, RC 5032)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student:
    • to devise and sustain arguments (Equine Welfare and Ethics RC6015, Advances in Complementary Therapies RC6017, Equine Fitness and Performance, RC6011)
    • to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of a discipline (Advances in Equine Reproduction RC6014, Dissertation Project RC6201)
    • to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship in the sphere of equine science and related subjects (all modules).
  • Obtain and integrate several lines of subject-specific evidence to formulate and test hypotheses (Dissertation Project RC6201)
  • Assess the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct. (Equine Welfare and Ethics RC6015, Advances in Complementary Therapies RC6017, Equine Injury and Rehabilitation RC6013, Research Project RC6201) .
  • The ability to manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (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, team working  skills and problem-solving abilities). Technical skills should be demonstrated specific to the discipline, and will include utilising a variety of platforms to communicate research, show competencies in the handling, management and interpretation of data, use of information technology in a variety of formats to create, design, analyse and report, and reflect on their own learning and performance with the view to enhance their own abilities. Therefore, upon successful completion of this programme, BSc (Hons) Equine Science  graduates should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment (all modules)
  • Demonstrate competence in the basic and core experimental skills appropriate to the programme of study (Introduction to Equine Anatomy and Physiology RC4013, Equine Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology RC4014, Mammalian Biochemistry RC4027, Veterinary Micobiology and Immunology RC4028).
  • Undertake field and/or laboratory investigations of  in a responsible, safe and ethical manner in compliance with health and safety policies (Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology RC4028, Introduction to Working Practices RC4015, Equine Behaviour and Welfare RC4017)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Demonstrate progressive development in the experimental skills appropriate to the study of equine and animal science  (Veterinary Physiology RC5030, Laboratory Analysis of Equine Athletic Performance RC5034).
  • Undertake further training, develop existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume significant responsibility within organisations (all modules)
  • Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making (Equine Industry Experience and Knowledge Transfer RC5032)
  • Justify the impact of investigations on the environment, on the organisms or subjects under investigation, and on other stakeholders (Equine Industry Experience and Knowledge Transfer RC5032, Research Methods RC5208)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Recognise and explain the need for procedures for obtaining informed consent and appreciate the underlying ethical issues, including respect for the rights of access, for example, in field work or laboratory-based research in the equine sector (Equine Parasitology RC6018, Advances in Equine Reproduction RC6014, Research Project RC6201)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the integration of ethical and other issues relating to animal welfare (Equine Welfare and Ethics RC6015, Advances in Complementary Therapies RC6017)

Students should develop their professional communication skills with emphasis on being able to accurately and concisely impart technical information in a format accessible to a range of audiences.  Upon successful completion of this programme, BSc (Hons) Equine Science  graduates should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Construct grammatically correct documents in an appropriate academic style and format, using and referencing relevant ideas and evidence (all modules)
  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis to a range of audiences (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively (all modules).
  • Analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically from a variety of sources (all modules)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically, including published research or reports (all modules)
  • Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences (Equine Fitness and Performance RC6011, Equine Welfare and Ethics RC6015, Advances in Equine Reproduction RC6014).



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 (or Top Up)

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

Semester 5

Semester 6

Academic Skills Development (RC4208)

Level 4

 (Semesters 1 & 2)

Research Methods (RC5028)

Level 5: 15 credits

 (Semester 3 & 4)

Dissertation Project (RC6201)

Level 6; 30 credits

Introduction to Equine Anatomy and Physiology (RC4013)

Level 4: 15 credits

 (semesters 1 & 2)

Applied Equine Nutrition (RC5019)

Level 5: 15 credits


Equine Health (RC5013)

Level 5: 15 credits


Equine Fitness and Performance (RC6011)

Level 6: 15 credits

Equine Injury and Rehabilitation (RC6013)

Level 6: 15 credits


Equine Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology (RC4014)

Level 4: 15 credits

(semesters 1 and 2)

Veterinary Physiology (RC5030)

Level 5: 15 credits


Mammalian Biochemistry (RC4027)

Level 4: 15 credits

Veterinary Immunology and Microbiology  (RC4028)

