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Certificate in Equine Science Diploma in Equine Science

Certificate in Equine Science Diploma in Equine Science
NFQ Level 6 Dip: NFQ Level 7

CAO points:
Course code:
Cert: 2 Years, Dip: 3 Years

Course leader:
Soraya Morscher
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 233621

Tel: 00 353 61 202015


About You

The Certificate in Science (Equine Science) and Diploma in Science (Equine Science) programmes often suit people who;

  • Enjoy learning about, investigating and understanding the science associated with horses.
  • Want to start out on a programme of study where the commitment is initially for only two years.
  • May not have the entry requirements necessary for the Bachelor of Science in Equine Science programme.

Why Study Certificate or Diploma in Equine Science at UL?

The Certificate and Diploma courses are suitable if you want to achieve academic qualifications before starting work in an area of horse-based or related industries. The courses are designed in response to the economic and cultural importance of the horse based industries in Ireland and abroad and their need for high quality staff. You can graduate after two years with a Certificate level qualification or, you can progress to a Diploma or Degree level qualification. Progression to the Diploma in Science (Equine Science) programme is subject to achieving at least Second Class Honours Grade 2 in the Certificate programme.

The programmes offer a broad base of learning in equine science, equitation and equine related business topics. This three stranded approach provides a strong platform for building a flexible career. In most semesters you will have a choice of module that allows you to align your studies with your personal interests and ambitions. Students who progress to the Diploma in Science (Equine Science) can choose to follow either a business or equitation specialist route

Module Electives - what are they?

Electives give you the opportunity to choose modules that you want to study.

Each Semester you will be given a choice of a number of modules and you will be asked to select a certain amount to study. This can range from 1 module to 4 modules, based on the course.

For example, you may be given a list of 4 modules, and will be asked to choose 2 to study for the upcoming semester.

Electives in the Certificate in Equine Science

In the first year of study, students are required to complete a module offered by the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems from the choice of modules below. Choose one of the below:

CS4911 – Introduction to IT

This module is designed to give 1st and 2nd year students from disciplines other than Computing a historical and theoretical introduction to information technology: concepts, terminology and possible future developments; together with practice in standard productivity software.


CS4913 – Business Information Systems

Almost all business organisations use computerised information systems to some degree.  Many business organisations would not be able to function without such systems.  At the same time there are continuous occurrences of problems in the design, implementation and use of these systems. This module introduces students on a range of business studies courses to the fundamental features of business information systems (BIS).  The main purpose is to enable graduates of such course appreciate the need for BIS, how BIS can aid the decision making processes of an organisation and how the design of such systems is fundamental to their eventual success or failure. We would only recommend this elective if you hold an ECDL.

You will take 5 modules per year. Strong emphasis is placed on relevance to industry. During your time at the University of Limerick, you will be shown a wide range of industry practices and attend lectures by expert industry representatives. Many modules include field-based activity or visits to centres of excellence. In each semester you will take a balance of modules planned to develop both understanding of scientific principles and “hands-on” applied work with horses.

In addition, you will complete an extended period of cooperative education. Many students rate this part of their studies very highly as an opportunity to take their college learning to an industry context. Cooperative education is considered to be a very beneficial life-learning experience and an opportunity to network and make contacts in the industry either in Ireland or abroad.

Certificate (LM180 - Level 6)

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
BY4001 Biology 1 BY4002 Biology 2  
EC4111 Microeconomics (Non-Business) EQ4032 Equestrian Skill Analysis  
EQ4051 Introduction To Horsemanship EV4024 Equine Reproduction  
EV4012 Equine Anatomy And Physiology EV4032 The Horse Industry  
CS4911 Introduction To Information Technology AC4214 Accounting For Financial Decision Making  
  Or   Or  
CS4913 Business Information Systems EC4112 Macroeconomics (For Non-Business)  

Certificate (LM180 - Level 6)

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
EP4315 Enterprise Formation      
EQ4013 Foundations Of Equine Locomotion CO4220 Cooperative Education  
EV4003 Equine Feeding And Behaviour      
EV4023 Equine Health & Environmental Management      
MK4603 Marketing      

Diploma (LM182 - Level 7)

Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
BY4013 General Microbiology EQ4014 Foundations Of Equine Performance  
BY4045 Cell Biology & Biochemistry EV4013 Equine Physiology  
EV4025 Equine Breeding & Genetics EV4014 Equine Nutrition  
CH4701 General Chemistry 1 EV4015 Equine Health And Disease  
  Or AC4214 Accounting For Financial Decision Making  
EV4005 Grassland And Grazing Management   or  
  Business Management Option EC4112 Macroeconomics (For Non-Business)  
EP4407 Enterprise Development      
IN4003 Principles Of Risk Management      
  Equitation Option      
EQ4025 The Young Horse      

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of five subjects which must include: Five O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or five 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.

It is desirable that candidates 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.

Careers open to you with a Cert/Diploma in Equine Science include;

  • Breeding and producing horses.
  • Work within the racing industry.
  • Equestrian leisure, recreation and tourism-related activity.
  • Equestrian related service industries such as insurance, transport, equipment manufacture and supply.
  • Sales, marketing and public relations.
  • Administrative roles within industry organisations.
  • Self-employment or work in non-equestrian areas.

Orla Driver

The Equine Science Certificate course appealed to me as it offered a variety of subjects across different fields within the Horse Industry, from science to business management. I had worked as an apprentice jockey for a prestigious trainer in the Curragh and travelled to Italy where I managed a small racing yard. On my return to Ireland I applied for the programme at UL.

I enjoyed my time in the University of Limerick immensely. Course leaders and lecturers provided great support and encouragement. I undertook my Cooperative Education placement at Del Mar Racetrack, California and I also spent a season working with mares and foals at Castlehyde Stud. There I got the opportunity to experience the breeding aspect of the industry which we had covered in the practical side of our scientific modules.

On completion of the Certificate and Diploma courses, I was given the opportunity to travel to Coolmore Stud Australia to work with their team. I am currently responsible for the management of the registration department in Castlehyde Stud. I am proud to be working as part of a team with one of Ireland’s leading organisations within the breeding industry. The Certificate programme at the University of Limerick provided me with the stepping stones to further my knowledge and experience in this industry in preparation for a rewarding career.

Orla currently works as Registration Manager at Coolmore/Castlehyde Stud in Tipperary