Certificate of Higher Education in Thoroughbred Stud Operations
This award aims to combine a sound knowledge of breeding theory with a range of assessed practical competencies to ensure that the graduate will be a sought-after employee within the thoroughbred stud industry. The one-year Certificate of Higher Education in Thoroughbred Stud Operations award will provide a tailored course to appeal to those students interested in developing their knowledge across a range of disciplines pertinent to breeding thoroughbred racehorses. This theoretical knowledge is combined with extensive practical experience and the development of an appropriate work ethic.
Combining the acquisition of practical and transferable skills with theoretical understanding, the award will produce graduates capable of applying their scientific knowledge to the successful production of young thoroughbreds. The racing industry is worth £1.1bn to the UK economy, with the stud sector accounting for £189m (British Horseracing Authority). Despite the obvious career opportunities, many of the large and well-known studs are in need of appropriately qualified and highly skilled staff; this award works directly with these breeders to provide students with an unrivalled entry point into this exciting industry.
The practical and work experience modules embedded within this award are designed to enable a dedicated, hard-working student to really stand out to potential employers. Writtle University College boasts a new purpose-built stud facility on campus to support the delivery of this award. The course has been designed in conjunction with some of the biggest and most prestigious names in UK thoroughbred production; representatives from these studs will work closely with Writtle University College staff to provide an unrivalled work experience placement for a January to June foaling season. Placements will be offered to those students who prove themselves committed and dedicated to developing their skill set, both on the yard and in the classroom. Whilst out on placement, students will be responsible for handling some of the most valuable horses in the UK, so each individual student must be physically fit and will be assessed for competence, attitude and aptitude during their first taught semester at Writtle, before commencing their placement.
The course examines how we can meet the requirements of the foaling mare whilst developing a sense of the scale of the industry. It includes modules in Producing Thoroughbreds, Neonatal Challenges, Applied Thoroughbred Industry Techniques, Structure and Function of the Breeding Horse and Management and Handling for the Stud Industry. The aim is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of all of the possible contributors to production performance; thus enabling the individual to contribute positively to the industry following completion of the course. Developing a thorough scientific understanding, combined with the ability to apply that knowledge practically, will enable the individual to take a proactive role following graduation. Writtle's approach of 'science into practice' is particularly evident in this programme.
UCAS Tariff Points
GCE A Levels
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
BTEC Level 3 Diploma
An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.
All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.
Writtle University College welcomes applicants studying Access to HE Diploma courses. For more information please contact Admissions.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)
As an individual seeking employment within the racing industry, it is imperative to understand the influencing factors that affect the successful production of young foals. The young thoroughbred is a complex creature, with supporting needs that require careful consideration and appropriate intervention at all stages of production. In addition to the management of the foal, mare and stallion, students will develop an awareness of the wider industry and the opportunities that exist for capable, talented staff to progress into a range of different roles given the right experience.
The programme will suit individuals who have studied a related award at level 3 in the UK or abroad, or who have an interest in horses with other appropriate academic qualifications. Mature applicants with a background in the equine industry are also welcome.
The following list shows the variety of learning and teaching methods experienced on this course.
- Theoretical learning
- Small group work
- Lectures and tutorials
- Practical sessions
- Fieldwork and workshops
- Case study work
The Certificate of Higher Education in Thoroughbred Stud Operations contains a variety of assessment methods to ensure practical and academic competence.
- Essays and reports aimed at different audiences
- Presentations and class discussions
- Practical and theoretical situations
They primarily include stud-based roles, where the industry has identified a critical shortage of appropriately qualified staff. Individuals who demonstrate competence and appropriate knowledge through this award will have a greater opportunity in seeking employment in the industry.
WUC is also currently considering expanding the Certificate of Higher Education by providing a second year and a second substantial work placement to enable the student to complete a Foundation Degree and widen their prospects within the racing industry.
Alternatively, successful completion of this programme will enable you to progress directly onto year two of our BSc (Hons) in Equine Performance and Business Management award.
Please contact us if you'd like further information.
Q. Do I have to do practical yard duties?
A. Yes, you will need to perform a range of basic stable management activities such as mucking/skipping out, grooming, etc. prior to each practical or riding session you attend at the horse units. These will help you to develop your portfolio of practical competence, prepare for BHS stages and improve your skills for employability. This is applicable to all students.
Q. Can I bring my own horse?
A. Yes, we have some DIY livery available at the College yard, and you can ride your own horse during timetabled lessons. Please contact Tessa.Campbell@writtle.ac.uk for further details. There is also a range of local livery yards - livery information can be found here.
Q. How much riding experience do I need and will I ride as part of my course?
A. None of our HE courses require you to ride, either as part of the course or for assessment purposes. However, on certain courses, you may study modules where there is the option to ride, or where the theory of equitation and coaching is covered and many students elect to ride on these modules. We carry out riding assessments where you will be asked to walk, trot and canter both in an instructed ride and in open order, in a safe and effective manner. Our weight limit is 13 stones (including riding equipment).
Q. Are there opportunities to do extra riding?
A. Unfortunately, our college horses work throughout the week and as such there is limited availability for extra-curricular activities, however you can book riding lessons at the college through the Students Union Riding Club. BHS courses are regularly run at the College and are available to students at additional cost (see Short Courses). There are also various opportunities at local yards in the area such as Chelmsford Equestrian Centre, Rayne Riding Centre or Runningwell Equestrian Centre.
Q. How many days do I have to come into University?
A. This will depend on which programme you have chosen. First year study will probably require you to attend lectures and/or practical sessions for approx.. 4 days per week, although generally this will not be 9am to 5pm every day, however please note this is a full-time course and you need to put in a significant amount of your own study time outside of timetabled sessions. Contact time is generally between 16 and 20 hours per week, with self-guided learning in addition to these hours to complete assessment work, background reading, directed study, etc.
Timetables and a full induction will take place at the beginning of the semester.
Q. What if I wish to change the course I have applied for?
A. Once you are in the system and have been accepted onto one of the courses, you may change your course choice by simply informing the admissions department (email: email@example.com). It is possible to change your course within the first 2 weeks of starting at Writtle. This is subject to there being places available on the alternative course.
Q. Do I need specific subjects to gain entry to the degree?
A. In the perfect world, every student undertaking a Bachelor of Science (BSc) course would have a solid background in the Sciences, and a good grasp of English and Maths. However, because we have had so many successful students from a variety of academic pathways, we do not specify subjects for entry. To compensate for any weak areas, students must be prepared to do additional background reading, self-directed study and maximise on tutorial opportunities.
Q. How will I be assessed?
A. You will be assessed using a variety of methods throughout the course, including written reports, oral assessments, presentations, closed/open book exams, practical assessments, debates, seminars, reflective journals, annotated videos, portfolio development, case history write-ups and many more.
Q. What are my career opportunities?
A. The equine industry is very diverse and there are a range of opportunities in many fields. As a science graduate you will have a plethora of transferable skills to enhance your profile in almost any area you choose. We also recommend that you gain as much industry-related work experience as possible during your holiday periods. This will not only enhance your CV, but will also give you insight into potential career options. Some of our past equine students have successfully gone onto non-equine related pathways. Alternatively, there is the option to continue with postgraduate studies such as a Masters degree or PhD.