Agri-Environmental Sciences

Course Information

BAgrSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN253
CAO Points Range 2017: 408
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 20

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 (plants, animals, air, soils and water) 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, to give you:

  • An understanding of rural environmental issues in Ireland, the EU and worldwide
  • A detailed knowledge of sustainable agriculture and land management practice
  • The skills to contribute in future farming and land use industries, as either a scientist, 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 AES graduates follow career paths as environmental 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
  • Plant Biology
  • Soil Science
  • Applied Zoology
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology

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, while learning practical field and lab-based skills e.g. landscape analysis using GIS. You will also become familiar with national and international policies to protect rural environments. In fourth year, you complete 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-semester 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.

International Study Opportunities

A five-month period of structured Professional Work Experience (PWE) takes place in third year. You can also elect to study abroad for one semester, at universities including:

  • University of California, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Purdue University, USA


“I have a passion for the environment, particularly how agriculture can interact with it in various positive and negative ways. This is what attracted me to the Agri-Environmental Sciences course at UCD. The course has an excellent mix of subjects that have been very beneficial and have provided me with a broad understanding of Agri-Environmental Sciences and its associated disciplines. The course also involves many field trips, which provides valuable practical experience.

For Professional Work Experience, I worked on a large dairy farm in The Agri-Environmental Structures Division of The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and I worked in the Teagasc Advisory Offices in Dundalk. The experience is very broad and has shown me the real world applications of both the agricultural and environmental aspects of the course.”

Leo McGrane, Graduate


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