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What is this Programme about?

The six-month residential course which commences in January each year runs for the duration of the breeding season and the small group of students form friendships and professional contacts which are often maintained for a lifetime.

The core aim of this programme is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and competence required to perform effectively in responsible positions in the thoroughbred industry.

Programme details

The programme seeks to equip learners to carry out a range of practical and managerial activities in equine enterprises and, as a result, to enable them to apply managerial principles in an evolving equine industry. Throughout the programme, the learner will undertake a number of assessment activities comprising continuous assessment, practical skills demonstration, projects and final examinations.

A particular strength of the programme is the emphasis place on applied and practical skills which are offered through work-based learning. The aim is to ensure graduates have a practical and comprehensive understanding of the thoroughbred industry. The Irish National Stud is the only provider in the country offering a dedicated programme in Thoroughbred Breeding which revolves around the development of a range of transferable skills. Students also develop in-depth knowledge of the global thoroughbred industry through all stages of the programme.

  • Stimulate engagement with autonomous andindependent learning.
  • Encourage participation in a variety of teaching, learning and assessment strategies, which will drive the educational adventure through applied experiences.

Programme Aim and Learning Outcomes

  1. Display a range of skills, competencies and attributes that are required for the role of a stud manager.
  2. Demonstrate practical skills in the safe handling and assessment of horses and in the provision of care for a mare and foal before, during and after a normal foaling.
  3. Generate an in-depth approaching to managing health, welfare, reproduction, nutrition and exercise for horses and practically apply a scientific approach to benefit horse health, welfare and performance.
  4. Confidently use and evaluate a range of tools and equipment suitable for the implementation of a successful thoroughbred management programme.
  5. Describe the anatomy, physiology and reproductive behaviour of horses.
  6. Critically discuss the scale and scope of the global equine industry and some of the challenges facing it.
  7. Analyse thoroughbred horse pedigrees and evaluate mating plans.
  8. Demonstrate communication styles and techniques relevant to different situations in work and leisure, to include one-to-one and group contexts in conversation, interview, oral presentation, question and answer session and for the purposes of persuading, advocacy and informing.
  9. Reflect on the experience of learning in the workplace in order to enhance his / her personal development and lifelong learning.

Online Support

Students will have full access to a range of supports available online and through Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. These include our new online programme, PACE, which is designed to support students to access and effectively use library resources in order to complete assignments. Additional supports include an Academic Writing Centre and Maths Support Centre, freely available to all students.

Entry Requirements

Applications are invited from people over 18 years and previous practical experience is desirable. Applicants must have obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate or equivalent state examination. Other Agricultural or Equestrian qualifications may be desirable.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must include an IELTS result certificate (academic test) with their application. The required level for selection for the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course is IELTS 5 which is described as follows:

Application process for the 2022 course is now closed. Applications for the 2023 course will open in June 2022