Level 4: 15 credits

Equine Exercise Physiology (RC5029)

Level 5: 15 credits

Equine Industry Experience and Knowledge Transfer


Level 5: 15 credits

Advances in Equine Nutrition (RC6012)

Level 6: 15 credits


Choose three options from:

Choose two options from:

Choose three options from:

  • Equitation Science I (RC4030)
  • Rider Fitness and Training (RC4033)
  • Introduction to Working Practices (RC4015)
  • Equine Genetics and Breeding (RC4034)
  • Equine Behaviour and Welfare (RC4017)
  • Equitation Science II (RC4031
  • Grassland and Estate Management (RC4032
  • Equine Industry (RC4029
  • Lab Analysis of Equine Athletic Performance Management (RC5034)
  • Applied Equine Biomechanics (RC5033)
  • Applied Psychology and Coaching for Equestrian Sport (RC5027)
  • Control and Perception (RC5026)
  • Applied Behavioural Theory and Training (RC5018)
  • Developing the Small Business (RC5023)
  • Equine Breeding (RC5031)
  • Rider Coaching and Performance (L6) (RC6021)
  • Equine Welfare and Ethics (RC6015)
  • Advances in Complementary Therapies (RC6017
  • Biomechanical Analysis and Performance (RC6016)
  • Equine Parasitology (RC6018)
  • Behavioural Physiology (RC6019)
  • Advances in Equine Reproduction (RC6014)


120 Credits (all level 4)

120 credits (all level 5)

120 Credits (all level 6)

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
RC4013 4 Introduction to Equine Anatomy and Physiology 15 Comp
RC4014 4 Equine Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology 15 Comp
RC4015 4 Introduction to Working Practices 15 Optional
RC4017 4 Equine Behaviour and Welfare 15 Optional
RC4027 4 Mammalian Biochemistry 15 Comp
RC4028 4 Veterinary Immunology and Microbiology 15 Comp
RC4029 4 Equine Industry 15 Optional
RC4030 4 Equitation Science 1 15 Optional
RC4031 4 Equitation Science 2 15 Optional
RC4032 4 Grassland and Estate Management 15 Optional
RC4033 4 Rider Fitness and Training 15 Optional
RC4034 4 Equine Genetics and Breeding 15 Optional
RC4208 4 Academic Skills Development 15 Comp
RC5013 5 Equine Health 15 Comp
RC5018 5 Applied Behavioural Theory and Training 15 Optional
RC5019 5 Applied Equine Nutrition 15 Comp
RC5023 5 Developing the Small Business 15 Optional
RC5026 5 Control and Perception 15 Optional
RC5027 5 Applied Psychology and Coaching for Equestrian Sport 15 Optional
RC5029 5 Equine Exercise Physiology 15 Comp
RC5030 5 Veterinary Physiology 15 Comp
RC5031 5 Equine Breeding 15 Optional
RC5032 5 Equine Industry Experience and Knowledge Transfer 15 Comp
RC5033 5 Applied Equine Biomechanics 15 Optional
RC5034 5 Laboratory Analysis for Equine Athletic Performance Management 15 Optional
RC5208 5 Research Methods 15 Comp
RC6011 6 Equine Fitness and Performance 15 Comp
RC6012 6 Advances in Equine Nutrition 15 Comp
RC6013 6 Equine Injury and Rehabilitation 15 Comp
RC6014 6 Advances in Equine Reproduction 15 Optional
RC6015 6 Equine Welfare and Ethics 15 Optional
RC6016 6 Biomechanical Analysis and Performance 15 Optional
RC6017 6 Advances in Complementary Therapy 15 Optional
RC6018 6 Equine Parasitology 15 Optional
RC6019 6 Behavioural Physiology 15 Optional
RC6021 6 Rider Coaching and Performance 15 Optional
RC6201 6 Dissertation Project 30 Comp

  • 120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits by the end of Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits by the end of Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor’s degree



A minimum of 96 UCAS points are required, from one of the following pathways:         

  • GCE A Level: Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Science, Environmental Science. (Typical offer - BCC/BBC)             
  • GCE Applied A Level: Applied Science
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: Horse Management , Animal Care, Animal Management, Psychology or Applied Science: MMM profile
  • BTEC Diploma:  Horse Management , Animal Care, Animal Management, Psychology or Applied Science: DD profile
  • OCR National Extended Diploma/Diploma: merit profile plus one of the GCE A Level subjects listed above
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects, including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology.
  • International Baccalaureate: 26 points, including Biology or Chemistry
  • Access to Science course to include 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit

Please note: we accept a maximum of 20 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.

