Equine Studies HNC

Course code 624D

What is special about this course?

If you love horses and would like to make a career out of working with them, the HNC Equine Studies at our Rural Studies Centre in Halkirk is the course for you.

You will learn the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to be able to work with horses to a high standard. You will also be prepared for your BHS exams.

Special features

  • You will receive intensive training as part of your course, including preparing for BHS exams
  • You may have the opportunity to take part in local competitions
  • You will develop key business and management skills


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • NC Equestrian Skills or Business Studies
  • Business qualifications with equine experience may also be considered
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

  • It may be possible, with some additional bridging, to access with HNC Business.

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Care of the competition horse
  • Preparation of horses for competitions
  • Graded unit 1
  • Equine anatomy and physiology
  • Equine facility management
  • Equine fitness
  • Equine health
  • Equine nutrition
  • Equine selection

Option units may include:

  • The brood mare
  • The stallion
  • Creating a culture of customer care
  • Driving the single turnout
  • Equine youngstock
  • Equitation
  • Equitation for the leisure industry

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via our virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • You will also be expected to attend a minimum of two intensive four-week blocks of riding and practical activity at the Rural Studies Centre, in Halkirk, Caithness. These dates will be confirmed to you before the start of the course and will take place in semester one and semester two. All other study can be completed from your own location online

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Rural Studies Centre, Halkirk

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you might like to consider roles in equine retail, equine facilities, studwork or as a competition groom in equine and leisure, either at home or abroad.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the BA (Hons) Equine Business Management at UHI North Highland.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Equine Studies HNC

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.