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Bachelor of Science in Equine Science

Bachelor of Science in Equine Science
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

CAO points:
Course code:
4 Years
Start date: September 2020

Course leader:
Dr. Bridget Younge
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 213447

Tel: 00 353 61 202015


About You

If you are the type of person who enjoys working with horses and are motivated by the business and science behind the horse industry, then this programme might suit you.

Why Study Equine Science at UL?

The four year B.Sc. degree in Equine Science provides students, who wish to follow a professional career in the horse industry with the opportunity to underpin their career aspirations with specialist knowledge and skills. This programme, unique in Europe, has been developed because of the economic importance of the horse and related industries and the consequential need to produce highly qualified personnel with the specialised knowledge to exploit the potential of these industries.

The overall aim of the programme is to equip you with degree level competence in the disciplines of Equine Science and a choice of professional studies in either Equitation* or Equine Business Management. Graduates of the programme contribute to the continued development of the horse industry through the application of their knowledge, skills and research in Science, Equitation and Business Management.

Entry to the Equitation Science option is dependent on achieving a satisfactory standard in Equitation Science over the first two years.

The programme is four years in duration with two semesters per academic year. All students undertake common modules for the first two years providing a strong base in science. You will take modules in Anatomy and Physiology, Feeding and Behaviour, Reproduction, Health and Disease, and Nutrition. In addition, a strong base in business is established with modules in Economics, Marketing and Accounting.

All students take modules in Equitation in the first two years. These modules involve horse riding and hands-on working with horses.

In the third year of the programme you will select one of the major professional options- Equine Business Management or Equitation. The Equine Business Management option offers modules in Enterprise Formation and Development, Principles of Risk Management, Business Consulting and Strategic Management.

With this option, you can also choose to undertake the study of a language selected from Spanish, French, German or Japanese. The Equitation option offers modules in the Young Horse, Equestrian Facilities, Performance Rider Development and Training and Managing the Performance Horse.

All students undertake an eight month Cooperative Education placement, either at home or abroad, in an equine or related enterprise. This work placement will give you the opportunity to exploit and develop the skills that you have already acquired while simultaneously gaining professional experience of the industry. In year four all students conduct a research project on some aspect of the horse industry.

Throughout the programme, you will be brought into contact with the industry, through visits to centres of excellence, through participation in seminars conducted by expert speakers and through hands-on experience of handling and riding horses.

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
BY4001 Biology 1 BY4002 Biology 2  
CH4701 General Chemistry 1 EC4112 Macroeconomics (for non-business)  
EC4111 Microeconomics (Non Business) EQ4032 Equestrian Skill Analysis  
EQ4051 Introduction To Horsemanship EV4032 The Horse Industry  
EV4012 Equine Anatomy And Physiology EV4042 Equine Reproduction  


Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
EQ4013 Foundations Of Equine Locomotion AC4214 Accounting For Financial Decision Making  
EV4003 Equine Feeding And Behaviour EQ4014 Foundations Of Equine Performance  
EV4023 Equine Health & Environmental Management EV4013 Equine Physiology  
MK4603 Marketing EV4014 Equine Nutrition  
CS4911 Introduction To Information Technology EV4015 Equine Health And Disease  
CS4913 Business Information Systems      


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
BY4013 General Microbiology CO4320 Cooperative Education  
BY4045 Cell Biology & Biochemistry      
EV4005 Grassland And Grazing Management      
EV4025 Equine Breeding & Genetics      
  Business Management Option      
EP4315 Enterprise Formation      
  Equitation Option      
EQ4025 The Young Horse      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
EQ4907 Project 1 (Equine Science) EQ4908 Project 2 (Equine Science)  
ER4708 Biometrics EQ4058 Advanced Equine Physiology  
IN4003 Principles Of Risk Management EV4017 Equine Pharmacology  
  Business Management Option   Business Management Option  
PM4003 Human Resource Management 1 MK4006 Marketing Management (Non Business)  
  OR   OR  
  Language 1   Language 2  
EP4407 Enterprise Development MG4037 Strategic Management  
    EP4408 Small Business Consulting  
  Equitation Option   Equitation Option  
EQ4027 Equestrian Facilities EQ4038 Training The Performance Horse  
EQ4037 Performance Rider Development EQ4048 Managing The Performance Horse  

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

In addition applicants must hold a H4 grade in one of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Physics with Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Applied Maths.

It is desirable that candidates applying for this programme should have a reasonable level of competency in horse riding and/or have experience of working with horses.

A Special Mathematics Examination will be offered at UL following the Leaving Certificate results for those students who did not achieve the Mathematics requirement. We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Graduates from this programme may choose from a wide variety of career opportunities in areas such as:

  • Equine Enterprise Management (Stud Farms, Show Jumping Yards, Racing Yards, Equestrian Centres).
  • Leisure, Recreation and Tourism based on Equine activities.
  • Equestrian Marketing and Sales Enterprises.
  • Equine related service industry (food supply, equipment manufacturing, laboratory servicing, management information (IT)).
  • Equine Research and Development.
  • Sports Journalism.
  • Equine related organisations, including state and semi-state.
  • Self-employment in the equine industry.
  • Postgraduate studies

Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here

Sean Flannery - Graduate

Having grown up around horses I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career involved in racing. The BSc in Equine Science at the University of Limerick afforded me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the horse and the many sports they compete in.

The option to take either a Business or Equitation route after the second year offers an excellent choice and was instrumental in my decision to choose Equine Science at UL over similar courses. 

There is an ideal balance of group and individual work throughout the course and that will prepare you for working as part of a team as well as using your own initiative in the working world. The range of modules covered on the programme is extensive and I found that the practical elements perfectly complement the theory. This course provides students with both skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different areas within the equine industry and beyond.

UL’s  Cooperative Education placement was invaluable to me. I split my placement between Coolmore Australia and Goffs in Kildare. I was lucky enough to secure an intern position at Goffs upon graduating. Completing the Equine Science course provided me with the skill set necessary to gain employment as well as advance my career in Goffs. 

Sean is currently employed as a Bloodstock Manager at Goffs in Kildare.

Declan Ryan - Graduate

I was involved in horse racing before choosing the Equine Science course at UL. The Equine Science Degree provided me with a wealth of learning relevant to the equine industry and with it, the opportunities to gain practical experience and make contacts within the industry.

The course provided me with the science behind the practical aspects of the horse. I chose the business management option and it provided me with the skills needed to start an enterprise as a racehorse trainer. During the programme, I spent a full summer period at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

During my coop placement, I spent 6 months working with racehorse trainer Jessica Harrington and 2 months working at Del Mar racetrack in California. While on placement at Del Mar, I met Breeders' Cup-winning trainer Bruce Headley, and I am now currently working with Bruce at Santa Anita in California. After this year in California, I plan to return to Ireland to set up a training yard and take out a licence to become a National Hunt trainer.