GradCert Equine Sports Medicine

Academic Year 2019/2020

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 30)

Grad Cert Equine Sports Medicine will explore recent developments on key subjects specific to athletic performance including genetics, exercise physiology, adaptation of the body systems to athletic training, evaluation of poor performance and the treatment of diseases and injuries that impact on athletic performance.

  • Study online at a time and place that is flexible
  • Join an online community to exchange knowledge and ideas
  • Develop skills and knowledge that enhance the management and treatment of sport horses

Curricular information is subject to change


Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The Graduate Certificate in Equine Sports Medicine is an online, distance-education, postgraduate programme. It is suitable for veterinary surgeons already in equine practice or who wish to pursue a career in equine sports medicine.

The Graduate Certificate in Equine Sports Medicine programme is designed for veterinary surgeons already in equine practice or who wish to pursue a career in equine sports medicine. This programme will equip veterinarians with the necessary skills to investigate, recognise, treat and prevent reasons for poor performance in the equine athlete.

Education and subject / discipline / professional values:

This programme consists of four core modules and a choice of one elective module, with a total of 30 ECTS credits required to complete the programme:

  • Genetics and Exercise Physiology (Core, 5 credits)
  • Adaptation to Training (Core, 5 credits)
  • Pathology and Clinical Pathology of the Equine Athlete (Core, 5 credits)
  • Evaluation of Poor Performance (Core, 10 credits)
  • Elective:  Dissertation or Case Reports (5 credits)

Students will explore up-to-date key subjects specific to athletic performance in the horse including genetics, exercise physiology, adaptation of body systems to athletic training, evaluation and treatment of poor performance including diseases and injuries that impact on a horse’s athletic performance. Successful completion of this course will result in additional expertise in the area of equine sports medicine, potentially enhancing employment prospects for veterinarians wishing to work specifically in practices that deal with equine athletes.

The nature of the learning environment for students

This programme is delivered entirely online through the UCD Blackboard system and consists of e-Lectures, printable course notes, discussion boards, group exercises and live virtual classroom with tutors for question and answer sessions. Since the course is delivered online, it facilitates part-time, distance learning which allows flexibility with regard to the time and location convenient for the student for viewing of the e-Lectures, completing the course work and studying. Each module runs for consecutive 12 weeks with students expected to complete approximately 10-12 hours of work per week. Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the course, although they are expected to attend a three day practical session which takes place at the end of the ‘Evaluation of Poor Performance’ module.

The key approaches to teaching, learning and assessment.

The programme is designed to offer busy veterinarians the opportunity to participate in part-time education (delivered over 12 months) and to enjoy the benefit of:

  • studying online at a time and place convenient to work and personal schedules;
  • joining an online community to exchange knowledge and ideas;
  • developing skills and knowledge that enhance the management and treatment of the equine athlete;
  • applying new learning experiences to professional practice.
The programme is offered as an online distance learning experience; therefore, applicants will be expected to commit to online learning and attend a prescribed workshop in University College Dublin. Computer/intermediate levels of IT Skills and access to broadband internet is necessary.

  • Develop a higher level understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, metabolic and thermoregulatory responses to exercise and training and how to apply this knowledge to the improvement of performance in the equine athlete.
  • Develop an understanding of the most appropriate tools to use to monitor physiological responses to exercise and training.
  • Have a clear understanding of the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance and how to distinguish simple and complex traits.
  • Acquire knowledge regarding genomic technologies and how they affect health and welfare of the equine athlete.
  • Develop higher level of understanding of circadian gene expression and how these are affected by exercise and training.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise clinical pathology affecting performance in the equine athletes.
  • Develop ability to judge performance in equine athletes and identify the factors leading to the poor performance.
  • Acquire skills to evaluate an equine athlete for reasons for poor performance.
  • Acquire knowledge regarding genomic technologies and how they affect health and welfare of the equine athlete.
  • Acquire skills to evaluate an equine athlete for reasons for poor performance.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise clinical pathology affecting performance in the equine athletes.
  • Develop a higher level understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, metabolic and thermoregulatory responses to exercise and training and how to apply this knowledge to the improvement of performance in the equine athlete.
  • Develop ability to judge performance in equine athletes and identify the factors leading to the poor performance.
  • Develop an understanding of the most appropriate tools to use to monitor physiological responses to exercise and training.
  • Develop higher level of understanding of circadian gene expression and how these are affected by exercise and training.
  • Have a clear understanding of the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance and how to distinguish simple and complex traits.

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Applicants are required to have a degree in veterinary medicine.

Applicants will require a computer and Broadband Internet access. To complete the programme applicants must have an intermediate level of IT skills, i.e. be able to browse the internet, download files, utilise email effectively, complete online forms, and use desktop editing software such as MS Excel and Word. While an extensive induction programme to online learning will be provided, applicants whose IT skills do not meet an intermediate standard are advised to undertake beginners IT training before commencing the programme.

The following entry routes are available:

For further information on when the next cycle of the course will run, please see http://www.ucd.ie/vetmed/study/graduateprogrammes/gradcertinequinesportsmedicine/.