Equine Performance, Health and Welfare (MRes, MSc)

Nottingham Trent University

For more information about Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MRes, MSc

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at Nottingham Trent University

This suite of postgraduate courses provides a thorough understanding of equine health, performance and welfare within the context of the human use of horses. The courses have been designed to meet the growing number of equestrian professions that require a high level of theoretical knowledge, and strong research skills.

Why study Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at Nottingham Trent University?

  • These are unique courses in the UK focusing on Equine Performance, Health and Welfare at postgraduate level
  • NTU boasts major investment in biological sciences teaching and laboratory facilities. The specialist facilities for equine courses include several research arenas, floodlit outdoor riding arena, indoor school, a horse walker, round pen, a dedicated performance analysis room with mechanical horse and a variety of equine housing systems including, traditional style stabling, American-barn housing and crew yards.
  • Specialist research equipment is available for use during student projects and teaching led activities including, heart rate monitors, GPS equipment, Pegasys gait analysis system, DartfishProSuite(R), Tekscanpressure mapping, infrared camera system to monitor 24 hour time budgets, Observer behavioural analysis software, mobile eye tracking systems and Equistat Pro system
  • Modules are delivered by academics qualified to PhD level, who are research active in their area of expertise. Their international research links provide opportunities and scope for a wide range of research projects in the field of Equine Performance, Health and Welfare
  • Students can specialise in key areas of interest, for example nutrition, behaviour, exercise physiology, genetics and reproduction
  • Recent Masters graduates are now employed as lecturers, nutritionists, research assistants, equine journalists and independent consultants
  • Research in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has been recognised as being of international importance (RAE 2013)
  • Study routes available include taught MRes and MSc options
  • Undertake a major research project supported by research active experst. Research projects can be undertaken in the UK or abroad.

How you're taught

You'll be taught through a mixture of lectures, laboratory classes, demonstrations, and project work. You'll also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required, and you'll undertake high-quality research for the Masters awards. You'll research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our British Horse Society-approved Equestrian Centre, which has stabling for over 65 horses. Its facilities include international-size indoor and floodlit outdoor riding arenas, a research arena, horse walker, round pen, group housing pens, a dedicated performance analysis room with mechanical horse, and a variety of equine housing systems including, traditional style stabling, American-barn style housing and crew yards. You'll be able to use specialist equipment, including heart rate monitors, GPS equipment, Pegasys gait analysis system, DartfishProSuite®, Tekscanpressure mapping, infrared camera system, mobile eye tracking systems, and the Equistat Pro system. You'll also have access to specialised teaching and laboratory facilities.

Careers and employability

The course will provide you with the professional skills, experience and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide range of careers within the area of equine science and health and welfare. Potential positions and fields include:

  • research assistant in animal or biological sciences
  • nutritionist
  • medical marketing and sales
  • scientific journalist
  • lecturer
  • equine consultancy
  • rehabilitation
  • sports psychology and coaching
  • equine behaviourist.

In particular students wishing to pursue the MRes course may continue their career in research.

Research project: UK or abroad

Postgraduate students can undertake a research project in a chosen area of interest. This can be undertaken at Brackenhurst campus or elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

The School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has many excellent links to partner organisations, conservation and welfare projects and academic institutions across the world. The programme team for Equine Health and Welfare has links with the University of Sydney Australia through our visiting professor Paul McGreevy, Guelph University Canada and Virginia TECH Mare Centre.

Current research activity includes

  • performance analysis of horse and rider
  • assessing ridden behaviour
  • monitoring activity patterns
  • assessing feeding behaviour
  • welfare.

Find out more about equestrian research taking place at Nottingham Trent University.


The Equestrian Centre and its many facilities at Brackenhurst campus are an essential resource for the students studying on equine courses here at Nottingham Trent University.

Mary King Arena

The Equestrian Centre's indoor riding arena was re-launched by six time Olympian Mary King in May 2012. This is a 60 x 40 metres with a Prowax sand riding surface which includes a seating gallery area capable of seating 279 people for events or observing training and research.  Indoor Cross Country jumps are available as well as a full range of show jumps.  The Mary King Arena is effectively used for research, allowing horses to be loose schooled and our camera system records both training and research that can then be analysed using various software for both staff and student use. In November 2013, a large screen was installed within the arena which has a record and playback facility. This will be used within teaching and research and can take footage from the four separate camera points around the arena.

Outdoor Riding School

60 x 40 metres with waxed sand and fibre surface, enclosed by fencing and fully floodlit with a full range of show jumps. We also have three permanent cross country fences that interlink onto a grass area to allow for cross country training.

Research Arena

This is a 40 x 20 metres waxed sand surface which is fully enclosed by seven foot fencing to allow loose schooling. Observation holes in the fence allow staff and students to observe the horse(s) from outside the arena to reduce any influence on natural behaviour.


The Equestrian Centre boosts a variety of housing for stabling the horses ranging from individual stabling in American barns to crew yards and pens. The varied housing allows for research and ensures the students experience a range of stabling options.

Park Hill

Park Hill is located a short drive away from our main Equestrian Centre and is home to five semi-feral ponies that are re-homed from Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare Centre. The facility has grazing paddocks with field shelters, a round pen and an all weather surface area for working with the horses. The horses housed at Park Hill are used extensively for research and also teaching within horse human relationship and working horses from the ground modules.

Equine Centre Classroom

Seats 24 and has fully installed audio visual equipment.


Stabling for over 30 DIY student liveries that includes use of the Equestrian Centre facilities.

Performance Analysis Room

Houses mechanical horse, iJoy Ride, Balimo Chair, Tekscan Pressure testing equipment and mirrors, all of which are utilised for clinics and workshops.

Technical Room

Computer equipment for student use during project work including use of research software such as Observer, OnTrack and Dartfish. This room can also be used for downloading data from cameras, heart rate monitors, mobile eye and other data collecting equipment.

And much more...

  • Cross Country schooling paddock
  • Horse walker
  • Round pens for lunging/research
  • Stocks and solarium
  • Washbox
  • Project rooms for staff and student research
  • Large lecture rooms complete with A/V equipment located in the Bramley building
  • Laboratory facilities located in the Bramley building and Veterinary Nursing Unit.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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