Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Agricultural Courses-What are the options?

We are in a fortunate position that technology has allowed us to continue with courses throughout lockdowns and classroom restrictions. Students will now be considering third level course options so Serena Gibbons, Education Officer, Teagasc Galway/Clare, outlines what's available from Teagasc

Since March 2020 the delivery of Education programmes has changed dramatically with Zoom and online assessments accounting for the majority of the course work. We are in a fortunate position that technology has allowed us to continue with courses throughout lockdowns and classroom restrictions. It’s impossible to replace the classroom completely but technology has allowed courses to continue as per timetable, allowing students to complete courses at the planned date.

At this time of year, students will be considering third level course options.With lots of courses available, it is important to give careful consideration to course choice, for example:

  • Which course will bring the qualification I require?
  • Will it suit my current home/work situation?
  • Is completing the Green Cert all I need or will an alternative third level course in the Agriculture also qualify students as young trained farmers?
  • If I don’t get the points for a straight entry into a degree course, do I have options?

Green Cert Options

The Green Cert courses are available nationwide.  (In the examples given here I will concentrate on those available in the Galway/Clare Teagasc Region.) The Green Cert also known as the Certificate in Agriculture is the most widely accepted course to qualify for the Department of Agriculture schemes such as The Young Farmers scheme and TAMS.  It is also the qualification required for Stamp Duty exemption to those under 35 years of age on the transfer of land.

There are three options available to student wishing to complete the Green Cert

  1. Full time course in Agricultural Colleges - includes placement on host farm. Students apply directly to their chosen Agricultural College. Applications can be made on https://www.teagasc.ie/education/going-to-college/apply-online/
  2. Part-time course, available in regional Teagasc offices, to over 23 year olds. Students can apply to the local Teagasc Education officer. The next part-time courses in Athenry and Ennis Teagasc offices will take place in autumn 2021.  
  3. Distance Course, available at colleges and some regional offices for students who hold a level 6 or higher non-Agricultural Award.ie students with a Trade (Level 6), Diploma (Level 7), Degree (Level 8) in an non Agricultural area. Mountbellew Agricultural College are now taking applications for the next Distance course commencing in March 2021


Students who successfully complete the Certificate in Agriculture/Advanced Certificate in Agriculture may have the opportunities to gain entry to higher education courses. This is a great opportunity to further your studies post Green Cert.

Further Education

The further level courses are suitable for people who wish to make a career in agriculture but who do not wish to complete a higher level course. QQI accredited courses are suitable for future farmers and for people seeking employment on farms.

Examples of further Education courses are

  • Dairy Herd Management
  • Drystock Herd Management
  • Forestry
  • Crops and machinery Management
  • Pig Management
  • Poultry Management

All courses are 2 year full time courses and are delivered at various Agricultural Colleges

Higher Level Courses

University College Dublin offers Agricultural degree programmes in a variety of areas such as Forestry, Environment, Engineering, Horticulture and Food Science. Other Agricultural degree courses are run in partnership with the Institutes of Technology. These courses are accredited by QQI. They provide the education and training needed by future farmers and skilled workers in the Agri industry.

All higher level courses are available at Level 7 or Level 8 (Honours Degree Level) Level 7 course duration is 3 years, while the level 8 honours degree will take 4 years. Students apply for higher level courses courses through the CAO application. These courses also include valuable work placements in the many different agricultural industries both in Ireland and aboard, affording students’ great opportunities and experiences. These work placements often lead to graduate employment opportunities.

Examples of Higher Education Courses:

  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons) in Dairy Business, UCD
  • Bachelor of Science in Horticulture (Level 7)

Details of the courses listed are available at the link here  https://www.teagasc.ie/education/courses/agriculture/

Both the Department of Agriculture (DAFM) and Revenue Websites have lists available with acceptable equivalent courses to the Green Cert (Cert in Agriculture) Please note that the DAFM and Revenue differ slightly so please ensure the course you are considering is on both. 

It is important to put thought into what you want from your course as it takes time and commitment to complete your studies. Should you require any further information, please contact your local Teagasc Education Officer or Course Provider or https://www.teagasc.ie/education/