Rural Studies


North Highland College UHI is at the forefront in developing training programmes for land-based subjects. We have built up a range of expertise and developed excellent relationships within the industry with estate owners, veterinary nurse practices and equine specialists.


Collage of rural studies studentsWe have recently been awarded the College Development Network Award for Innovative Learning and Teaching for our flexible studies equestrian course which is delivered at our Rural Studies Centre and various satellite training centres across the country. 

Our gamekeeping department were also awarded top prize in the education category at the Scottish Rural Awards 2017 in Edinburgh.

Our courses


We also have a number of Gamekeeping short courses available.



We work with a number of employers and organisational bodies to ensure our students are trained to industry standard including LANTRA, RCVS, British Horse Society, City and Guilds (approved centre) and VNAC (veterinary nursing approved centre).

Students train at our state-of-the-art Rural Studies Centre - the only one of its kind in the North of Scotland. We understand how important it is to our students to experience a modern teaching environment with the latest technology which is why the Centre is equipped with high specification classrooms and a large video conference suite. Our impressive facility includes international sized outdoor and indoor arenas, tack room and 20 purpose-built loose boxes where students can bring their own horse to stay. The Centre also has a custom veterinary nurse training area including theatre, kennels, preparation room, isolation area and consultation room.

Our equine students are encouraged to enter competitions and participate in shows, which enables them to further develop their practical abilities and is also an opportunity to network with professionals within the industry. To endorse our students' academic capabilities and enhance employment prospects we also prepare them for British Horse Society Examinations. 

Our gamekeeping students use modern technology to take tissue samples from fallen deer which they send to PhD research students at our Environmental Research Institute for analysis. Using the latest mobile technology, our gamekeepers can then download the data and advise their Estates on the supply of essentials minerals to their deer stock.

Our lecturers use a blended learning approach to teaching which is a combination of learning methods. Veterinary Nursing Students can expect lots of interactive lessons with guest lecturers and practical tasks, inspiring field trips to the Exotic Animal Rescue Centre and the SSPCA as well as opportunities to observe industry practitioners such as animal dentists, physiotherapists, farriers and learn through guest speaker sessions.