UCC Undergraduate courses

Agricultural Science

Course Fact File
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBAgrSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138. See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 496
CAO Points Range2023: 496-589

Course Outline

At UCC we guarantee a comprehensive agricultural education; building from a foundation of fundamental sciences, developing core knowledge, instilling best practice applications using the very latest tools and technologies, and interrogating the business that is dairying. This course has been developed to ensure you as a highly-skilled and motivated graduate, are uniquely positioned to capitalise on the vast employment opportunities that await.

Two formative uniquely tailored Work Placement opportunities (dairy farm and industry) will serve to deepen your knowledge and forge your individual professional development. You will experience and implement best practices and be mentored by the very best.

Practicals, field trips, commercial farm visits, evening seminars and guest lecturers will enhance both your learning and overall experience.

Work placement forms a significant component of this degree programme. These work placements form the basis of a final year project (AG4001), representing assessment based on real-world application, challenging and consolidating your learning from the course.

Year 1 Modules

  • AG1001 Introduction to Agriculture (10 credits)
  • BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease (5 credits)
  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits)
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits)
  • CM1202 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry for Agricultural Sciences (10 credits)
  • FE1019 Introduction to Food and Agricultural Economics (5 credits)
  • FE1030 Introduction to International Food Policy (5 credits)
  • FS2005 Principles of Food Science & Technology (5 credits)
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science Part I (5 credits)
  • PY1109 Physics for Agriculture & Environmental Science (5 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

  • Anchored in the School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) at UCC, it is here on UCC campus that you will spend the majority of both first and second year. Teagasc’s input at this point will be delivered through a combination of visits (transport provided from UCC) to Teagasc Moorepark (Fermoy) and Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College, and a series of complementary field trips.
  • From third year, the Paddy O’Keeffe Innovation Centre at Teagasc Moorepark will increasingly become your base, You will become immersed in and enjoy the unique ‘Moorepark Experience’, gaining insight at first hand into the many flagship research experiments underpinning Teagasc’s latest cutting-edge advice.
  • It is recommended that students be in possession of a valid full driving licence prior to commencing their Work Placements in year 3.

Why Choose This Course

UCC has a long-standing reputation of excellence in Dairy and Food Science. Through collaboration with Teagasc and well-established links with the agri-food industry, Agricultural Science at UCC is specially tailored to attract those with a particular passion for dairying, who are ambitious, and committed to advancing their career in dairy farming or the wider dairy/agri-food sector.

Based in the heartland of Irish dairying, this course is offered by University College Cork in partnership with Teagasc. Teagasc Moorepark is both nationally and internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in pasture-based dairy research and innovation. Clonakilty Agricultural College has been a renowned flagship of practical agricultural training for over 100 years. This degree is truly research-led, constantly rebooted by the latest advances in agricultural research. Thus, ensuring students are exposed to the latest advances as well as enjoying a truly applied experience steeped in the legacy that is Teagasc’s low-cost pasture-based system’s ideology.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Work Placement

In year 3, you will undertake a total of 30 weeks of Work Placement (AG3001) across two settings. First, you will undertake a 18-week dairy farm placement with one of Ireland’s top dairy farmers. On this placement, you will experience all aspects of the day to day management of an intensive, highly efficient, profitable and sustainable dairy farming operation.

After, 12-weeks placement in one of Ireland’s key industry stakeholders tailored to your individual interest will also be arranged.

These work placements form the basis of a final year project (AG4001), representing assessment based on real-world application, challenging and consolidating your learning from the entire course.

Study Abroad

Placement abroad opportunities are currently not possible for the on-farm component. However, we do encourage and facilitate study abroad for Industry Placement where these placements are deemed high quality and consistent with the objectives and quality learning outcomes of the degree.

You will have an additional optional opportunity to tour New Zealand for two to three weeks visiting many of the top farms and key industry stakeholders. You will then commence work placement on a New Zealand dairy farm for 3 months. This work placement takes place during the summer after second year.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduate Study Opportunities

There are many options for further study (MSc and PhD) in Science or Agriculture. It is also possible to progress into graduate programmes, such as Graduate Entry Veterinary Medicine.

Career Opportunities

Students will be highly employable in the agri-food sector on completion of this programme. The knowledge, experience and professional development gained from this degree will make you stand out to prospective employers. It will provide you with vast employment opportunity both nationally and internationally.

Sample career opportunities include but not limited to leading roles within: Teagasc, DAFM, ICBF, financial institutions, dairy/food processing companies, agri-merchants, pharma giants, AI industry, enterprise management, private consultancy, education, marketing, communications, journalism etc.


Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H4 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish

The following are considered Lab Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry and Agricultural Science.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishMathsLab ScienceNote
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7 or H4* O6/H7 or H4* H4 in either a Lab Science subject, Maths or Applied Maths or Computer Science

* If the H4 is in Maths, Applied Maths or Computer Science an 06/H7 in a Lab Science subject is also required.

EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest. Applicants may also be called for interview.

Applicants must have studied Maths at second level or QQI FET or demonstrate involvement with Maths related areas.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

The cost of travelling between UCC and Teagasc centres, as well as field trips and site visits, during Years 1 and 2 will be covered. However, third-year students will be required to contribute towards the cost of travel for journeys to and from Moorepark and other field trips associated with the course. Also, students are responsible for any costs associated with work placement in Year 3 of the programme.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact