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 as a VETDSS subject for secondary school students over 2 years or as a public course for adult learners over 1 year.
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 2022 enrolments.
Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions
We've had to make adjustments to how our courses are delivered due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This means that we're currently offering a combination of delivery modes including online and flexible learning and, where we can, on-campus classes with strict social distancing in place.
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.
Graduates can undertake further study in a range of equine or equine related qualifications in horse breeding, sport or racing:
Course Dates & Times
Wangaratta - Tone Road
Adult learners - Starts on 12/07/2021 - Blended online / 2021
Adult Learners - Starts on 22nd Feb - Online & On Campus - 9am to 4pm / 2022
1. Subsidised Standard: $2,352.00
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession): $470.00
3. Full Fee: $5,012.00
Course Materials: $280.00
Student Services Fees (per year): $85.00
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 2022 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 3 different components:
- 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:
- an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
- an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
- ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs.
- Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions.
- 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 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:
- Attend an interview (Adult students only).
- Undertake a Pre-training Review to document previous work experience and qualifications and assess suitability for the course (Adult students only).
- Complete a Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) test to ensure the required language, literacy and numeracy levels are met for the course (Adult students only).
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.
It is recommended students have current Tetanus immunisation.
VETDSS selection process will involve the student’s school VET coordinator who will approve the student engaging in this VETDSS program.
Course Study Units
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:
- Online quizzes
- Annotated photos
- Written assignments
- Practical assessment
Students must wear closed in footwear for all practical tasks to comply with OH&S requirements.
Attendance & Commitment
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.
- The course will be completed part-time over 1 year.
- Students undertake training by attending 38 x 1 hour webinars/tutorials and 5 one-day practical workshops.
- 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.
- Adults are required to attend the first practical workshop on commencement of course, with the other four training workshops highly recommended.
- The course will be completed part-time over 2 years.
- Students must receive the endorsement of their school to enrol in this course.
- In Year 1, training comprises of 28 x 1 hour webinars/tutorials, 2 x practical skills workshop days plus an optional 1 x day excursion of horse breeding stud enterprises.
- Students in Year 1 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.
- In Year 2, training comprises of 28 x 1 hour compulsory webinars/tutorials, plus 3 x webinars/tutorials for exam revision if undertaking studies for ATAR, and finally 3 x practical workshop training days.
Some commonly asked questions:
- Can I do this online?
Yes but attendance at practical days is required.
- What experience do I need to do this course?
This course requires students to have some experience with horses.
- When is assessment work due?
Assessment work is due throughout the duration of the program, with one resubmission allowed per assessment if work is deemed 'not satisfactory'.
- Do I have to do a placement?
Yes 40 hours in total.
Educational Support Services
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.
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.
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.
Jobs and study options
Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.
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.
Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.
We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.
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.