Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

The multi-trillion euro global agrifood sector is the largest contributor to economic development globally, and underpins rural employment and livelihoods. However, the environmental impacts of food production must be dramatically reduced, and new opportunities are emerging for farmers to diversify activities and income streams as society accelerates towards a climate neutral and circular bioeconomy. This exciting new four-year BSc is for the next generation of agrifood professionals who will need to deliver food security in a rapidly changing world. The multidisciplinary teaching team, based in the University of Galway and Teagasc, comprises internationally recognised research leaders in animal science, plant science, agri-sustainability and the bioeconomy.

Through practical skills training at Teagasc centres in Athenry, Grange, Moorpark and Oak Park, multiple farm demonstrations, and a 12-weeek farm placement, Agricultural Science at the University of Galway provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals of animal and crop science. This is coupled with rigorous training in quantitative systems analysis necessary to navigate farming through the biophysical and regulatory constraints that the sector will face as society deals with the evolving climate and biodiversity crises.

In addition to core technical knowledge and skills for agricultural science, the course includes state-of-the-art training in geographic information systems (GIS) to manage spatial data, carbon foot-printing of farms and entire food value chains to understand emissions sources and abatement measures, and farm business management. Through guest lectures and access to advanced agriculture and land use software models, students are exposed to important perspectives on what climate-neutral farming could look like in Ireland. Final year students are tasked with developing a 10-year plan for their placement organisation, incorporating technical knowledge of farming practises, business planning, emission abatement measures and an assessment of diversification options in the context of farm succession planning. This course provides essential knowledge and skills for the next generation of successful farmers, farm advisors, land managers and other agrifood professionals, civil or public servants, scientific researchers and educators.  

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

The course is taught by academic staff from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Microbiology and Geography, with input across 12 modules from subject experts in Teagasc.  

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint), Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)


Average intake

20-30 students

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

4 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Year One

First year students study foundational modules across the three core science subjects: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These are supplemented with three subject-specific modules introducing agricultural science and concepts of sustainability. First year equips students from different academic backgrounds with the basic knowledge across science, agriculture and sustainability necessary for subsequent years.  

Year Two

In second year, students study technical aspects of agricultural science in more detail, covering topics such as animal nutrition, animal health, animal breeding and physiology, farm health and safety and cropping systems. In addition, students learn how to measure agricultural sustainability (including through calculation of farm carbon footprints), and take a 10-credit module in geographical information systems to develop skills in spatial analysis and data handling. Rural business development, scientific writing and environmental microbiology round off the second year.

Year Three

In the first semester of third year, students study a range of science and geography modules, including grassland and forage production, food systems and climate change, soil science and farm financial management and planning. In the second semester, students spend the entire semester (12 weeks) on a farm placement at a farm enterprise of their preference. During that time, they gain invaluable hands-on experience in a farm setting, but also have to compile data on the farm operations in order to benchmark the technical efficiency of the farm in an assessed report. This provides a basis for fourth year farm planning modules. If students can demonstrate that they have equivalent farm experience and can obtain the data necessary for the farm benchmarking, they may choose to undertake a placement on a non-farm agrifood enterprise.  

Year Four

In their final year, students undertake modules focused on farm planning, in which they draw upon knowledge and skills obtained throughout the course to develop a 10-year plan for their case study farm (usually their placement farm). Through exposure to different perspectives on future industry and agri-environmental policy developments, students are encouraged to consider future risks and opportunities linked with the transition towards a climate-neutral bioeconomy. Students also take higher-level modules specializing in dairy, beef, sheep, pig and poultry production, as well as plant breeding and agri-biotechnology modules. Finally, students engage with wider assessment of global food systems and circular bioeconomy value chains to critically reflect on the role that Irish agriculture does, and could, play in an evolving global economy.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Graduates of the Agricultural Science BSc will be eligible to pursue postgraduate courses pertaining to agriculture, food systems, land use and science more widely, including courses within University of Galway such as the MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security. They will also be strong candidates for a wide range of research-based PhD opportunities in the fields of agri-sustainability, food systems and the bioeconomy offered throughout Ireland and globally, including through the structured PhD programme in Plant & AgriBioSciences at the University of Galway research postgraduate promgrammes.

With the appropriate postgraduate teaching qualification, graduates could go on to teach related second level subjects including Agricultural Science and Biology.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This new programme builds on University of Galway’s established reputation for excellent teaching and research across agribiosciences and sustainability. The course is delivered by internationally-recognised research leaders in animal science, agri-sustainability and the bioeconomy, ensuring students are provided with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the agrifood and land sector through challenging times ahead. Co-delivery of technical modules with Teagasc provides a strong foundation in agricultural science training, achieving Green Cert accreditation. But what set this Level 8 degree apart from other courses is the strong focus on multi-scale systems thinking to explore sustainable and resilient future pathways for Ireland’s agrifood sector – in the context of growing global demand for food and bio-based resources for the bioeconomy, yet within the constraints imposed by national obligations pertaining to climate change, biodiversity and water quality. There is increasing pressure on the agrifood sector, and farmers, to reconcile food production with the intensifying climate and biodiversity crises. This course provides the essential breadth of perspectives and skills to tackle those challenges head on, forming the next generation of agrifood leaders, advisors, educators and policy makers.  

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

In Year Three, students spend a semester on work placement, usually on a farm but potentially in another agri-food enterprise if they can demonstrate prior farm work experience and access to farm data.

Study Abroad

The BSc Agricultural Science degree does not include a formal international study option, but can accommodate student-led study abroad or international placement opportunities as they arise, where they are compatible with the curriculum. 

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,268 p.a. (€7,408 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€4,268 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€26,000 p.a. (€26,140 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy** €140.  **Payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here.

Find out More

Nora Buckbee
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences 
E: PAB.AgSci@universityofgalway.ie

School/College webpage