Animal Science

Course Information

BAgrSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN250
CAO Points Range 2019: 423
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 175

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?

At the core of Animal Science is the study of the applied sciences that are fundamental to understanding how animals function and that underpin the principles of livestock production. The degree will give you an appreciation of:

  • The growth and development of domestic farm animals, and animal behaviour and welfare.
  • Animal production systems and how the components are integrated and managed in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner
  • The livestock industry in Ireland, the context in which it operates and its relationship to animal industries in Europe and worldwide

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

A range of opportunities exists, including:

  • Animal feed industry
  • Procurement, processing and marketing of animal products
  • Education
  • Consultancy
  • Farming and enterprise management
  • Journalism

Graduate research opportunities exist at Master’s and PhD levels.

What Will I Study

Modules include:

First Year

  • Introduction to Animal Science
  • Animal & Plant Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Information Skills
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Elective 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

  • Ruminant Animal Production (Dairy, Beef, Sheep)
  • 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-semester written examinations is used. Certain modules also require project work.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

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 semester abroad. Possibilities include:

  • University of Illinois, USA
  • Kansas State University, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Michigan State University, USA
  • Purdue University, USA


“I chose to study Animal Science at UCD due to my background in dairy farming. I had an interest in expanding and wanted to learn about other sectors. There has been so many highlights and opportunities that have come my way since studying Animal Science such as being on the winning ‘Great Agri-Food’ debating team, playing Polocrosse, getting involved in AgSoc and making friends from all around the country. PWE is a great opportunity within the course that lets you put what you learned in the lectures into practice and opens many doors into employment in the future. The whole agricultural science student body are one big family and I am sure there isn’t any other course in the country that is so open and friendly to everyone.”

Louise O’Connor Student


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