Unit 8 – Level 4 Sward Management
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Module / Unit Details
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 unit students will investigate the land’s requirements in terms of agronomy and the horses’ requirements in terms of fencing, shelter and water provision.
Module 8 Sward Management - Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate an understanding of soils
Soils: 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.
Evaluate grass and grassland for equine pasture
Grass and grassland: 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.
Discuss the management of grassland
Management of grassland: 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.
Appraise pasture management in relation to the equine establishment
Pasture management: importance of 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.
|Academic Level:||Higher Education Level 4|
|Number of units/modules:||1|
|Study Hours per Unit:||150|
|Course Duration:||Maximum of 12 months to complete course requirements|
|Study Week Requirements:||Optional Higher Educational Study Week|
This is a TOCES Certificate course. You will be awarded a graded TOCES certificate upon completion of the course. This will be 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.
As with all TOCES programmes, you will receive detailed study material – each module comprises two work assignments which are completed at home and sent in for tutor assessment and feedback.
The first assignment in each module are formative work assignments designed to prepare you for the second assignment, a summative work assignment which contributes towards your overall grade. The overall grade of your qualification will reflect the grades achieved in your assignments. You will receive a TOCES certificate on successful completion of the course.
For all programmes you must be:
- prepared to work hard
- disciplined enough to set aside time to study
- prepared to undertake independent study
- at least 16 years old
While not compulsory, applicants under the age of 21 should hold one of the following:
- BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Horse Management or a related area
- AVCE/Advanced GNVQ in an appropriate vocational area
- GCE Advanced level profile which demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or an adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C
- Other related Level 3 qualifications
- Access to Higher Education Certificate awarded by an approved further education institution
- Non-UK qualifications of a comparable level to those listed above
- Overseas students whose first language is not English must hold a minimum of level 7 International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Further information can be gained from www.ielts.org.
Mature learners (21 years and above)
Mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.
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 an HE 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?
You can work through the programme 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. You will also need to attend the correct number of study weeks and your payment status must reflect the rate at which you work through the programme.
Enrolment and Fees
Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year. Following enrolment, you will receive access to online course information and course material.
TOCES Higher Education Short Course
- Online access to all course materials
- Tutor support
- Printing and postage fees additional (optional)