Agri-Environmental Sciences

Course Information

BAgrSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN250
CAO Points Range 2020: 453
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 26

Leaving Certificate:

O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject and two other recognised subjects

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

This degree focuses on sustainable management of natural resources (soils, water, air, plants, animals, landscapes) within the context of agriculture and other land-based industries, and protection of the rural environment for future generations. This specialist applied science degree will equip you for a career at the interface between production agriculture and environmental protection, by giving you:

  • An understanding of rural environmental issues in Ireland, the EU and worldwide
  • A detailed knowledge of sustainable agriculture and land management practices
  • The skills to contribute in future farming and land use industries, as either a scientist, advisor, consultant, planner or policymaker
  • First-hand experience of agri-environmental research as a basis for further studies
  • Interpersonal and professional skills required in a wide range of career paths

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Many graduates follow career paths as environmental advisors, planners or consultants. Others work in State agencies that require both agricultural and environmental management skills, including:

  • Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine
  • Teagasc
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service
  • Local authorities

A high proportion of AES graduates go on to further studies at postgraduate level.

What Will I Study

First Year

Focuses on teaching basic sciences relevant to agriculture (especially biology and chemistry) and provides an introduction to rural land-use systems and environmental issues.

Second Year

Focuses on the principles of crop and animal production and applied agri-environmental sciences. Modules include:

  • Ecology
  • Agricultural Botany
  • Soil Science
  • Applied Zoology
  • Microbiology
  • Introduction to Crop & Animal Science

On completion of second year, you have the opportunity to develop real-world scientific field skills through participation in a week-long residential field course in the Burren, Co. Clare.


Third & Fourth Year

Focuses on the environmental impacts of agriculture (e.g. management of soils, nutrients, pests, diseases) while you learn practical field and lab based skills e.g. landscape analysis using GIS. You will also study policies, schemes and practices to protect rural environments. In fourth year, you complete advanced modules in environmental management, modelling, rural conservation and sustainable agriculture, and you conduct a supervised research project and produce a thesis. This provides an opportunity to study a topic of your own choice more deeply, and gain practical experience of research and scientific writing.

Students spend an average of 40 hours per week attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory-based practical classes, and in undertaking independent study.

A combination of continuous assessment and end-of-trimester written examinations is used. A number of modules also involve written assignments and/or project-based work.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

You may be interested in the following blog post: Reasons to study Agricultural Science in UCD.

International Study Opportunities

A 16-weeks period of structured PWE takes place in third year. Assisted by a dedicated lecturer, students arrange the placements themselves, on a farm and with an environmental agency or company. This is a fantastic chance to get new experiences, make industry contacts, and put theory from classes to practical use. You can also elect to study abroad for one trimester, at universities including:

  • Cornell University, USA
  • University of California, USA
  • Kansas State University, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia


“My deep-rooted interest in agriculture and the environment made choosing Agri Environmental Sciences at UCD easy. The learning experience you get is a wide and varied one, where you gain knowledge of Agri-Environmental schemes such as pest management, soil science applications, climate, carbon and everything in-between. The course gives you exposure to all aspects of agriculture and the environment through lectures, practicals and field trips. Being able to apply skills through field trips to completing assessments while learning from experts is one of the main benefits of AES. I represented UCD in squash in the Leinster League and the All Ireland intervarsities, while also being secretary for the club. This allowed me to interact with many other students from different degrees and universities.”

– Henry Tennyson, Student


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