Agri-Environmental Sciences

Course Information

BAgrSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN253
CAO Points Range 2018: 396
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 (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 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
  • 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

Focus on the environmental impacts of agriculture while you learn practical field and lab based skills e.g. landscape analysis using GIS. You will also become familiar with national and international policies, schemes and practices to protect rural environments. In fourth year, you complete advanced modules in environmental management, 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-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
  • Lincoln University, NZ


“My passion for science, nature and the environment led me to Agri-Environmental Science. Studying Agri-Environmental Sciences in UCD has broadened my perspective on agriculture in Ireland and made me think of possible changes we could make to improve such a huge environmentally impacting industry. Specific course modules are so varied, covering content from microbiology, soil science, nutrient management and entomology. If you are naturally curious and interested in how we can make farming more sustainable for future generations, this course is for you. With environmental sustainability becoming a major focus worldwide, I believe Agri-Environmental Sciences is an excellent area to be involved with.”

Aisling Moffat Final Year Student


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