British uni adds Equitation Science degree course

Students with a horse using the high-speed treadmill at the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury. Photo: Hartpury University
Students with a horse using the high-speed treadmill at the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury. Photo: Hartpury University

An equine course is one of five new postgraduate courses added to Hartpury University in Britain, with the first students starting in September 2022.

Hartpury’s MSc Equitation Science course comes at a fitting time, with welfare of horse and rider currently front and centre of the equine industry. The course will consider the various needs of both human and horse, using science as a basis for successful and ethical equitation.

The programme aims to help students influence the development of new ethical policies and practices that ultimately challenge the status quo.

The other four courses are MRes Animal Science, MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, MSc Applied Agricultural Sciences and MRes Sport and Exercise Science.

The new programmes combine a mixture of online and campus-based learning.

Welfare is also fundamental to the new MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare degree, which looks to apply theory to practice across several areas of animal welfare and ethics. This is part of the institution’s wider goal of helping students make a positive difference in the lives of animals through increasing human understanding to enact change at an organisational level. In September, Hartpury – a member of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-Law) – welcomed the first students to its MSc Animal Welfare, Policy and Legislation degree, further underlining its commitment to meet and contribute to addressing emerging animal welfare challenges.

MRes Animal Science is a research degree that will provide students with opportunities to undertake a piece of research in a specific area to enhance their professional practice or prepare for PhD study.

The MSc Applied Agricultural Sciences degree is Hartpury University’s first official postgraduate agricultural degree, and focuses on using science to improve protocols and sustainable solutions across the agricultural industry. Hartpury recently opened a new Agri-Tech Centre committed to driving data-driven science and innovation in an ever-changing farming sector, and £2 million has been invested in the Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park which launches at the end of the year. It is art of a 10-year strategy to provide world-class agricultural facilities, education and research.

Professor Steve Draper, Academic Dean at Hartpury University, said the MSc courses had been designed to address emerging industry topics and issues.

“The new courses in animal and equine reflect our strong commitment to welfare, while our first official postgraduate agricultural degree looks to practically apply science as a solution for many issues facing agriculture today,” Draper said.

“We’re passionate about research and the impact this can have, so the addition of two MRes degrees in animal and sport is also particularly exciting. I’m looking forward to the outcomes of many research projects to come and more importantly the impact these findings can have in the real world.”

Hartpury University was ranked number one in the UK for student satisfaction by full-time postgraduate students in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021.

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