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Horse Management Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma at Northumberland College

Course description

The level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Horse Management is a qualification aimed at providing individuals with a range of practical skills and knowledge aimed at preparing you for employment or progression into further training within the equine industry

Course content

You will need to successfully complete about 6 units depending on your selected modules. The qualification includes a large number of choices of topics which are both practical and theoretical. This qualification has no mandatory units but the 29 optional units cover areas of interest such as: - Horse Fitness - Horse Rehabilitation and Therapy - Riding Horses on the Flat and over Fences - Stud Management - Horse Handling, Backing and Training - Breed development - Equestrian Teaching There are also more general units such as: - Planning and Monitoring Feeding - Understanding Animal Health - Yard and Stable Management - Riding and Exercising Horses - Animal Biology - Anatomy and Physiology. For all modules you will study both practical and theoretical elements, learning how to do things and why you need to do and know certain things.

Entry requirements

The recommended entry requirements are a minimum of four GCSEs at grade C or above (which would ideally include Maths and English), or equivalent GNVQ/BTEC qualifications. Entry can also be gained through achieving a relevant National Certificate, this could be the level 2 Certificate, Extended Certificate or Diploma in Horse Care, however other land- based qualifications would be considered on individual merit. Mature students would be considered on previous practical experience within an equine environment.


Progress is assessed by a range of methods which include practical assessments, observations, written assignments and tests. Assessment is continuous and students are continually encouraged to upgrade their skills. 1:1 progress reviews ensure that students remain motivated and continue to work to their full potential.

Future opportunities

The Subsidiary Diploma has been developed to equip learners to go directly into employment or progress to further training. You might progress into work such as: - Riding Yard Management - Assistant Manager (competition yards) - Assistant Manager (Riding School) - Competition Groom - Equine Nutritionist - Stud Manager Progression into training could be adding a further 6 units (depending on modules) to achieve a Diploma in Horse Management Level 3 (equivalent of two A Levels), or by adding another 12 units you would achieve an Extended Diploma in Horse Management Level 3 (equivalent of three A levels). Alternatively you could progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Horse Care and Management which allows you to combine working in industry and attending college one day per week. The Subsidiary Diploma counts towards entry into Higher education and a range of programmes such as an Equine Studies Foundation Degree, a BSc (Hons) in Equine Studies or a BSc (Hons) in sports psychology. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Northumberland College directly.

Last updated date: 17 May 2016

Key information


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    • Kirkley Hall is a stunning rural campus and a great environment to study in with specialist resources to meet the needs of our students. Combine this with our team of experience and highly skilled staff and you will see that a successful future will be yours.

      The college campus in Ponteland is approximately 8 miles from Newcastle city centre and is easily accessible by bus or car, so you can enjoy the best of city and rural life.

      You will benefit from excellent facilities that are of industry standard so you'll be prepared for your future career. Facilities include:

      • A 17th century rural estate with and grade II listed Kirkley Hall
      • An equestrian centre with indoor and outdoor riding arenas, 25 horse stable yard and specialist equine facilities
      • Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens with over 120 species
      • A veterinary centre and grooming parlour
      • An outdoor activity centre with high ropes and zip wire and sailing base at Blyth
      • Two farms; one at Kirkley and one in the Coquet Valley
      • Victorian walled gardens, over 1,330m2 of greenhouses and a garden design studio
      • Cyber Café
      • A Learning Resource Centre devoted to the land-based sector which includes a range of learning materials, an IT suite and quiet study areas
      • Halls of residence facilities