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CAFRE – the college for me!

August 1, 2022

Ian Hyland, stepped into higher education at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) completing a Foundation Degree in Equine Management. Ian is continuing his studies at Enniskillen Campus on the BSc (Hons) Degree in Equine Management.

When leaving school Ian knew he wanted to pursue his education in ‘something’ relating to horses, but was unsure about courses and potential career opportunities. Ian reached out to his contacts working in the thoroughbred breeding industry. They recommended that he research the courses available at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus. After a reading about the courses, facilities and campus life on the website (, Ian decided to attend an Open Day to get a feel for the campus.

“As soon as I arrived at Enniskillen Campus, I knew CAFRE was for me. Viewing the facilities and having a chat with the staff provided me with great course insights and a feeling for the student experience. I was really excited by the prospect of studying on the Foundation Degree programme” said Ian.

The college’s ‘learning by doing’ approach enabled Ian to transfer knowledge gained in the classroom into practical activities in the equine yards. Ian, who has dyslexia found CAFRE offered a supportive learning environment. “The additional provisions put in place by the Lecturers and the Student Support Officer were second to none”.

On arriving to start his course Ian found that many of his peers were people who he had already met within the equine industry. This made the transition from school to college easier. “From day one, it felt like a family on campus; everyone was so friendly; from students to lecturers and you don’t get lost in the crowd” commented Ian.

The Foundation Degree offers a great stepping stone, from school to college. The course has many practical elements complementing classroom theory.  Ian particularly enjoyed the work placement aspect of the course crediting it as a “fantastic opportunity for networking as well as providing an opportunity to apply the skills taught at CAFRE”. Ian completed his work placement in Kildangan Stud, part of the Godolphin breeding operation. He enjoyed it so much that he continued to work there after he completed his placement.

Ian has progressed to study on the BSc (Hons) Degree in Equine Management. Ian’s ambition on completing the Honours Degree is to enrol on the Irish National Stud Breeding course. Ian says, “My time at CAFRE is providing me with the best possible opportunities to fulfil my career ambitions”.

Applications for Ulster University validated FdSc in Equine Management and BSc (Hons) Degree in Equine Management courses are being accepted via UCAS Clearing. Applications for Further Education courses can be completed through the CAFRE website. Campus tours can also be booked through the website.