Other vocational qualifications at Level 3 will also be considered, such as NVQs.

Mature students (21 and over) that have been out of education for a while or do not have experience or qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please note: certain courses may require students to have studied a specific subject at GCE A level (or acceptable alternatives) e.g. Biology, Maths or Chemistry, or GCSE Maths at grade C.

Completion of external programmes, where candidates can demonstrate sufficient practical experience.  Candidates will be interviewed and the decision will be made through the college APL committee.

Candidates may apply for the BSc (Hons) Equine Science as a Top Up programme from a variety of previous study routes, including:

  • Having successfully completed the FdSc in Equine Science and Management, FdSc Equine Science, FdSc Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship, FdSc Equine Physical Therapies and Rehabilitation or other articulating level 5 qualification at Reaseheath.
  • Academic credits (240 or equivalent) awarded via studies undertaken in similar disciplines at other institutions will be considered and suitability assessed by interview – previously studied modules must include equine or animal science, in addition to a project module at level 5.

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 Biosciences (2015) benchmark statement 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. The structure and content of the modules is such that all students will have the opportunity to develop the "skills and attributes acquired by the biosciences graduate...for a career in biosciences or elsewhere, and make them valued by employers." (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2015.  Biosciences). The particular sets of statements that have been referred to during the development of the programme are: generic standards, molecular aspects of biology, organisms, and ecology and environmental biology. Within these domains, examples of topics to be covered (as suggested by the QAA benchmark statement) include:

  • Generic Standards:
    • practical experience of recording, analysing and interpreting data and using it to inform further research, through study of equine behaviour and welfare measures
    • explain biological systems and how they influence the performance of the horse
    • communicate bioscience information in a variety of formats and to keep bioscience knowledge updated to work professionally with owners and other paraprofessionals
    • understand key ethical issues and work with professional integrity and awareness of their impact upon society when undertaking welfare, training, behaviour modification or advisory roles
  • Molecular Biology:
    • structure and function of multiple cell types and chemistry of biological reactions in the horse to understand health, nutrition, conditioning and its effect of behaviour and performance
    • principles of genetics and gene expression through breed development and selection for different roles
  •  Organisms: 
    • classification, evolution and domestication of horses, genetic influence and the ancestral impact on behaviour
    • physiology affects roles horses play, breed variation and specialisation
    • influence of metabolism on health and nutrition and its impact on behaviour
    • social behaviour of horses, with each other, people and other animals and how they have adapted to live in a human society
    • behaviour of horses, natural ethology, unwanted and abnormal behaviours of the horse
  •  Ecological and Environmental Biology:
    • nutrition of the horse
    • community structure, social behaviour, adaptability to live with and around humans
    • human interactions with horses, roles horses play in society and benefits of horses ownership and specialist work they undertake

The topics described above are all introduced at Level 4 and subsequently enhanced at either Level 5 or in further education at Level 6 and beyond. It is expected by the QAA that more specialised areas will be offered, especially at higher levels of study, and these have been developed in the level 5 modules and the level 6 modules of the BSc. 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. 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. 

The BSc (Hons) Equine Science programme has been designed both for part-time study by people employed in equine industries and for full-time study by people aspiring to careers working with horses. All modules have been designed for delivery at Reaseheath College, where we can offer appropriate work-related experience through the expertise of staff and the equine centre facilities. The aims, learning outcomes and content for both forms of study are identical, with a core emphasis on the development of students’ cognitive, key and professional skills, and the application of academic knowledge and understanding in equine work settings.

Full time and part time students attending college 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.


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 practical skills developed in students at Level 6 have been founded on practical classes delivered at Levels 4 and 5 of the foundation degree. At Level 6, skills in data collection, manipulation, and analysis are required to be demonstrated through the Dissertation and Research Project modules. Depending on the nature of the project being undertaken, students may also be required to employ dog handling and training competencies in order to collate the necessary data for analysis.  

