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?

Our World faces immense challenges; climate change, mass migration from the countryside to mega cities, food shortages, excess consumption, food waste and pollution. Through the sustainable cultivation of plants and an increase in plant-based diets, many of these challenges can be overcome. Plants provide the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, our shelter and medicines. This course covers the sciences, environmental studies, business, management and communication skills related to growing food and non-food plants. You will also study the science behind developing and maintaining Ireland’s designed landscapes, golf courses, tennis courts and sport pitches. The objectives of this degree are to give you:

  • Knowledge of the growth, development and protection of plants, and use of plants for food, leisure, sports, social and environmental benefits
  • An understanding of horticultural plant production systems and how their components are integrated and managed in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner
  • The skills to become a competent, competitive and confident leader who will excel in the national or global horticulture community as a professional horticulturist or horticultural scientist
Course Pathways
What Will I Study

You’ll study core science subjects in first year, and then develop your horticulture knowledge with specialist modules.

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

  • Business Management
  • Soil Science Basics
  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant Biology
  • Fundamentals of Horticulture
  • Health, Welfare and Safety in Agriculture

Third Year

  • Plant Protection
  • Pests
  • Soil Science Applications
  • Plant Diseases: Biology and Control
  • Landscape, Trees and Shrubs
  • Professional Work Experience (PWE)

Fourth Year

  • Food Production: Mushrooms, Fruits, Vegetables etc & Post Harvest Physiology
  • Enterprise Development & Strategy
  • Research Project
  • Nursery, Garden Centre & Retail Horticulture
  • Professional Communications

Students spend an average of 40 hours a week attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals and participating in industry site visits and field and greenhouse workshops, and undertake independent study and research.

Assessment includes continuous assessment (e.g. class tests, essays) and end-of-trimester written examinations. In your final year, assessments are largely based on the project reports.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

All or part of your five-month PWE in third year can be taken abroad, with possibilities including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Britain and Europe. Studying abroad for one trimester is also a popular option for many students.

  • Cornell University, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Lincoln University, New Zealand
Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

This degree maintains strong links with the horticulture industry. Career opportunities include management, technical advisory, consultation, research, quality assurance and sales or marketing positions, working for companies or within your own business. Opportunities also exist in state, semi-state, EU and international organisations. Your transferable skills will make you highly employable in other industries. Master’s and PhD degrees are also available.

Other Entry Routes

“UCD has a great reputation for preparing students for careers with an open and welcoming environment. Having always had an interest in plants, I decided to return to university to pursue a career in Horticulture as a mature student. The School of Agriculture and Food Science has a large cohort of students and the staff are always there to offer support. For my Professional Work Experience (PWE), I worked in a nursery and continued to work there part-time after my placement. PWE gives students the option to gain experience in the workforce and learn the necessary skills, which will help in the future. For my first-year exams, I received an award based on my results so there is an incentive to do well academically. After I graduate, I plan to pursue a career in research.”

Stuart Gordon, Student


Contact Information

Dr Caroline Elliott-Kingston
e. caroline.elliottkingston@ucd.ie

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

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