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Dairy Herd Management

This training will equip graduates with the knowledge, skills and capabilities for the role of dairy herd manager on their home farm or as an employed farm technician/manager. or herd manager.


The recommended training for someone seeking a career in the dairy farm sector is to complete the:

Duration: The Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture is one year, and the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture is one year.

Qualifications: These programmes are validated by QQI and successful completion leads to a:

  • Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture Award (5M20454) and
  • a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (6M20486).

Entry Requirements:  There is a seperate application process for each programme. Applicants must be 17 years old or over on 1st January following entry to the Level 5. Students must sucessfully complete the Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture, or equivalent course, to meet the entry requirement for the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Dairy Herd Management). Applicants with relevant prior learning and/or life experience will also be considered.

Application Process: The initial application should be made for the Teagasc Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture Programme. Apply Online On successful completion of the Level 5, applications can be submitted online for the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture.

Delivery locations

This dairy education option is offered at:

Teagasc Ballyhaise College, Co. Cavan

Teagasc Clonakilty College, Co. Cork

Gurteen Agricultural College, Co. Tipperary

Teagasc Kildalton College, Co. Kilkenny

Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway

Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick

Transfer and progression

Learners who successfully complete the Certificate in Agriculture / Advanced Certificate in Agriculture may apply to progress to the to the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management.  

Higher Education Links Scheme: Learners may seek opportunities in higher education through the Higher Education Links Scheme. Please contact the relevant higher education institute for further information.

Advanced entry into higher education: Holders of a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture can apply for advanced entry into certain degree programmes. PLaces are limited. Additional Information can be accessed via the relevant college website.

Employment: Many graduates progress into employment in roles such as dairy herd technician or herd managers.

What will I study?

Sample content from the Teagasc Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture programme (* Choice of module will be at the discretion of the college / centre

QQI Code Title Level Credits
5N1433 Work Practice 5 15
5N20368 Principles of Agriculture 5 15
5N20371 Farm Safety and Farm Assurance 5 15
5N20374 Soils and the Environment 5 10
5N20377 Farm Business and Technology 5 10
5N20380 Safe Use of Pesticide Products 5 5
5N20388 Beef Husbandry * 5 10
5N20396 Dairy Husbandry * 5 10
5N20399 Grass Production * 5 10
  Electives* 5 20

 Sample content from the Teagasc Level 6 ACA programme (Dairy Herd Management)

QQI Code Title Level Credits
6N20462 Farm Management and Business Planning 6 10
6N20463 Sustainable Farming in the Environment 6 10
6N20464 Sustainable Farm Development 6 15
6N0305 Managing Ruminant Nutrition 6 10
6N3525 Applied Livestock Breeding 6 5
6N20471 Dairy Husbandry Management 6 15
6N20472 Grassland Management 6 5
6N20476 Milking Process Technique 6 5
6N20485 Grazing Platform Designs 6 5
6N1947 Work Practice 6 15
  Electives* 6 25