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Horse Management Extended Diploma Level 3 at West Suffolk College

Course description

This brand-new, exciting opportunity provides full-time students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and the range of skills which are essential for a successful career in the equine industry. The programme is running in collaboration with a local, British Horse Society Approved equestrian centre, Barrow Hall Stables. The course provides a broad range of practical skills in Horse and Stable Management, Equitation, Jumping and Lungeing which will be studied at Barrow Hall Stables.

You will learn the theoretical elements of horse management, studying modules such as Health, Biology, Nutrition, Behaviour and Handling at our site in Bury St. Edmunds. Throughout the course, learners will develop personal and professional skills, including through work experience and visits to different industry facilities. Delivery strategies will include an independent project enabling students to specialise in their particular area of interest or expertise.


Course content

Learners will be timetabled for three days per week with two independent study days which will support research and investigation. Trips will be arranged during the year to support curriculum delivery. Work experience will also be a part of their learning experience. At least one day will be practical horse riding and stable management at Barrow Hall Stables. Students have to evidence over 150 hours of work experience per year of the programme.

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.

Entry requirements

Horse Management requires a riding assessment at interview. Applicants need to be able to ride to BHS Stage 1 / Pony Club C test / ABRS Progressive Rider Test 4 standard and weigh under 85kg. Conditional offers are subsequently made to successful riders of 4 grade C’s at GCSE.


Applicants will need to be highly motivated and be willing and able to work with and ride horses outside of timetabled hours. Learners will need to have a responsible outlook, as they will be required to display a high level of commitment and dedication throughout the course, including the completion of 150 hours of work experience and duties on the yard with the horses.


Students will study for the Horse Management Extended Diploma at Level 3 over two years (equivalent to 3 A’ levels). There is an intermediate Diploma awarded at the end of the first year. Both qualifications carry UCAS points, equivalent to A’ levels. Students without a grade C in maths and / or English GCSE will continue their study of these subjects in Functional Skills qualifications. Those who have achieved a grade D will be offered a resit opportunity. Continuation of these subjects is a Government requirement, and is non-negotiable.

Financial information

Free for 16 to 18 year olds.


Future opportunities

Many students will choose to progress into higher education, specialising in an area that really interests them, for instance, Equine Therapy, Rider and Equine Performance, Equine Science, Equine Business Management etc. at either Foundation Degree or Honours Degree level. Some students may obtain an advanced apprenticeship and continue their training in the industry, or enter the equine industry e.g. racing, showjumping, retail etc. Others may choose to enter the industry directly and continue training for professional examinations e.g. BHS exams.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 December 2016
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