TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation

The Open College of Equine Studies is now accepting enrolments for the new Introductory Diploma in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation, to start in September 2018.

This Level 3 course is designed for those interested in equine therapy and rehabilitation and wishing to establish a foundation base knowledge upon which to build and develop further skills.  It is suitable for horse owners and those thinking about a future career in equine therapeutics.

The programme is comprised of 950 hours of study and two five day study weeks.


Aims of the programme:

  • introduce the key ethical and legal principles applicable to the application of equine therapy;
  • familiarise learners with the foundation skills and knowledge required to assist with the maintenance of health and soundness in the horse;
  • introduce learners to the specialist training requirements needed for professional development;
  • provide a programme of training which permits progression onto further training courses.

Study from home

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

Full course support

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

Learn while you earn

Continue to work full, part time or volunteer!

Course modules:


  • The Legal, Professional and Ethical Framework
  • Equine Anatomy and Physiology
  • Equine Health Management
  • Introduction to Equine Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Equine Massage
  • Introduction to Exercise and Movement Therapy
Upon completion:

This course is an introductory course, ideal for horse owners and those planning on undertaking further training in the future in order to become a qualified equine therapist.

This course on its own does not qualify you as an equine therapist.

January 2018 course fee: £1750

The above fees include all study weeks, assessments and examinations. The fees do not include travel or study week accommodation costs.

There is the option of spreading the cost using the finance arrangement.


12 Monthly Instalments

£575 £97.91

The above figures are examples of finance arrangements available and can be adjusted to suit your individual circumstances.  Deposits payable must equal a minimum of 10% of the course fee.

Please refer to the Finance tab below for further information.

Finance information:

If you are paying for your course privately and wish to spread the cost of your course fees you may apply for our finance options offered by our finance partners, Omni Capital*. Please indicate on your enrolment form if you wish to apply for finance.

  • Applicants must be 18 or over and have been a permanent UK resident for the last 3 years.
  • Please note that we are currently unable to offer finance options if payment of course fees is to be made through a business.
  • *Omni Capital is a responsible lender and as such will take great care to ensure applicants only take on a commitment that they can afford and for which they are financially suited.

Step 1: You will receive a link to apply to Omni Capital once we have received the completed enrolment forms.

Step 2: The application process is quick and simple. Omni Capital is usually able to validate the identification of an applicant without the requirement for additional identification. There may be some situations where further documentation is required; this can be provided online and there is no requirement for paper documentation.

You will be taken through a simple application form and guided clearly through the pre-contract explanation before digitally signing the application with ‘eSignature’. Once submitted a decision is returned within 10 seconds.

Step 3: As soon as your application is approved, TOCES will contact you via email to arrange payment of the deposit (initial payment). This can be made via credit/debit card or via bank transfer.


Omni Capital pre-finance contract information
Sample Omni Capital credit agreement
Accreditation and approval status:

Courses that are classified as customised provision are not on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) or regulated by Ofqual.

Throughout every aspect of the design of this course, rigorous quality standards have been the top priority, including:

  • course syllabus and content – to ensure the course is ‘fit for purpose’;
  • academic level and workload – to ensure the course is academically rigorous;
  • teaching strategy – to ensure learners will benefit from a team of highly qualified professionals in both the face to face setting, and whilst studying online;
  • practical tuition – to ensure learners are taught to the highest standards in a practical setting;
  • skills practice – to ensure learners undertake a minimum of 1000 hours of practical work;
  • assessment strategy – to ensure both practical skills and academic knowledge and understanding are assessed using a range of assessment techniques.

The course has been designed with reference to the requirements of the Sector Skills Council’s (Lantra) National Occupational Standards (NOS).

If, upon completion of the TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation you intend to progress to higher level study, check the exact entry requirements of the university offering the programme you wish to apply for.

The validation/accreditation status of this programme may change in the future.


There is one cohort per annum and places on this programme are limited.

Important dates for November 2018 starts:


Enrolment deadline: 28 September 5pm
Induction materials provided: 15 October
Course start date: 1 November
First study week: TBC
Academic Level: Further Education Level 3
Number of units/modules: 6
Study Hours per Unit: 150-200
Total Hours:  950
Course Duration:  18 months

The programme is taught via tutor-supported e-learning and attended sessions at study weeks.  During study weeks lectures will combine classroom and yard based studies.   The different topics of the programme will be taught and assessed by appropriately qualified staff, with a wealth of experience in their field.

Study weeks are held at TOCES in Suffolk. During the study weeks there will be a high level of hands-on practical work.  You are responsible for arranging, and paying for, your accommodation during study weeks.

A range of assessment methods will be used, including:

  • Essay style assignment submissions
  • Online assessments (inc MCQs)
  • Practical and oral assessment at study week
  • Invigilated written examinations at study week
  • Poster presentations
  • Peer group presentations
Practical Days attended

Level 3

Study weeks – 4½ day blocks


Applicants should be/have:

  • Aged 16 or above.
  • Minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C and above. These must include English Language, at least one Science subject and Mathematics.
  • Alternative qualifications of a comparable or higher standard may be accepted in lieu of the usual requirements.
  •  Equine experience comparable to a minimum of BHS Stage 2.
  • Non-native English speakers or those who have not studied the final two years of school in English, must demonstrate capability in English at a standard commensurate with IELTS 5.5

How much work is involved?
It is estimated that, including attendance at Study Weeks, each module involves an average of 150 hours study. To calculate how long a programme will take to complete multiply the number of modules by 150 and divide by the number of hours you feel you can spare each week. Although distance learning is a very flexible mode of study you must complete the course requirements before the course completion date. The more time you spend on additional research, the more likely you will be to attain high grades.

Modules generally consist of one Formative and one Summative Work Assignment. Project work and independent research are integral to most modules.  You will receive detailed tutor feedback for each Formative Assignment. Each Summative Assignment is graded and counts towards your overall qualification. Formative Assignments do not count towards the qualification grade and in some instances are optional.

You are also required to undertake independent research and read around the subject areas to increase your depth of knowledge and demonstrate the ability to analyse, disseminate and evaluate information.  We do not specify how many hours each assignment will take – this is included within the 150 hours and is individual to each student.

How long do the courses take?
We appreciate that our students have work, family and equine commitments so do not set rigid time limits. However a maximum completion date is calculated on enrolment.

Time taken depends on:

  • How much you know already – you will find some modules easier and more interesting than others
  • Work commitments
  • Family commitments
  • Equine commitments
  • Your dedication and motivation

To maintain a steady rate of work through a programme you should allocate at least ten hours per week to your studies. If you cannot find ten hours in a week you must appreciate that it will take longer to complete the course and extra costs will be incurred after the maximum completion date if an extension is granted.

Can I work through the programmes in less time?
Due to the inclusion of study weeks which are scheduled throughout the course duration, it is not possible to obtain certification in a shorter time frame. You may be able to work through the course material and written assignments at a faster rate than estimated here if you are able to devote more time to your studies. However, we do not encourage students to work through quickly at the expense of the quality of their work.

Full Payment

  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
  • Two study weeks
  • Accommodation, breakfast and evening meals not included
  • Printing and postage fees additional (optional)
Enrol now


  • 12 monthly instalments
  • Deposit £575
  • 0% interest rate
  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
  • Two study weeks
  • Accommodation, breakfast and evening meals not included
  • Printing and postage fees additional (optional)
Enrol now

Payment options: 

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

Registered Office:

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