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Agricultural Science and Sustainability - BSc (Hons)

Course Code: US870




4 Years


Applied Science

CAO Points


Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO



The aim of this course is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills in agriculture with a focus on sustainability. While the course provides the students with a sound theoretical basis for understanding complex agricultural and environmental phenomena within a sustainable development context, its focus is on the practical application of knowledge and skills including agri‑business and on‑farm settings.

Agriculture and food is an expanding and vital sector in the Irish economy and sustainability is becoming increasingly important within that sector. The requirement for environmental and sustainability managers in the agribusiness sector is constantly growing. This degree is designed to develop graduates with expertise in the management of agriculture’s interaction with the environment who will be ideally qualified to take advantage of the growing employment opportunities.

The course is designed to give graduates the practical skills in the laboratory, fieldwork and farm skills to work in a broad range of sectors. There are also subjects on personal development which are valuable for success in the workplace. In the second semester of year 3, students will have the opportunity to take part in a work placement of their choice to hone their practical skills while in year 4 they will study atmospherics, carbon management and soil management which are essential in developing sustainable agricultural systems.

This course is offered in conjunction with Gurteen College and fulfils the requirement for Trained Farmer Status (Green Cert) (provisional). Gurteen College is a 414-hectare farm which includes a wide range of commercial enterprises providing an ideal learning environment. Students of this course will spend the semester 2 in year 1 and semester 1 of year 2 on the Gurteen College campus. 

Note: Accommodation is available at Gurteen College. This may be available at an additional cost. Gurteen may charge an additional fee to cover the cost of food and materials.

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of two H5 and four O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English or Irish.

FETAC & Mature Applicants

Please refer to the ‘Entry Requirements’ section of the TUS handbook for further information.

Advanced Entry into year 2

Applicants presenting the full level 6 QQI/FET (FETAC) award in ‘Advanced Certificate in Agriculture’ that includes 3 distinctions in any of the three specialisations listed below will be considered for advanced entry requirements.  

  • Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management – Level 6
  • Advanced Certificate in Drystock Management – Level 6
  • Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Crops and Machinery) – Level 6

Download Undergraduate Advanced Entry Form 2023

Who can I contact?

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What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

    Title: Semester 1 Modules


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    Family farming in Ireland, Introduction to Sustainable Development, Introduction to Environmental Chemistry, Introduction to Laboratory Practice and Measurement, Professional Skills in third Level.

    Title: Semester 2 Modules (Gurteen College)


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    Tillage Crop Husbandry, Animal Production, Soils and Peatland, Forestry, Farm Safety and Risk Assessment, Biology and Botany.

  • Year 2

    Title: Semester 1 Modules (Gurteen College)


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    Tillage Crop Management, Dairy Production Management, Beef and Sheep Production, Animal Breeding Strategies, Animal Welfare, Behaviour and QA Standards, Farm Business.

    Title: Semester 2 Modules (TUS Thurles)


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    The Irish Agri-Food Sector, Environment and Sustainable Development, Ecology, Farm Habitat Assessment, Farm Biodiversity Skills, Introduction to GIS and Surveying.

  • Year 3

    Title: Semester 1 Modules (TUS Thurles)


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    Grassland Management and NMP, Farm Management and Planning, Introduction to Environmental Impacts of Agriculture, GIS and Environmental Resources, Impacts of Agriculture on Water Quality.

    Title: Semester 2


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    Work Placement

  • Year 4

    Title: Semester 1 Modules


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    Agri-Environmental Policy and Key Issues, Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Economy and Sustainable Development, EMS and Auditing, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Project Management Skills

    Title: Semester 2 Modules


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    Extension and Innovation, Advanced Soil Science, Carbon Management in Agriculture, Atmospheric Processes and Climate Change, Final Year Project.

Are there opportunities for further study?

Graduates may pursue Masters or Ph.D. programmes in related disciplines in Ireland or abroad. 

What are the career prospects?

Graduates can avail of employment opportunities in agriculture, agri-food and environmental management. Graduates are qualified for a wide range of roles such as agricultural advisors, farm auditors, environmental officers/scientists with agribusinesses, the public sector and NGOs, or as researchers and consultants.

Graduates of the programme will achieve ‘Trained Farmer Status’ (Green Cert) (provisional).

This course also meets Teaching Council requirements for Agricultural Science.

**To work as a Farm Advisor submitting plans and payment claims to the Department of Agriculture for farmer clients you must be on the Department’s Farm Advisory System (FAS) list of approved advisors.  Requirements for listing include a Level 8 degree in Agricultural Science and undertaking FAS training.**

More Information

Further information on this course can be found on the Gurteen College website here.