Demand for Agricultural Science university degrees ‘remains strong’

Top universities say demand for Agricultural Science degree programmes “remains strong” despite a “significant downturn” in first preference submissions for the field.

hile the CAO offer process won’t be completed until later this month, University College Dublin, University College Cork and the newly named University of Galway (UG) expect all available places on their 2022 programmes to be filled.

It comes as more than 61,000 Leaving Cert students received results last week, with some 7,413 awarded grades for taking Agricultural Science as a subject.

A spokesperson for the School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD said: “We won’t know the actual position until after the CAO offer process has been completed, but we have seen an increase in CAO applications for our BAgrSc programmes this year.

“A total of 280 places are on offer across 11 Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree programmes which is the largest offering in Ireland.

In addition, the School of Agriculture and Food Science offers a further 70 places on BSc Food Science and BSc Human Nutrition programmes which are also very popular.

As in previous years, we expect all the available places on our programmes to be filled.”

Frank Buckley Professor of Agricultural Science at UCC said: “We are very fortunate that we continue to attract the very highest calibre of student… points over the past three years have been 493, 496 and 506, considerably higher than any other Ag Science offering nationally.

“Our course has been somewhat exclusive, with a quota of 25 students, and this quota will remain for 2022/23.

First preferences are down slightly, but that is to be expected given the significant downturn in first preferences for Ag Science nationally.

Cathal O’Donoghue Professor of Public and Social Policy at UG said its Agricultural Science degree, delivered with Teagasc and entering its second year, is thriving too.

“The programme has a strong focus on sustainability and uniquely is jointly focused both on Physical Agricultural Sciences and Social Sciences to develop future leaders in the sector.”

A Teagasc spokesperson added: “Overall across our colleges we are expecting a small increase in students above the 2020 and 2021 numbers for both the further education courses and higher-level courses with partner institutions.”

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