Level 5 Certificate in Equine Reproductive Physiology

Horses are bred to compete in sporting disciplines ranging from showing to dressage, show jumping to National Hunt racing and the global Thoroughbred breeding industry is significant in terms of revenue and size.  As a result many people are involved in, or interested in working in the field of equine breeding and stud work.  Whilst studying this short course you will gain an insight into the many facets of breeding horses.  The course starts by discussing the qualities of suitable breeding stock, introducing genetics and their impact on inherited traits.

The practical aspects of natural covering are discussed.  Developments in reproductive technologies have transformed the non-Thoroughbred horse breeding industry; artificial insemination allows mares to be inseminated with fresh, chilled or frozen semen from stallions all over the world and the development of embryo transfer means that a successful mare’s genetic contribution can be maximised.

You will study the development of the foetal membranes and learn the principles of embryology. The stages of pregnancy are discussed in terms of foetal development and preparation for parturition.

Course Accreditation

Academic Level:

Higher Education Level 5

Number of Modules:


Study Hours per Unit:


Total Hours: 


Course Duration: 

6 to 12 months

Study Week Requirements:

Optional Higher Education Study Week (Additional fees apply. Please see Study Week page)

Upon enrolment you are provided with access onto TOCES’ online E-Learning Centre where you will find your study guide, study planner, Course Advisor and tutor information, course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

The HE specialist short courses consist of:

  • Detailed illustrated text in pdf format which you can print or download and save.
  • Online learning resources including in-text questions and activities.
  • Pre-recorded webinars, online lectures and videos.
  • You will study and complete *one formative assignment and *one summative assignment for each short course. Referring to the course material, you will complete the assignments at your own pace, within the maximum study period, and submit online for marking and assessment. Your work is assessed by a qualified tutor, graded and returned to you with detailed feedback.
  • Upon completion of the course you will receive a graded TOCES certificate.

Some short courses offer optional or compulsory study week attendance at TOCES’ yard in Suffolk. This consolidates the theoretical studies with a mixture of taught classroom based lessons and practical sessions.

*HE SC 1 / 2 Equine Anatomy and Physiology has two formative and two summative assignments.

For all HE Specialist Short Courses students must be:

  • at least 16 years old
  • prepared to undertake independent study and hold a
  • level 3 or equivalent qualification in a similar subject area and/or
  • three GCSEs at Grade C (4) and above.

If you do not hold a level 3 qualification you may wish to consider an Intermediate Specialist Short Course.  Satisfactory completion of this will ensure you are suitably prepared for the HE Short Course.

Course Accreditation

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Module/Unit Details

  • Module 1

    Mechanisms of heredity at the organism, population and species level
    – Genetic information, heritability, genotype, phenotype, qualitative inheritance, quantitative inheritance, monohybrid inheritance, dihybrid inheritance, gender determination and linkage, colour inheritance, breeding programmes, inbreeding, line breeding, outbreeding, crossbreeding, and the principles of inherited disorders.

    Reproductive anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion
    – Reproductive anatomy of the mare and stallion. Suitability of mare for breeding purposes, suitability of stallion for breeding purposes, reproductive anatomy and physiology, gametogenesis, spermatogenesis, semen, oogenesis, oestrus cycle, foal heat, oestrus, examination of the mare’s genital tract, manual examination, ultrasound examination.

    Preparation for covering and covering procedures
    – Covering procedure, stud fees and associated terms, health checks, nutrition, swabbing, documentation, nomination agreement, passport, EVA certificate, clitoral swab, endometrial swab, Coggins test, mare certificate, stallion certificate, laboratory certificate
    Teasing, covering procedure, pasture method, covering in-hand, preparation, methods of restraint, covering yard, artificial insemination.

    Stages of pregnancy
    – Pregnancy diagnosis, rectal palpation, ultrasound scanning, blood tests, urine analysis, twin pregnancies, stages of pregnancy, fertilisation, development of foetal membranes, stages of pregnancy, milk production, care of in-foal mare, nutrition, feeding, general care, problems in late pregnancy, ‘running milk’, placentitis, colic, prolonged pregnancy, pregnancy failure and disorders of the reproductive tract.


Full Payment


  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year
  • Additional fees apply for Optional Higher Education Study Week

Pay as You Learn

£41.68 Initial Fee

  • 4 Payments of £20.83
  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year
  • Additional fees apply for Optional Higher Education Study Week

Online prospectus

View our 2021 prospectus


  • Enrolment and Fees

    Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year

    Following enrolment you will be provided with access onto our online E-Learning Centre where you will find all of your course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

Online prospectus

View our 2021 prospectus

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