Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Agri-food Science

  • Course Fact File
  • Course Code SG440
  • Duration 4
  • Points Required 315*
  • NFQ Level 8

Course Summary

The BSc (Hons) in Agri-Food Science (Level 8 programme) has been developed in response to the recent increased demand for graduates with an integrated skillset in the Agri-Food sector in Ireland.

The Agri-Food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and it currently provides direct employment for approximately 170,000 people. An additional 23,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the sector by the year 2025. This multi-billion euro industry is anticipated to continue to grow substantially during the coming decade based on the goals by the Irish Government in the strategic plans Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025.

The export of food from Ireland to more than 170 countries worldwide (at a value of over 10 billion euros) has increased significantly in recent years in response to a greater global demand for food. The export market for Irish food is expected to remain strong in the long-term as the world population will continue to grow during the coming decades.

The BSc (Hons) in Agri-Food Science focuses on the production of safe, nutritious and high quality food in an environmentally sensitive manner across the entire food chain. Core components of the course include: the study of the scientific properties of food; the analysis of the composition of food; food safety and quality; food processing technologies; quality assurance in food production; and food legislation and policy.

In year four, the importance of traceability and sustainability at each stage of the food chain (farm to fork) will be emphasised. The role of functional ingredients in enhancing the nutritional value or flavour of food, for example, will be studied. Students will be taught research skills of relevance to the development of new food products and processing technologies.

The course also includes modules on the primary production (farming) of food and the protection of the environment to support sustainability in the sector. In order to help prepare graduates further for employment, they will: develop essential laboratory-based analytical skills; learn about people management in the workplace; and understand the importance of health and safety at work. The marketing and sale of food forms an integral part of the Agri-Food sector and is included in the course. The BSc (Hons) in Agri-Food Science also aims to equip students with fundamental skills for roles in business development and project management.

A six-month industrial placement is included in the third year of the course where students will gain important experience while working with an Agri-Food organisation. This will help prepare students for the workplace and enhance their knowledge/practical skills.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO 2020 courses at ITSligo are available for download below:

A science subject at Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for this course.

Career Opportunities

 The Agri-Food sector offers skilled graduates a wide range of job prospects at national and international level. Agri-Food Scientists are employed in the food and drink manufacturing sector, government departments, research institutions, food consultancies and educational institutes, for example.

Graduates are typically employed in the areas of: food analysis (for quality assurance purposes); the regulation of food quality and safety; food traceability; sales and marketing of food; development of new food products and food processing technologies. In addition, successful graduates may work in business development or progress onto managerial roles within the Agri-Food sector.

Further Study

 Students may progress on to postgraduate studies at Master’s and PhD level (Level 9 and Level 10).

Did you know?

The Agri-Food sector in Ireland is expected to undergo substantial growth within the next decade.

The Irish Agri-Food sector exports to 170 different countries.

Around 170,000 people in Ireland are directly employed in the Agri-Food sector.

In 2015, the turnover in the Agri-Food sector in Ireland was 26 billion euros.

Ireland produces enough dairy products to feed over 52 million people each year.