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Northumberland College

Equine Studies At Northumberland College

Kirkley Hall Campus
NE20 0AQ

  • Coaching
  • Equine Studies
  • Sports & Performance

Studying equine at Northumberland College can take your learning higher and set you up to progress into a career in equestrian management, training, coaching or lecturing.

We offer a range of full-time and part-time qualifications, from courses for 16–19-year-old school leavers to adult and Higher Education courses, with a focus on flexible learning.

The Northumberland College Equestrian Centre is a British Horse Society approved training centre and livery yard.

Located at our Kirkley Hall campus in Ponteland, you'll have access to our dedicated equine centre, and state-of-the-art facilities such as

Stable yards

  • Two indoor and two outdoor arenas

  • Horse walker

  •   Weighbridge

  •   Solarium

  •   Gait analysis

  • Indoor demonstration barns

  • Cross-country course

With links to a variety of local employers, you’ll have the opportunity to gain hand-on experience through a work placement. Our courses are designed to help you prepare for your next steps, whether that’s further study, university, or entering employment.

Northumberland College is also partnered with RDA to provide outstanding equine education.

Our experienced teaching staff will support you throughout your course, whilst you’ll also be given the chance to hear from guest speakers and industry specialists. In addition, our courses also incorporate trips and visits to give you a taste of life in the equine sector and enhance your learning opportunities.

You’ll also have access to our Learning Resource Centre on campus, as well as free onsite parking. Our Kirkley Hall campus is also home to Northumberland College Zoo, which houses over 200 species of animals, as well as a working farm.

Visit us at one of our open events to find out more about the equine courses available, speak to our lecturers and tour our state-of-the-art facilities.

Our land-based courses are designed specifically with the North East rural communities in mind, and to prepare our graduates for the future of their chosen sectors.


School Leaver

Name - Level 1 Land-based Studies - Equine Care

The aim of the course is to develop skills and knowledge in the equine and land-based sector.


In order to complete the diploma, there are 2 mandatory and 5 optional modules to complete.

Mandatory units:
Health and safety
Work experience

Optional units:
Assist with the movement, handling and accommodation of animals
Assist with feeding and watering of animals
Assist with the preparation and maintenance of animal accommodation
Maintain the health of horses
Assist with the preparation for the exercise and aftercare of horses

On completion of this course, you could progress onto the Level 2 Extended Diploma in Equine Care course.

Alternatively, you can look to progress into employment within the industry.

Name - Level 2 Equine Technical Certificate in Equine Care


This course is a one-year, full-time programme and includes 8 mandatory units and 1 optional unit. The course is split equally between practical and theoretical sessions.

You can choose riding as an optional unit, however, please note that if you are over 13 stone you may not be able to ride due to our weight limit policy. If you do not want to ride there are other optional units you can choose to complete your qualification, such as care of the competition horse.

This course will prepare you for work in a range of businesses, including riding schools, livery yards, welfare charities and will also prepare you for Level 3 progression to equine management.

The course includes health and safety, equine health and welfare, feeding and watering, tack and equipment, stable duties, feeding and watering, an introduction to lunging, handling and grooming and riding on the flat. You will undertake real work experience both at the college yard and in an external placement.

Name - Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Equine Management (720)

This qualification gives you the opportunity to learn about and build on the essentials of working with horses, such as stable yard operations, horse health care, feeding and nutrition and fitting and evaluating tack and equipment.

You will develop further practical skills such as working and exercising horses from the ground, horse presentation skills (grooming, clipping, trimming and plaiting) and you will also learn about horse biology and horse behaviour and welfare.

You will also gain the skills to be able to undertake event management and you will also gain knowledge and understanding about the principles of equitation. You will also gain an understanding of business skills which are important for progression into a wide and diverse range of employment opportunities.

Adult courses


Name - Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate in Equine Management (Adult)

The Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)in Equine 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.

The Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate in Horse Management allows you to progress into work. You might progress into roles such as a groom, competition groom or a, riding school trainee instructor.

Educational next steps would include the Level3 Advanced Extended Diploma (720) in Equine Management.

The Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate 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.

Higher Education


Name - FdSc Equine Management, Training and Coaching


The FdSc Equine Management, Training and Coaching is a Level 5 qualification, suitable for those with a strong interest in ethical horse management and training.


The programme is aimed at developing a wide range of equestrian skills to maximise employment and entrepreneurship within the equine industry, as well as developing transferable skills with the intent to maximise career opportunities for graduates.

The programme places emphasis on practical experience, the acquisition of vital industry skills and underlying theoretical concepts and will support further opportunities to gain British Horse Society (BHS) accreditation to further enhance career prospects.

The course runs from September to May and is divided into two semesters.

Name - BSc (Hons) Equine Management, Training and Coaching


The BSc (Hons) Equine Management, Training and Coaching course has been designed to offer progression opportunities to FdSc graduates from a range of equestrian disciplines, and to permit continued development of graduate level skills. This is to ensure our equine graduates can support the equestrian community through a period of cultural change, brought about by growing interest in equestrianism and the social license to operate.


The programme has a strong welfare focus and embeds ethical equitation principles and equitation science within the training, coaching and management of the competition and leisure horse.


You will study equitation science, performance horse management, sustainable management, and review current issues debated within the equine sector. In addition, you will design and undertake an industry project as part of your dissertation.


Graduates will have the opportunity to progress into equestrian management, training, coaching or lecturing, or you could enter career specialisms such as the marketing of veterinary and scientific products. You could also choose to continue into postgraduate study.


Open Events:

Date - Thursday 9th May

Time - 16:30pm - 18:30pm

Location - Kirkley Hall campus

Booking Link -

Northumberland College

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