Animal Science

BAgrSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

UCD’s Animal Science programme is a four-year degree that delves into the applied sciences necessary for understanding how animals function and the principles of livestock production. You will explore the growth, development, and behaviour of domestic animals, and the fundamentals of sustainable animal production systems. Modules include animal biology, genetics, biotechnology, nutrition, and more.

In the later years of the programme, you will visit the UCD Lyons Farm for hands-on practical experience and complete a five-month Professional Work Experience placement. With opportunities to study abroad and a range of career options in animal health, breeding, enterprise management, and more, this degree is the perfect choice for anyone passionate about animals and their role in agriculture.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

You begin with introductory modules designed to give you a broad foundation in biological and physiological sciences as they relate to domestic animals. As you progress, you will study animal physiology, nutrition, genetics and breeding and how these sciences are integrated to optimise animal health and productivity.

You will have the opportunity to select elective modules according to your interests. Professional Work Experience in Stage 3 will provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of all the various animal enterprises to prepare you for final year.

Modules include:

First Year

  • Animal Biology & Evolution
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Mathematics for Agriculture
  • Physics for Agricultural Science
  • Agricultural Economics & Business
  • Introduction to Biomolecules
  • Cell & Plant Biology
  • Information Skills
  • Optional Modules

Second Year

  • Genetics & Biotechnology
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Biostatistics
  • Business Management
  • Agricultural Microbiology
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Animal Reproduction
  • Animal Breeding
  • Animal Physiology
  • Animal Genomics
  • Professional Work Experience (PWE)

Fourth Year

  • Dairy Production
  • Beef Production
  • Sheep Production
  • Non-ruminant Animal Production (Swine, Poultry)
  • Animal Health, Behaviour & Welfare
  • Grass & Forage Production

Students spend an average of 40 hours a week attending lectures and tutorials and participating in laboratory-based practicals, and undertake independent study. In the final two years, students make regular visits to UCD Lyons Farm to get hands-on practical experience.

A combination of continuous assessment and end-of-trimester written examinations is used. Certain modules also require project 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 five-month PWE placement takes place in third year and may be taken as a combination of on-farm, agribusiness and research centre placements. Some of this may be taken abroad (e.g. USA and New Zealand). In addition, an opportunity exists to take a trimester abroad. Possibilities include:

  • University of Illinois, USA
  • Kansas State University, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Michigan State University, USA
  • Purdue University, USA
Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

A wide range of career opportunities are available to graduates of Animal Science. These include entry into graduate study leading to Masters and Ph.D. degrees and a career in research, and/or in the Animal Health and Pharmaceutical Industry, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Animal feed industry, Procurement, processing and marketing of animal products, Education, Consultancy, Farming and enterprise management, and Journalism.

Other Entry Routes

“A great choice for anyone who wants to study production and understand the science involved. I was originally hesitant to attend UCD as it meant I would be the only one from my school attending. However, the subjects offered, and the placement opportunity in third year, made it too attractive to pass up. Being a member of AgSoc was an amazing opportunity to contribute to charity while meeting people from other years and the agricultural sector. A highlight was PWE. My five months spent within different sectors were invaluable. Hands on experience made me more confident, and focused my passion for future studies, helped by lecturers who inspired me to pursue a PhD.”

Laura Thompson, Student

Contact Information

Professor Trudee Fair

UCD Agriculture & Food Science School Office
Agriculture & Food Science Centre
Belfield, Dublin 4

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