Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 hour lectures per week
Practical 5 x 4 hour practicals per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Outline the principles of genetics using examples from horses and discuss their application to breeding for coat colour and the control of lethal or deleterious conditions with Mendelian inheritance.

2. Apply the basic concepts of quantitative genetics to the improvement of the health and performance of the horse.

3. Describe breeding schemes for sports and leisure horses and evaluate aspects of their design that influence the rate of genetic improvement for metric traits.

4. Evaluate the potential applications of emerging technologies in the genetic improvement of horses

Brief description

This module discusses the genetic principles that underlie selection programmes for the improvement of the health, welfare and performance of horses.

This module will review current knowledge of genes that are involved in the inheritance of coat colour and health of the horse. The effects of inbreeding and heterosis will be outlined and their implications for genetic improvement, breed formation and genetic conservation will be considered. Special emphasis will be placed on a study of the principles of quantitative genetics and their application to selection for single and composite objectives. Factors that influence the design of improvement schemes for horses will be explained and the potential applications of reproductive technologies and the uses of marker assisted selection will be discussed.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Animal breeding requires an understanding of statistical concepts such as probability, variance, regression and correlation. Skills in the use of numerical information will be developed during lectures and practical classes and will be assessed by examination.
Information Technology Computer assisted learning will be used in the delivery of this module.
Problem solving Developed in practical classes and assessed by examination
Research skills Lectures and practical classes will develop skills in interpretation and understanding of the scientific literature. Assessed by examination.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Bowling, A T (1996) Horse genetics CABI Primo search Bowling, A T and Ruvinsky, A (2000) The genetics of the horse CABI Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6