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Equine Science MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev

Course Description

Programme description

This programme involves an in-depth scientific approach to managing health and welfare, reproduction, behaviour, nutrition and exercise for horses. You will also learn how to practically apply a scientific approach to benefit horse health, welfare and performance.

Our online Equine Science programme at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is the first and only to be mounted within an international centre of veterinary excellence.

Delivered through our online learning environment, our programme gives students detailed knowledge and understanding of equine science and its applications.

It is also excellent preparation for future independent research or a PhD programme.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

The taught part of the programme consists of a series of courses, while the final year is devoted to a dissertation.

Certificate and Diploma courses:

Research Methods in Equine Science
Equine Digestion and Nutrition
Equine Behaviour and Welfare
Equine Orthopaedics
Equine Reproduction
Equitation Science
Equine Exercise Physiology

Your final year dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words will allow you to analyse and present relevant research data that you have collected yourself. Alternatively, you can undertake desk study to explore and develop your own area of interest.

Programme duration

The full MSc Equine Science programme can be completed within two years if students wish to study several courses at any one time so all taught courses are completed in one year and the second year is devoted to a dissertation project.

Alternatively students can take up to 6 years to complete the full MSc programme and there is also the option to graduate with either an Equine Science postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Postgraduate Professional Development

If you are looking for a shorter course option, we offer online credit-bearing courses which run for 11 weeks at a time. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses through our Postgraduate Professional Development scheme. These credits will be recognised in their own right at postgraduate level, or may be put towards gaining a higher award, such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this research-rich, taught MSc will be prepared for employment in research establishments, such as universities and research institutions; industry, such as feed companies, stud farms, pharmaceuticals and consultancy firms; government organisations, such as ADAS and DEFRA; and welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, WSPA and LPH.

Visit the Equine Science MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christine Filion

I chose the MSc in Equine Science because it is a unique programme offered by one of the top univeristies in the field. The flexibility of online classes enabled me to balance my personal and academic ambitions.

(Student Profile)

Aleida Tweten

I enjoy the distance learning aspect as I have a young family and it works well around their schedule. My partner and I can trade-off child-care responsibilities so we can each get our research done. It is great to network with equestrians that have a varied range of backgrounds. Also, I like the online discussions as it generates more thought on a particular subject or answer's questions that everyone may have. Overall the course material is very thorough and well organized and easily accessible. Any "glitches" are promptly addressed and fixed (by Sharon, or by Sharon finding someone to look into it). Great on-line support and help.

(Student Profile)

Kate Mee

I am thoroughly enjoying studying the online MSc Equine Science and the fact that it can be carried alongside my career means that it really is enhancing my knowledge whilst working in the equine industry. The distance learning also means that it fits into the everyday schedule around work, socialising and most importantly the horse too!


Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK), in veterinary science or a biological science, with subject areas including zoology, animal/equine science or pharmacology/pharmacy.

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