University College Cork (UCC) has a long reputation of excellence in dairy and food science. In 2019, they collaborated with Teagasc to develop and implement a Bachelors of Agricultural Science Level eight degree.
Twenty-three students have now completed the four-year course becoming the first-ever cohort of students to graduate from UCC with a level 8, BAgrSc (Hons) degree.
The graduation took place on Friday 10 November 2023. Speaking about what the graduation means to UCC, Dr. Deirdre Hennessy, B.Agr.Sc., Ph.D. Lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture (Grassland) says:
“It’s a big day for UCC as it is the first cohort of agricultural science graduates that have gone through the programme.
“They have put a lot of trust in UCC to take on this new course and we can see that they have grown, matured and learned a lot. All the graduates are working now and are employed in various sectors across the industry which is brilliant to see.”
Structure of the course
The first two years of the course provide students with a foundation of basic science knowledge while introducing them to agricultural science modules.
From third year onwards, the course gets more practical as students spend two days a week at Teagasc Moorepark. After Christmas in third year, students complete 18 weeks of placement on a dairy farm and 12 weeks in an industry setting. The fourth year of the degree is carried out in Teagasc Moorepark full-time with research led teaching. The course is in high demand with 496 CAO points required for entry in 2023.
Meet the graduates
Liam Wall, Crookstown, Co Cork
“I knew I wanted to do something with agriculture as I am from a farm and when this course came up, I was delighted as UCC was always the college I wanted to go to.
“The highlights of the course were the 18 weeks of on-farm placement and the 12 weeks of industry placement.
“Moorepark provided big learning experiences as the lecturers are expert researchers in their own fields, and you can go to them for advice or if you have any questions.
“If people have any interest in agriculture, I would tell them to just go for it, it’s a great course.”
Jack Keane, Ardmore, Co Waterford
“I decided to do the course in UCC as I always had an interest in farming, so I wanted to figure out the reason behind the jobs being done on the farm.
“I enjoyed the four years especially the 18 weeks on farm placement, which I spent on a dairy farm in Kilnamartyra.
“My favourite module was animal nutrition, bovine genetics and genomics. Since finishing the degree, I have been farming at home and there is plenty to be done.
“I gained a lot of skills and experience from the course and I understand a lot more about what is happening on the farm.”