• Code: HX
  • Certification QQI Level 5 Award in Horsemanship (5M3371).                               
  • Duration One Year


This course is run in conjunction with Brennanstown Riding School

The focus of the course is to develop the skills to work in the equine industry, while at the same time developing learners’ personal, interpersonal, and workplace skills. The content includes a range of vocational modules including stable and yard routine, equine nutrition, equine anatomy and physiology, sport horse riding, animal welfare and core modules in work experience, customer service and maths.

The course is designed to provide professional education and training to learners who love horses and have a particular interest in gaining employment in the equine industry in a variety of roles. The course will enable them to pursue a career in the equine industry or continue their studies at higher and/or third level.

On completion of this course, you will be eligible to progress to a Level 6 Horsemanship (6M3505) award. Currently, this qualification is offered by Teagasc and a selection of Community colleges/PLCs (Galway Community College and Curragh Post Primary, KWETB)

Programme of Study
  • Stable and Yard Routine
  • Work Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Equine Anatomy and Physiology
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Horse Confirmation and Evaluation
  • Animal Welfare
  • Sport Horse Riding Instruction
  • Maths
  • BHS Stage 1 - with Brennanstown Riding School

Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered
  • Leaving Certificate Applied Award
  • QQI Level 4 Award
  • Mature learners – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Learners are required to source their own work experience.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the course can seek employment in the horse industry in a variety of roles within the sports horse and racing and breeding industry, in yards and studs, within the leisure sector, self employed and running their own business.

Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:

CAFRE College, Enniskillen:

  • BSc in Equine Management (UCAS Course Code: (D322)

NUI Maynooth:

  • BBS/BBA Equine Business (MH405)

University of Limerick:

  • Diploma in Equine Science (LM093)
  • Degree in Equine Science (LM180)

MTU – Munster Technological University (KERRY CAMPUS)

  • Animal Bioscience (MT781)
  • Wildlife Biology (MT880)
  • Veterinary Bioscience (MT881)

This course may also be used by students to progress to a variety of equine courses in UK colleges and universities.

Course Co-Ordinator

Lynne Duffy

Where are they now?

Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

"I was fortunate to gain a position on the Equine Studies course the first year it was run in BIFE. I had previous experience with horses but never a formal education or qualification. Therefore, everything I knew was ‘learned on the job’ but the course gave me an in-depth understanding of the horse as an animal, not just the individuals I worked with. During the course, I particularly enjoyed anatomy & physiology, nutrition, and veterinary assistance. I have found that I use these modules the most in my daily work, and I still find myself going back to my notes from BIFE. The biggest advantage of the course is having such an experienced, supportive, and knowledgeable tutor both in the classroom, and during practical work. There was never a fear of asking questions about the modules, the industry, or for career advice. I have since continued to work in the thoroughbred industry alongside consigners, breeders, and trainers. I have also been involved in different programmes for young people in the Racing & Breeding industry and look forward to gaining more experience and expanding on my CV. Due to my course experience and qualifications, I now feel confident enough to take on new experiences, such as my next aim which is working with stallions and in a foaling unit."  - Ciara Cooney 

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