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. With the expectation of increasing autonomy at Level 6, it is not uncommon for students to be expected to engage in weekly directed reading, whereby students are required to disseminate information from primary sources of scientific research in order to address directed questions/scenario based exercises.

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, students are encouraged to work in groups and to share ideas. The assessment in certain modules is based on group assignments.  

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.

 Blended Learning

 Blended learning students will follow a different form of delivery but cover the same content and assessment criteria and methods.  They will attend residential blocks at the start of modules to introduce the subjects and course criteria and residential blocks during the modules for intense practical delivery and assessment.  They will  be able to access library facilities through online resources and e books as well as a postal service where books are required.  The VLE will be used extensively to support delivery throughout the module where students will have access to course documents and discussion forums. Additional support will be offered through weekly phone tutorials.

 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 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
  • Reports - covering a variety of structured styles, to summarise findings from investigations, reflect on practical activities or discuss approaches to case study
  • Oral presentations - testing presentation skills, the ability to discuss issues with clarity and respond to questions
  • Honours Research Project- 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 survey and census skills, analyse ecological 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

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. Additionally, some tutors have adopted the use of GradeMark software by which to provide more timely feedback to students.  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 included in the failed components. Reassessment will normally take the form of the resubmission of all failed component(s) of the modular assessment. 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 UK Equine Industry has relatively low skills shortage gaps (2%) in comparison with other industries. However according to the LANTRA Report (2011), technical and practical skills were those most frequently identified by equine employers as requiring development (18% of skills lacking from applicants).

The BSc (Hons) Equine Science is an established and successful route which is recruiting well, maintains excellent retention and has a good record of graduate employability and progression onto post-graduate study.  It also provides a generic graduate opportunities for entry into management in other sectors and has a very broad scientific training offering entry to more than 25 post-graduate degree programmes both within and outside of the equine field.

The route will prepare students for employment in broad fields within the equine industry including nutrition, stud work, performance management, para-veterinary, pharmaceutical sales and diagnostic laboratory work. A number of previous graduate have also progressed on to veterinary science degrees and PhD routes with well regarded institutions such as Edinburgh University, Liverpool University and the University of Cambridge.

The programme is well supported with numerous links to equine industry organisations, including Cheshire Racing Hub, International Committee for Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP) and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) supported Advancing Equine Scientific Excellence (AESE) group.  Graduate Internship opportunities are also offered through the BEF's annual competition where students spend a three monrth internship at the MAREC centre in conjunction with Virginia Tech University.  Three Reaseheath students have been successfully won this competition over the last four years.   Such relationships enhance student learning opportunities and encourage the development of graduates with relevant, generic, transferable and specialist skills.  

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 College has established HE provisions and in the recent QAA HER performance achieved the following judgement:

  • The maintenance of the threshold academic standards of the awards offered on behalf of degree-awarding bodies meets UK expectations
  • The quality of student learning opportunities is commended
  • The quality of the provider's information about learning opportunities meets UK expectations
  • The enhancement of student learning opportunities is commended

Of the 7 recognized areas of good practice, the following have particular relevance to this programme:

  • The management and use of long-term strategic relationships with external stakeholders to enhance the student experience. (A5; B1; B3; B4; Enhancement)
  • The systematic approach to providing work-based learning opportunities of quality and relevance to students and to the College's mission (B3; B4; B10; Enhancement)

The College has dedicated resources for HE students, including an HE centre consisting of lecture rooms, computer suites, quiet study areas and a social area including a café. All students will have access to the college VLE, which will be particularly important for distance learners.  There are plans to further expand this facility due to the growth of student numbers.  In addition, HE students have access to the Higher Education Support Team (HEST), which provides specialist academic and pastoral support to meet the needs of HE learners.  Students have the opportunity to live on campus, in 18+ halls of residence.  These are fully wardened and were graded Outstanding by Ofsted for Care Standards.  The college also has good recreational and social facilities available to all students, including, gym, sports hall, sports fields, canteen, cafes and the Student Union bar.

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