Key Info

Certificate in Equine Science | Diploma in Equine Science

NFQ Level 6 Dip: NFQ Level 7
CAO points history
Course code
Cert: 2 Years, Dip: 3 Years
Subject area
Course Director
Soraya Morscher
00 353 61 233621
+353 (0)61 233755

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.

Learn more about our courses and upcoming events

our campus

What you will study

You will take 5 modules per semester. A 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 presented 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.

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.

  Semester 1   Semester 2
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)
  Semester 3   Semester 4
EP4005 New Enterprise Creation    
EQ4013 Foundations Of Equine Locomotion CO4220 Cooperative Education
EV4003 Equine Feeding & Behaviour    
EV4023 Equine Health & Environmental Management    
MK4603 Marketing    
  Semester 5   Semester 6
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 & Disease
  Or AC4214 Accounting For Financial Decision Making
EV4005 Grassland & Grazing Management   or
  Business Management Option EC4112 Macroeconomics (For Non-Business)
EP4007 Enterprise Management & Growth    
IN4003 Principles Of Risk Management    
  Equitation Option    
EQ4025 The Young 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 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.

Additional considerations

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.

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

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 €6,016
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 €6,016
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 €6,016
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

Title Award Scholarships Available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your future career

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.

Student profile


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