Master’s Studentship (MSc or MRes)

Hartpury University
September 14, 2023
Hartpury University, Gloustershire, United Kingdom
Job Type


Equestrian sports, particularly horse racing, but also in the Olympic disciplines are becoming subject to increasing public scrutiny, with non-equine stakeholders questioning if traditional training and management practices are ethical and necessary. This has led broader animal welfare advocates to introduce the debate that equestrianism requires a social license to operate (SLO) in the modern era. The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) aims to proactively support their members by providing evidence-informed guidance on key welfare considerations to ensure ethical breeding practices that enhance the health and welfare of sport horses.

The proposed study will focus on systematic reviews of existing research and relevant grey literature (non-scientific industry sources) to inform an evidence-based approach to outlining key areas that will underpin sport horse breeding practices aligned to the five domains outlined in Mellor’s 2020 Five Domains model, with the aim of producing ‘white papers’ to contribute to a WBFSH welfare policy document.

The concept for this studentship arises directly from industry. The project will be supported by Hartpury’s partner, the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses. Potential candidates should be prepared to be based within easy travelling distance of Hartpury University.

For more information and for an initial discussion please contact: Assoc. Prof. Jane Williams: or Lorna Cameron: Lorna.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of vibrant postgraduate community in an idyllic rural setting, with world leading facilities and undertaking impactful cutting-edge research.

Studentships comprise of full Master’s tuition fees(£9500), as well as funding to support data collection and production of the report allowing the student a pivotal position in the development of future equine welfare policy.


Studentship Selection Criteria:

 Please demonstrate the following criteria in your CV and/or covering letter:

  • Essential undergraduate degree in a field relating to either equine science, equine welfare, veterinary science or a related field.
  • Essential quantitative data analysis skills in
  • Desirable experience/background with horses and riding
  • Desirable skill/experience of working with others in a research setting and/or industry experience
  • Strong evidence of understanding of Social License to Operate (SLO) within equestrian fields
  • Strong evidence of understanding of the Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare Assessment
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English

Knowledge of sports horse breeding practices, systematic reviews and written and spoken communication skills French and /or German would be advantageous for this position.

Candidates should also be aware of the following:

The normal expectation is that applicants will hold at least a 2:1 Undergraduate qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. The candidate’s degree relevant to the studentship should demonstrate their potential for practice-led research or alternative evidence of research aptitude.

Applicants whose first language is not English require a recognized English language qualification. The minimum entry requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or IELTS score 7.0 or TOEFL score 600 (or demonstrable equivalent).


Applying for a Master’s studentship

To apply for a Master’s studentship you must send the following documents to

  • A curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)
  • Copies of academic transcripts
  • A covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship
  • Your undergraduate dissertation or another relevant piece of research you have completed or contributed to.
  • If English is not your first language, certification of English language qualification

Applications that do not arrive by Midnight (UK time) on 28th of September will not be considered.

If your application is selected, you will be invited for interview on 4th of October 2023. All applicants must ensure their availability on this date.


Key Dates:

28th of September 2023: Deadline for submission of applications

29th of September 2023: Interview invitations sent to shortlisted candidates*

4th of October 2023: Interviews at Hartpury*

9th of October 2023: Deadline for accepting studentship

Studentship begins October 2023 or January 2024

*Please note that by submitting an application you are confirming your availability to attend an interview on 4th of October 2023.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment. All successful candidates will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks along with other relevant employment checks.

 Hartpury values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Drop files here browse files ...
Translate »
Are you sure you want to delete this file?