The Open College of Equine Studies (TOCES) is celebrating 25 years of equine educational excellence with special discounts.

Receive a £25 discount on all courses OR £250 off course fees of £2,700 and over when paid in full in advance (offers apply to all enrolments received between 10 September-25 December 2013, only one discount to be applied per enrolment).

Please visit for further information, email or tel: 01284 811 401

TOCES was founded in 1988 to provide study courses for everyone with an interest in horses — without the need to go to college. Since then the organisation has gone from strength to strength, and students from all over the world have studied a growing range of courses with it.

There have been a lot of changes over the years, and many challenges. One of the greatest changes has been in communication technology, which has made TOCES courses accessible to students in the farthest corners of the globe — from Zimbabwe to Oman, Turkey to Tasmania, Edinburgh to Epping — TOCES students are a truly international set!

25 years of experience have resulted in TOCES being at the forefront of international equine-distance and blended-learning programmes, but the college does not rest on its laurels and has many exciting plans for the future.

This autumn TOCES will be celebrating its success and very much looking forward to the next quarter of a century!

What is The Open College of Equine Studies?

The Open College of Equine Studies (TOCES) is based near Newmarket, Suffolk, England and was established 25 years ago. It has since developed a reputation for providing the highest standards of training in equine subjects to students all over the world. TOCES currently has over 1,200 students worldwide, offering around 45 different equine courses ranging from basic stable management for the complete newcomer to horses, senior horse masters courses for the more experienced and equine veterinary nursing programmes, plus a comprehensive range of higher education programmes, all by distance/blended learning.

What can I study?

Just about anything! TOCES courses are divided into four categories:

  1. TOCES certificate courses (designed, validated and certificated by TOCES)
  2. British Horse Society courses (preparation courses for horse owners certificates and horse knowledge and care stages examinations)
  3. Edexcel (BTEC) Courses (Designed by TOCES, validated and certificated by Edexcel)
  4. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons nursing programmes  (validated by City & Guilds)

Courses are available from novice through to higher education levels 4 and 5.

Student picking out hoof

What interests you?

  • Stable Management
  • Equine Anatomy and Physiology
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Equine Biomechanics
  • Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Equine Veterinary Nursing
  • Equine Business Management
  • Equine Behaviour and
  • Training Equine Breeding and Reproduction

These are just some of the topics covered on our courses — if your topic of interest is not listed above please ask us!

What is distance learning?

Distance learning allows you to study away from college (e.g. at home, on the train, plane etc), in your own time and submit work assignments online for marking and assessment. You normally study a combination of printed and online course material and tutors provide feedback, additional information and guidance throughout the course.

Distance learning is also referred to as ‘open learning’, ‘home study’, ‘correspondence courses’ and ‘flexible learning’. When combined with study week attendance it is referred to as ‘blended learning’.

This study mode frees people who want to study from the restrictions and limitations of many areas of traditional education and training, because there is no requirement to attend on a daily basis for the duration of an academic year. It can be an ideal method of learning for those whose work, family and horse commitments prevent them from attending college on a regular, full-time or part-time basis.

Learning to long-rein

How do the courses work?

Each course is divided into modules covering different aspects of equine health, care and management and normally consists of:

  • Detailed illustrated learning materials both printed and online
  • In-text questions and in-text activities to complete as you work through the material. Separate answer booklets are normally provided at the end of each module
  • Work assignments

Referring to the course material, you complete work assignments at your own pace and submit each in turn for marking and assessment. Your work is carefully checked by qualified tutors, graded where appropriate and returned to you with detailed feedback.

You then progress on to the next module in order to complete your course of study. Some programmes require attendance at study weeks.

Why are the study weeks important?

Happy students on TOCES course

Whilst academic qualifications are essential to prove a level of knowledge, in the horse industry it is vital that they are backed up by sound practical ability (and common sense!). On study weeks relevant practical skills are taught and assessed. For those with a good level of practical experience it will provide an opportunity to brush up and update. For those who have little experience, there will usually be extra instruction and the chance to practice.

In addition to practical skills, there will be many lectures to help the students understanding of the subject and back up the distance learning material studied.

Students attending study weeks tell us that they find them inspirational — all lectures and practical sessions are delivered by real experts in their fields. TOCES are so close to Newmarket that there is a visit in every study week either to Rossdales Equine Hospital, the Cambridge University Vet School or the Animal Health Trust — many local students haven’t had the opportunity to visit these centres of excellence, let alone international ones!

Study weeks also provide a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new friends.

Will an Open College course help my career prospects?

Many students study with TOCES to improve career prospects.

TOCES courses:

  • Develop practical skills and academic knowledge that can be used straight away in an equestrian career
  • Can provide a stepping stone to gaining professional qualifications

BTEC qualifications:

  • Can provide a recognised route to related degree courses, often straight into the third year
  • Are highly regarded by employers throughout the UK and overseas

Student looking through microscope

 Why should I choose to study via distance learning with TOCES?

  • TOCES offers a unique learning experience to students of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life
  • The TOCES team of writers, lecturers and course tutors are highly qualified experts, including world-renowned professionals
  • Course material, delivery methods and quality systems are of the highest standard
  • Courses follow a structured, yet flexible study programme with the full support of highly qualified course tutors. The level of tutor support and feedback ensures that a thorough understanding and depth of knowledge are gained
  • TOCES courses enable you to gain professionally recognised qualifications whilst continuing with work, family and horse commitments
  • Competitive fees and easy payment methods ensure that high quality tuition is affordable to all

Please visit for further information, email or tel: 01284 811 401