IN September 2022, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) released its first ever fully online course delivered at Level 4 at Enniskillen Campus. The Certificate of Higher Education in Equine Science and Management is a part-time course validated through Ulster University and delivered over two years.
Students cover a wide variety of topics in their first year through a series of short online videos that can be watched at any time to fit around the students’ busy schedules. With a formative assessment at the end of each topic to test their knowledge and optional interactive live sessions, the students are able to take advantage of all that CAFRE offers without the commitment of travelling to the campus. The course is designed to enable those that are already working with horses to gain a formal higher level equine qualification to compliment their practical experience.
Jenny Caldwell is a student on the course and said: “So far, I have had a great experience on the CertHE course. I run a busy livery yard so the short, bite-sized lectures are easy to dip in and out of at a time that is convenient to me. Also, the support is great, if you need anything the course team will do everything they can to help. All the resources are online, so you have the entire library available at your fingertips. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in the industry that is looking for a formal qualification that fits in around them.”
For the Equine Anatomy and Physiology module, students recently enjoyed a live interactive session on the equine skeleton with CAFRE’s veterinary lecturer Dr Andrea Emerson. Students will learn everything from cell biology to muscles, bones, reproduction systems, genetics and much more. Student Joy Carlton participated in the live session and said: “I found the interactive session very helpful, not only because it allowed an opportunity to speak to Andrea directly, but it also helped to gauge how others are doing on the course.
“It helped clarify some things that were difficult to understand from 2D models and showed how much of the information I’d retained and what needed more revision. How it was set up felt very much like an in-person classroom experience which was nice given that most of the study is done in our own time.”
The Anatomy and Physiology module will be completed after Christmas when the Introduction to Equine Nutrition Module will begin, followed by Equine Health and Welfare over the summer. Next year students will cover Equine Business, Exercise Physiology and Breeding with the option of specialising in the Thoroughbred sector for both the Business and Breeding modules.
The next intake of the CertHE in Equine Science and Management will be September 2023.