AP3A100-Equine Science

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Students who have not taken prior modules in nutrition e.g. AP1A18 Digestion and Nutrition or AP2A67 Animal Nutrition are required to undertake additional background reading before completing this module. See below for details.
Modules excluded: AP3A98 Equine Science and Management
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Kate Johnson

Email: k.f.johnson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

What makes a horse a natural athlete? How do we use our understanding of nutrition and metabolism to plan equine diets and manage horse health? Explore these questions and more in this module, and gain a critical understanding of nutrition and feeding, health, exercise and reproductive physiology, behaviour and welfare of horses. You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and guided independent study. Students selecting this module who have not previously taken animal nutrition modules (AP1A18 or AP2A67) will be required to undertake additional background reading.



The module is designed to enable students to build on and apply their existing scientific knowledge of physiology, nutrition and behaviour, to horses and the discipline of equine science. Special emphasis is placed on the relationship between the growing knowledge of equine biology, and its impact on equine management and performance, particularly in relation to equine nutrition and feeding

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

• Critically evaluate nutritional requirements, factors influencing choice of diet and pathologies associated feeding practices in horses, in the context of their origins, digestive physiology and metabolism.

• Describe and evaluate the physiology of the horse in relation to reproduction and to exercise, training and athletic performance. Discuss the management of horses to optimise bre eding and athletic performance.

• Describe and discuss communication and social behaviour in equids and apply this to develop welfare assessments for equids. Critically evaluate the origins, consequences and management of problem behaviour 


Additional outcomes:

The following employability/transferrable skills will be developed:

  • Experience of writing in a style suitable for the lay audience

  • Contextual thinking skills

  • Critical appraisal of literature

  • Building arguments

  • Independent working

Outline content:

The Lecture Content covers:

• Origins and domestication of equines

• Horses as grazing animals

• Equine digestion and metabolism 

• Pathologies associated with nutrition, diets and feeding practices

• Nutrient requirements of horses

• Feeding horses at work and at rest

• Equine reproduction and breeding 

• Equine exercise physiology of perfo rmance horses

• Equine behaviour and behaviour problems

Global context:

Students will improve their global engagement and multi-cultural awareness through understanding the role of working equids in different cultures.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be a 2-hour lecture each week, each lecture will be accompanied by a student led seminar to assist students in their independent study.

Important note: Students who have not taken prior modules in nutrition e.g. AP1A18 Digestion and Nutrition or AP2A67 Animal Nutrition are required to undertake additional background reading before completing this module as follows:

McDonald, P., Edwards, R.A., et al. (2011) Animal Nutrit ion, 7th Ed. Pearson Education Ltd. London.

n.b. 6th edition is also suitable.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study: 70
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A two hour paper requiring one answer from two questions in Section A and one answer from two questions in Section B.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
A written assignment in the style of a science magazine article (40%)

Formative assessment methods:
Multiple choice questions will be available on Blackboard.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By examination in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 29 July 2020


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