Key Info

Bachelor of Science in Equine Science

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
CAO points history
Course code
4 Years
Subject area
Course Director
Dr Bridget Younge
00 353 61 213447
+353 (0)61 233755

Equine science is a specialization within animal science, which involves the study of the reproduction, physiology, behavior and nutrition of horses.

Would you like to follow a professional career in the horse industry? The four-year BSc degree in Equine Science provides you with the opportunity to underpin your 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* (the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship) 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.

This course provides students with both skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different areas within the equine industry and beyond.

- Sean Flannery, Graduate

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What you will study

The programme is four years in duration with two semesters per academic year. There is also a period of work placement.

Years 1 & 2

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.

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


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



Year 3

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.

Semester 5
BY4013 General Microbiology
BY4045 Cell Biology & Biochemistry
EV4005 Grassland And Grazing Management
EV4025 Equine Breeding & Genetics
Business Management Option
EP4005 New Enterprise Creation
Equitation Option
EQ4025 The Young Horse
Semester 6
CO4320 Cooperative Education

Work experience

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.

Empowering through Employability

The Cooperative Education (Coop) work placement programme is a core element of the UL student experience and exposes students to the world of work, with its differing environments, demands and expectations. Coop is a formal, academically accredited and compulsory programme and is offered to students across all faculties. Students are required to undertake a six-to-eight-month placement in second or third year of their four-year degree. The timing and duration of placement are prescribed according to the placement calendar of the programme of study.

Year 4

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.

See below for a full year by year breakdown of the course and the modules you will study.

Semester 7
EQ4907 Project 1 (Equine Science)
ER4708 Biometrics
IN4003 Principles Of Risk Management
Business Management Option
PM4003 Human Resource Management 1
  Language 1
EP4007 Enterprise Management & Growth
Equitation Option
EQ4027 Equestrian Facilities
EQ4037 Performance Rider Development
Semester 8
EQ4908 Project 2 (Equine Science)
EQ4068 Advanced Equine Physiology
EV4017 Equine Pharmacology
Business Management Option
MK4006 Marketing Management (Non Business)
  Language 2
MG4037 Strategic Management
EP4008 Business Consulting
Equitation Option
EQ4038 Training The Performance Horse
EQ4048 Managing The Performance Horse

Entry requirements

CAO points history
Minimum grades

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


Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades

Subject requirements

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.

Additional considerations

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.

Application information for mature student applicants (PDF)

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Visit the UL Undergraduate Admissions QQI site for a full list of modules.

Non-EU Entry Requirements

How to apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
Non-EU country If you are outside of the EU, you can apply for this degree here.

Fees and funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
SUSI pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Non-EU Students

Student pays Tuition Fees €20,900
Student pays Student Levy €100

Student course fees are comprised of the following components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The current student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €100. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

  • Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
  • EU Fee Status: You satisfy both the citizenship and residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees.
  • Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website

These scholarships are available for this course

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Working independently and in teams
  • Working at all levels of the horse industry
  • Knowledge of equitation and business
  • Familiarity with the national and international horse industry
  • Thinking critically

Career opportunities

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

Further study options for graduates with this degree

The following provides a sample of further education qualifications that graduates have pursued.

Job titles for graduates with this degree

The following provides a sample of initial roles listed in the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) by graduates approximately one year after graduation.

  • Apprentice Scheme with YITBA
  • Equine Nutrition Specialist
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Stable Manager
  • Stud Employee
  • Senior Clinical Pathology Technologist
  • Showjumper
  • Stable Hand


Student profile

Aidan Neilan

Aidan Neilan

Having completed the BSc. in Equine Science I gained invaluable experience throughout the course from the core science and business modules to practical hands-on experience with horses. The cooperative work experience was a catalyst in securing my career in science. The transferable skills gained during the 4 year period are still relevant to my job currently working in an equine hospital laboratory. 

By completing this degree I made contacts with people who work within the equine industry, most of which I am still in contact with. 

The campus has a lot to offer students. Unlike some other degrees with equine science you will get to know your lecturers really well which will benefit you as help is always available to students. The structure of the course allows students to either continue with the equitation route or the business route maintaining a science core. I chose equitation as this was my interest. The facilities for the practical hands on side of equine science are fantastic and I really enjoyed every module that was involving horses. 

Graduates from this course have gone on to have a wide variety of careers from stud farm management, racecourse management, veterinary, pharmaceutical and post-graduate study. 


Sean Flannery 

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.


Sean Flannery - Graduate
Declan Ryan - Graduate

Declan Ryan 

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.