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Certificate III in Equine Studies


Certificate III in Equine Studies 22513VIC

Course Overview

The Certificate III in Equine Studies is the recognised qualification to start working in the equine industry. In this course, students will develop a foundation of understanding about working with horses, studying topics such as behaviour, care, nutrition, anatomy and physiology.

This course is offered through blended learning or as part of the VETDSS (VET Delivered to Secondary Schools) program. Students interested in undertaking this course through VETDSS need to enrol through their school.

Applicants need to have previous experience with horses and are required to complete 40 hours of placement over the duration of the course. Please note that riding horses is not part of the course delivery.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2023 enrolments.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

This course will enable successful graduates to apply for employment in different sectors of the equine industry in roles such as stablehands or stud hands.

Working in the industry may involve handling horses, preparing horses for exercise, cleaning stables, feeding, rugging and working with horses. Hours can vary between equine enterprises and may include early morning starts and weekend work. Students need to be aware that working with horses can be physically demanding and so a moderate level of physical fitness, agility and strength is required.

Further Study

Graduates can undertake further study in a range of equine or equine related qualifications in horse breeding, sport or racing:

  • RGR30619 Certificate III in Horse Breeding
  • ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
  • AHC40116 Certificate IV in Agriculture

Course Dates & Times

Wangaratta - Tone Road

Adult learners - Starts on 19th July - Online & on campus - 9am - 4pm / 2022

Public - Starts 21st Feb - Online and Prac Workshops / 2023

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession)
3. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fee (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2023 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of three different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    a) an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    b) an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    c) ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) – contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session, induction session, or during the pre-training review Interview.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

Training package entry requirements

There are no training package requirements for this qualification.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

Before being accepted into the course, applicants must:

  • Undertake a Pre-training Review to document previous work experience and qualifications and assess suitability for the course.
  • Complete a BKSB (Basic Key Skills Builder) test to ensure the required language, literacy, and numeracy levels are met for the course.
  • VETDSS: Please ask your School's VET coordinator or Careers advisor to apply for this course.

Applicants must also:

  • Have had some experiences with horses.
  • Be aware that working with horses can be physically demanding and a moderate level of physical fitness, agility, and strength is required. Students must be able to perform tasks including carrying feed/water buckets, manoeuvring wheelbarrows, using brooms, rakes, shovels, and lifting gear (e.g. rugs/saddles) onto a horse.
  • Be over 15 years of age at the time of commencement.
  • Complete a self-assessment of their horse skills, prior to entry.
  • Have an intermediate level of digital literacy and reliable access to a computer and the internet in order to undertake the considerable online components of the course.
  • Students attend 80% of webinars and students must attend the scheduled practical workshops onsite at Tone Rd Campus, Wangaratta.

It is recommended students have current Tetanus immunisation.

selection process will involve the student’s school VET coordinator who will approve the student engaging in this VETDSS program.

Core Units
Handle horses safely
Apply knowledge of horse behaviour
Work effectively in an equine organisation
Implement horse health and welfare practices
Implement and monitor horse feeding programs
Relate equine form to function
Identify equine anatomy
Identify and describe equine physiology
Elective Units
Work safely in industries with horses
Examine horse breeding principles and practices
Prepare for the care of pregnant mares, foals and young horses

Assessments will be varied and have been designed to provide students to build a portfolio of evidence of their skills and knowledge. Assessment methods may include:

  • Quizzes
  • Annotated photos
  • Written assignments
  • Practical assessment
  • Case studies
  • tests

Students must wear closed in footwear for all practical tasks to comply with OH&S requirements.

Skye Rhodes-Mitchell

It is important that students commit to all course requirements, including study and assessments the students may need to complete outside their normal training sessions. These include online learning, weekly webinars and tutorials. A webinar schedule is provided on enrolment and webinars are recorded for convenience.

Adult students

  • The course will be completed part-time over one year.
  • Students undertake training by attending 38 one-hour webinars/tutorials. All webinars are recorded so that students can watch offline if they are unable to attend a particular class.
  • Students will attend three practical skills workshop days and three practical skills assessment day on campus and they will also attend one day excursion of horse breeding stud enterprises.
  • Students are also provided with self-directed research and learning activities throughout their course and it is anticipated that they will spend on average, two hours per week on research/self-directed activities. Students are required to spend time researching and undertaking assessments task which may include visits to equine workplaces.
  • Students consolidate their knowledge and skills by undertaking practical tasks with horses.
  • Adults must complete 40 hours of placement in the equine industry, where they will undertake duties related to their units of study and gain valuable knowledge and skills.
  • Students are provided with a study plan which outlines their course structure and an induction into the LMS-goLearn where the majority of their units are delivered through.
  • Students are required to undertake structured online learning through goLearn where they read learning materials, watch videos and You Tube and complete interactive learning activities related to the unit of study.
  • Weekly online or telephone support with trainers is available to all students over the duration of their training. Outside of this scheduled access, students can schedule a one on one phone call outside of working hours or in the evenings.

VETDSS students

  • The course will be completed one day a week over two years.
  • Students must receive the endorsement of their school to enrol in this course.
  • The course is delivered to Students via a weekly webinar for one-hour and they then spend the remaining five hours of that day working through their learning materials in goLearn.
  • The student has full access to their trainer for any assistance during their scheduled day release. Outside of this scheduled access, students can schedule a one-on-one call during working hours or in the evenings around their school and after-school activities
  • Students attend campus for two practical days per year and one day for practical assessment. Additional practical sessions are facilitated if required.
  • In addition students are expected to complete some research and self-directed learning of at least one-hour per week.
  • Students complete their knowledge assessments via goLearn and it is anticipated that it will take six hours per unit to complete these.

As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.

Further information is provided at course induction.

Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:

  • Aspirations/career goals
  • Educational attainment and capability
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer

Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.

Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:

  • Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.

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