Level 4 Certificate in Sward Management

To meet their physiological and inherent psychological needs, all horses should, ideally, spend as much time turned out at pasture as is possible and practical.  Turning out has definite advantages to both the horses and the people with responsibility for their health and well-being.  In order that these advantages can be fully exploited the land must be managed to provide a safe environment and provide the horses with optimum nutrition.   Whilst studying this short course you will investigate the land’s requirements in terms of agronomy and the horses’ requirements in terms of fencing, shelter and water provision.

Course Accreditation

Academic Level:

Higher Education Level 4

Number of Modules:


Study Hours per Unit:


Total Hours: 


Course Duration: 

6 to 12 months

Study Week Requirements:


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

    – Soil horizons, soil profiles, the textural triangle, plant nutrients, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, macronutrients, soil nitrogen, trace elements, atmospheric nitrogen, nitrogen fixation, composition of soils, mineral matter, soil organic matter, soil air, soil water, soil types, soil testing, soil fertility, soil nutrient reserves.

    Grass and grassland for equine pasture
    – Grassland weeds, types of weed, toxic weeds and plants, poisonous trees and hedges, desirable grass species, herbs, seed mixtures, grass growth, nutrition available from grass.

    Grassland management
    – Weed control – mechanical and chemical, drainage, drainage techniques, when to seed and re-seed, harrowing, rolling, fertilising, types of fertilisers, machinery requirements, types of machinery and equipment.

    Pasture management in relation to the equine establishment
    – Muck dispersal, field boundaries, suitable and unsuitable fencing materials, gateways, shelters, water provision, grass crops, grass conservation, grazing systems, and effects of horses on grassland.


Full Payment


  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year

Pay as You Learn

£50 Initial Fee

  • 2 payments of £25
  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year

Online prospectus

View our 2021 prospectus


  • Enrolment and Fees

    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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