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BSc in Environmental Science and Agriculture

Course Code: LC428


Level

07

Duration

3 Years

Department

Applied Science


CAO Points

278

Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO

Location

Thurles

 The agriculture and agribusiness sector is growing strongly, and there are further plans for expansion under the Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025 reports. A key challenge for agriculture will be to increase production in a sustainable manner which does not negatively affect the natural environment. This programme will provide a strong foundation in science and environmental management, combined with specialist agriculture modules. It will allow successful graduates to work in the environment and agriculture sector, with a clear understanding of relationships between agricultural, food production, and key environmental issues.

 

 

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 5 O6/H7 grades in Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English/Irish.

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

 

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

    Title: Introduction to Environmental Science

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide learners with problem-solving skills and basic scientific knowledge focused on application to environmental and natural resource management. This module is complimented by the practical work in the Applied Environmental Science module.


    Title: Applied Environmental Science

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of the module is to provide students with skills in analytical techniques for analysing organic and inorganic components in the environment. It will ensure that students are competent to work safely in a laboratory environment using good laboratory practices. It will develop student skills in scientific writing and comprehension. This module will link with the Introduction to Environmental Science module to provide students with practical skills to enhance their learning.


    Title: Environmental Maths and Computing

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and analyse data that they will encounter in their future environmental careers. It will also give them the computing skills needed to manipulate and present data and reports.


    Title: Rural Land Use & Environment

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide learners with an awareness of the nature of the principal land uses in Ireland and the interaction between these land uses and the quality of the environment.


    Title: Farm Enterprises Theory & Practice

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce learners to the essential theory and practice of commercial farm enterprises in Ireland.


    Title: Introduction to Sustainable Development

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    This module will explore the historical, policy and practical context of sustainable development as a contested concept. It will provide students with an introduction to basic economic concepts, while alternative development paradigms and the global nature of sustainable development will also be studied.


    Title: Professional Skills in Third Level

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module aims to develop the personal and Professional skills of students to prepare to effectively negotiate their academic and professional journey.

    This module introduces students to the principles of effective communication and to develop their personal awareness and develops their communication, team working and presentation skills. The module uses the framework of Emotional Intelligence in developing good customer relations and in creating effective client communication while also examining strategies for managing the challenge of working in interpersonal conflict situations. In addition the module focuses on the students study and academic writing skills as required for 3rd level.

    This module is very interactive and application based so an 80% attendance is required from students.


  • Year 2

    Title: Earth Science and Ecology

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a critical appreciation of the key concepts and principles of geology, geomorphology and ecology, the interlocking nature of these areas, and how they influence organisms including humans.


    Title: Field Study Skills

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with the practical skills to work competently and safely in the field. It gives students the transferable skills in practical fieldwork and provides a general introduction to species identification, field surveying and geographical skills.


    Title: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems & Surveying

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is aimed at introducing learners to the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems and of Surveying. The module will introduce learners to methods of accessing as well as mapping spatial data. The module will provide learners with opportunities to undertake surveys using basic surveying equipment and to digitize and map the survey outcomes


    Title: Conservation & BioGeography

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to:

    • Introduce the general concept and implementation of conservation and biodiversity management
    • Outline the fundamentals of biodiversity management approaches concerning genetic, species, and ecosystems, to enable students to reflect on nature conservation and resource management and to outline guidelines for protecting and managing biodiversity in a sustainable way.
    • Provide an overview of the current conservation designations at local regional, national and EU scale
    • Introduce students to current best practice in Conservation and Biodiversity management.

     

     


    Title: Management Systems in Agriculture

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce students to the management system model and examine how it is applied in the agricultural sector to manage the safety, quality and environmental aspects of farms and agribusinesses.


    Title: Agriculture & the Agribusiness Sector

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the economic contribution of the main farming sectors in Ireland, their production systems and how they relate to the food and agribusiness sector. Relevant policy frameworks at national and EU level will be examined to identify expected industry trends.


    Title: Environment & Sustainable Development

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The module will review the current state of the environment at global and Irish levels and identify the major areas of concern which have arisen due to the impact of human activity. The complex relationships between the environment and society will also be explored, while approaches for sustainable development principles to be put into practice in order to address major areas of environmental concern will be identified.


  • Year 3

    Title: Geographic Information Systems 1

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is aimed at providing learners with the ability to use Geographic Information Systems as a means of investigating the environment as well as assessing potential environmental impacts. Through the module, learners will be able to develop skills in a range of mapping techniques.


    Title: Key Issues in Agriculture

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to enable learners to broaden their awareness of the key issues in agriculture as well as emerging issues relevant to contemporary agriculture at the national and international levels.


    Title: Introduction to Environmental Impacts of Agriculture

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to allow students to characterise and explain the impacts of both primary agriculture and agribusiness on the environment, to include soil, climate, air and biodiversity. The module will provide students with a competence in practical lab work for environmental analysis.


    Title: Planning and Environmental Assessment

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will provide learners with an understanding of the Irish Planning System with particular emphasis on the interactions between landuse practices and environmental resources. It will critically assess the traditional nature of land-use planning with a particular focus on the role and nature of environmental impact assessments.


    Title: Professional Development

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The module also introduces students to the key personal and professional skills to be effective in the workplace. The module introduces students to the concept of professionalism, ethical behaviour and customer service skills. The module covers job search, cv preperation and interview skills for students and maintaining an on-line presence for long term development.


    Title: Geographic Information Systems 2

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is aimed at providing learners with the ability to use a variety of relevant Geographic Information System packages as a means of undertaking detailed environmental analysis


    Title: Sustainable Agriculture

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to enable learners to enage with sustainability issues as they apply to agriculture. It will look at global and national challenges in balancing environmental protection with operating resilent food production systems that meet the demands of a growing global poplulation.


    Title: Impacts of Agriculture on Water Quality

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to allow students to characterise and explain the impacts of both primary agriculture and agribusiness on water quality. The module will provide students with a competence in practical lab work for environmental analysis.


    Title: Environmental Auditing

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The main aim of this module is to develop skills in the environmental performance evaluation of agribusinesses and farms.


    Title: Research Techniques

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    New scientific information is being published every day. To make informed decisions about environmental management one must be skilled in finding and assessing good quality information. This module will enable you to begin to practice vital research skills to prepare you for undertaking your own research projects and particularly a dissertation in year four.

    The communication and presentation of environmental and geographical science research is recognised as important skills across may sectors, in order to effectively communicate with scientific and non‑scientific audiences. These hard and soft skills are transferable to a variety of Environmental and Geographical employment scenarios .


    Title: Placement

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    Work placement is a key component of this degree programme as it calls upon the learner to bring the knowledge and skills developed in other modules into a real life work context. It provides an opportunity to gain experience of working in the environment sector, and will enable learners to gain insight, knowledge and appreciation of the nature and context of environmental work.


Are there opportunities for further study?

Graduates may wish to progress to the 4th year B.Sc. (Hons) Environmental Management in Agriculture degree. The option is also available to transfer into the 4th year B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental & Geographical Sciences.          

What are the career prospects?

Employment opportunities include work with companies carrying out on-farm environmental and sustainability auditing; as environmental technicians or environmental officers with businesses, public sector bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).