Graduate Certificate in Equine Sports Medicine


Graduate Certificate(NFQ Level 9)

Qualification Points:

Graduate Certificate – 30 Credits

Duration: 1 year
Start Date: January
UCD Academic Expertise:

This Graduate Certificate is offered, delivered and supported by academics in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

Fees: Fees should be confirmed by visiting UCD fees webpage.
Contact us: You can contact us by email using the form at the end of this page or by phone as follows:

Contact Name: Dr.Sue Rackard, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD
Contact Number: 01 7166223


Study can be done at a time and place that is flexible and suitable for you and is workable around work and family commitments. As a vet either already in equine practice or hoping to enter equine practice this course will provide you with up to date information and skills to bring to the investigation and management of conditions affecting of the equine athlete. Materials will be presented by a number of experts in equine science, physiology, clinical pathology, medicine and surgery.  A single practical session at UCD will take place during the course. 

What will I study?

The Graduate Certificate in Equine Sports Medicine consists of four 5-credit modules and one 10 credit module. 
  • Genetics and exercise physiology (5 credits)
  • Adaptation to training (5 credits)
  • Pathology and Clinical Pathology of the equine athlete (5 credits)
  • Evaluation of Poor Performance (10 credits)
  • Elective:  Dissertation or Case Reports (5 credits)

How will I study?

The Graduate Certificate in Equine Sports Medicine will be delivered through the UCD Blackboard system and will consist of e-Lectures, printable course notes, discussion boards, group exercises and live virtual classroom with tutors for Q&A. Delivery is through part-time, distance learning, so you can study at a time and location convenient to you and your practice. Students are expected to complete approximately 10 hours of work per week. Each module runs for 12 weeks.


Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the course. However, they are expected to attend a single practical session which will run over a two-three day period

To complete the course, students must have access to a relatively modern computer which matches the minimum specifications required to run the UCD software: Click here for specification.

Career Opportunities

The information and skills taught on this course are specific to sport horses and is information that is beyond the scope of the undergraduate veterinary programme. Successful completion of this course will result in additional expertise in this subject potentially enhancing the employment prospects for vets wishing to work specifically in practices that deal with equine athletes

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to have a degree in veterinary medicine.

Are there any additional costs?

There are recommended textbooks for the course which students are advised to purchase. Students should budget for the cost of travel and accommodation in Dublin for a single practical session.


“The post graduate course in equine sports medicine at UCD has been a very positive

experience for me: the subject material is very pertinent to vets engaged in equine practice

with a racing or competition horse bias. The topics covered offer a refresher on what one

learnt at college, in particular, the exercise physiology and adaptation to training modules

but more importantly there is a contemporary edge with a focus on new techniques and

developments within the fields of equine medicine and surgery, human medicine and

biological science. I hope that it proves to be a useful stepping stone to further professional

development and academic achievement. The staff at UCD have been very approachable

and enthusiastic and the on-campus veterinary teaching hospital is very impressive. The

combination of e-learning and the practical workshop help to blend the academic and

practical aspects of sports medicine. The fact that the certificate course can be completed in

a 12 month period is a boon.”

Robert Walsh MVB MRCVS, Senior Partner Corner House Equine Clinic,

Warwickshire, UK


“I wanted to undertake this programme to get as up to date as possible using a structured,

quality and relevant educational programme. I was appointed Senior Veterinary Surgeon at

the Turf Club in 2011.In this job I am constantly asked about poor performance and I feel it is

best practice to be in a position to advise what is likely to be required. This course has also

helped me in my practice work.

This course has made me consider the broader picture, i.e. that the problem may be

multifactorial in many cases. I specifically improved in the areas of lameness evaluation

and diagnosis and the changing picture that modern technology brings to clinical practice. It

has given me information which in some cases has altered (or indeed confirmed) long held

theories and has made me rethink prognosis in some cases.

I would recommend the programme to vets coming to realise that their future lies in the world

of equine practice and wish to develop their skills in that direction. Those who are rather

longer qualified will benefit from all aspects of the programme.

This is an informative, up to date, distance learning programme given by knowledgeable,

friendly, helpful people who are easily contactable and want to assist any enquiry. The

course keeps the student challenged all the way through, this was good for me because if

there was no dead-line I would be putting off whatever needed to be done until later, and I

found that the way the course was structured really did not allow me to do that.

There is more I could add, but I will just say Thank You to all concerned.”

Terry Smith, BVM, MRCVS, Senior Practice Partner, Tullyraine Equine Clinic and

Senior Turf Club Veterinarian, Co.Down, Northern Ireland


Get in touch with our course team...