The Open College of Equine Studies (TOCES) offers a comprehensive range of equine distance learning courses ranging from basic horse care and stable management through to higher education equine science programmes.

However long you have been involved with horses, whether you wish to study for your own pleasure, to complete British Horse Society examinations, or to gain a professional academic qualification – we have a course for you.

Decide if you want to gain a recognised qualification as a result of your course. If you don’t, the range of TOCES Certificate courses will suit you. If you do, the BHS or BTEC courses would be most suitable.

If in doubt, look at the detailed contents of the lower level course and ask yourself whether you have a good basic knowledge of 60 – 70% of the topics covered. If the answer is ‘No’ we would suggest that you enrol on the lower level course – don’t worry if you find that you have already covered some of the work; it is important to gain a sound foundation of knowledge to build upon. If the answer is ‘Yes’, then the higher level course would be more suitable for you.

Potential Higher Education students should have at least three years’ experience with horses and have a thorough knowledge of basic horse care; these courses can prove heavy going if the underpinning knowledge is insufficient. Alternatively you should have a good scientific knowledge. Studying individual modules of a lower level TOCES Certificate or Further Education course can help prepare you for studying at Higher Education level.

Full course support

Our dedicated student support tutors are available to assist you throughout your studies. Keep in touch with fellow students too!

Internationally recognised qualifications

Gain an internationally recognised qualification through our various awarding body validated programmes

Learn while you earn

Continue to work full, part time or volunteer!

Study from home or school

Fit study in around your current commitments and while you gain practical experience in the equine industry.


Basic Stable Management

BHS Stage 1 Care


Novice Short Course Equine Anatomy and Physiology

BHS Stage 2 Care

Novice Short Course Equine Health and Nutrition

Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care (BTEC First)

Novice Short Course Care and Management of Horses

Senior Horsemaster’s Course 1


BHS Stage 3 Care

TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Horse Management

Instructional Techniques

TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Nutrition


Senior Horsemaster’s Course 2

Equine Physiotherapy
Diploma Programme

BHS Stage 4 Care and Management

TOCES Higher Education Diploma in Equine Nutrition

Higher Education Short Courses

TOCES Diploma in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation

Awarding Bodies

TOCES Certificate Courses are of value to prospective employers as well as to you personally as it reflects your commitment to study. Please note that although TOCES Certificate courses do not result in a validated qualification, the course material is of the same high standard as our validated programmes through BTEC, the BHS and City and Guilds.

City and Guilds are a leading skills development organisation, providing services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace. City and Guilds qualifications are valued by employers across the world, helping individuals develop their talents and abilities for career progression.

TOCES BHS examination preparation courses allows those unable to attend traditional training courses or train as a working pupil, to complete BHS Stage 1 to 4 Horse Knowledge and Care examination preparation through distance learning.

Pearson (BTEC) are the UK’s largest awarding body and are regulated by Ofqual (England), SQA Accreditation (Scotland), CCEA Accreditation (Northern Ireland) and Qualifications Wales (Wales). Pearson offer academic and vocational qualifications that are globally recognised and benchmarked.

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The Open College of Equine Studies
33 Pages Lane
Lower Green
Bury St Edmunds
IP28 6NJ

Registered Office:

The Open College of Equine Studies
Eldo House
Kempson Way
Bury St Edmunds
IP32 7AR
Company No. 04354226