Equine Science – Bachelor of Animal Science

Gain the knowledge base and the analytical and management skills for a career helping improve the productivity and sustainability of the equine industry.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Equine Science for your Bachelor of Animal Science at Massey

The Bachelor of Animal Science (Equine Science) will help you understand nutrition, growth, health and performance in the equine athlete.

What will I learn?

The equine industry is large, diverse and economically important both in New Zealand and worldwide. You’ll be prepared for a wide variety of equine enterprises anywhere in the world.

The Equine Science major will give you knowledge of equine welfare, behaviour and health. You’ll also gain an understanding of performance nutrition and responses to training of horses.

Learn from the best

Massey University’s animal, agricultural and veterinary science professionals are among the best in the world. They will teach you about the latest developments in animal science. You will obtain a solid base in equine science. You’ll also learn about animal welfare, nutrition and growth as well as genetics and breeding.

Research-led learning

Massey has a number of internationally recognised animal-based research centres including the Equine Research Centre and Equine Parentage Genetic Services Centre.

Join a world-leading university

Massey University is home to the only animal science team in New Zealand and one of the largest in Australasia. As an animal science student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in these areas.

A Bachelor of Animal Science in Equine Science is a good fit if you:

  • enjoy sciences
  • are interested in horses and their relationship to humans
  • would like to work in the equine industry.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Compulsory Courses

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 117226 Performance Animal Nutrition 15 credits

Develop understanding of the important drivers underpinning the relationship between nutrition and performance, and how these can be maximized to achieve the desired performance outcomes. Knowledge will be gained on the major animal nutrition and performance issues facing New Zealand working and sport animals.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155 or 194101

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Course code: 117231 Animal Health and Welfare 15 credits

Provide an understanding of the major diseases and welfare considerations/issues of domestic animals in New Zealand and the relevance for animal management. The role of human behaviour in the productivity, function and welfare of animals. The importance of biosecurity to New Zealand and its relationship to human and animal health. Review the ethical frameworks associated with the ownership and use of animals.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155 or 117107 Restrictions: 117255

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Course code: 117302 Monogastric Animal Nutrition 15 credits

The principles of monogastric nutrition are developed and applied to improve livestock productivity. An in-depth coverage of the digestive and absorptive processes and factors which affect them. The utilisation of absorbed nutrients is addressed, particularly in relation to the determination of nutrient requirements. Techniques central to the study of nutrition are emphasised. The science of nutrition is related back to the practice of feeding animals to optimise productivity and wellbeing. Students will be become familiar with nutrients partitioning computer models used in a practical context.

Prerequisites: 117201 or 117202 or 117254 Restrictions: 117342

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Course code: 117361 Companion Animal Science 15 credits

This course is an integration of the scientific and theoretical aspects of companion animal science. The main topics covered include the nutrition, behaviour, welfare, breeding and genetics of dogs, cats and horses. The emphasis will be placed on the scientific foundation for the promotion of animal welfare and longevity.

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Course code: 286201 Equine Production 15 credits

An exploration of horse production systems within New Zealand with comparison to the methods used in other major equestrian countries. Using different equine production systems as examples, the processes from birth to intended use are compared including how the industry is controlled and regulated and the impact this has on owners, trainers and administrators.

Restrictions: 286101

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Course code: 286251 Equine Behaviour, Training and Welfare 15 credits

The course will describe the ethology of the horse. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the theory of learning and how it underpins basic training and training for the different disciplines. It will describe the welfare of horses associated with different equine management systems both in New Zealand and overseas. The legislation which protects horses will be described.

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Course code: 286301 The Equine Lower Limb 15 credits

Exploration of the unique aspects of the tissues of the foot and lower limb of the horse. The emphasis is placed on the structure and functions of the moving parts of the lower limb, how alterations in the functioning of the limb can lead to changes in the horse's gait and how corrective measures can be rationally proposed.

Restrictions: 286222

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Course code: 286321 Responses to Training in the Equine Athlete 15 credits

As the equine athlete is trained changes occur in the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. The basic and applied aspects, and the detection of changes, will be discussed, in the context of training regimens for different equine activities.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155 or 194101

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to succeed in this qualification.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If it’s some time since you have studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

Haven’t studied the right subjects at high school?

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this qualification:

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

These courses are available in summer school and can be taken as a Certificate in Science and Technology or Certificate of Proficiency.  One 100-level course can be counted as an elective towards the Bachelor of Animal Science.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The equine industry is large, diverse and economically important both in New Zealand and worldwide. The equine major will prepare you for a career in a wide variety of equine enterprises anywhere in the world. You’ll acquire a broad understanding of health and production issues, and be able to offer the equine industry up-to-date, scientifically-based knowledge.

The Bachelor of Animal Science will provide you the knowledge, attributes and expertise you require for the careers of the future.

Potential employers include equine regulatory, breeding, racing, breed, and sport organisations, and other equine enterprises in New Zealand and around the world. Roles could be in:

  • equine regulatory bodies
  • stud farm management
  • racing and breeding industries
  • sport organisations
  • other equine enterprises in New Zealand and around the world.

Sought-after by employers

The production and companion animal industries, government departments and agencies, iwi-owned agribusinesses recognise the importance of animal science in what they do and employ our graduates.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Agriculture and Forestry

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.

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ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science

Massey University is ranked No.1 in New Zealand for agricultural science by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

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