The course consists of a combination of formal course work and a period of practical learning. The formal course work is split 50:50 (approx) between practical / skills training and classroom (theoretical) sessions. The course consists of a range of mandatory and elective modules. Students choose a cluster of elective modules in one of the following specialisms: dairy production, drystock production, machinery and crop production.
This course, accredited by QQI, is the introductory course for young people who wish to make their career as farmers. It is suitable for people seeking employment on farms.
Applicants for this full-time programme must be 17 years old or over on 1 January following entry to the course. This course will be of most benefit to anyone who has completed the senior cycle at second level (Leaving Certificate or equivalent).
Grass production – This module aims to establish insight into the knowledge, skills and understanding of grass as a crop, grass growth, grass measurement and management, grass conversation, grass skills, fencing and maintenance of the farm water supply.
Dairy Husbandry- This module focuses on equipping the learner with the knowledge and practical skills involved in dairy herd management. The modules examines the dairy industry from both Irish and Global perspectives, cows health and management, milk production, milk quality, housing design and performing a range of skills associated with dairy production in a safe manner.
Beef Husbandry- This module is intended to give the student an introduction to the beef sector. The topics covered include beef husbandry skills, animal health and welfare, breeding and cattle housing. Beef husbandry skills include Estimating Conformation and Weights, Valuing Animals and identifying Breeds and Crosses.
All Terrain Vehicles- the aim of this module is to equip the learner with the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to drive and handle an all terrain vehicle in a safe manner in compliance with relevant legislation.
Farm Business and Technology- the aim of this module is to provide the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to effectively use the latest technology available to farmers, recognise and communicate key drivers of farm business profit across all farming enterprises.
Farm Safety and Farm Assurance- This module aims to provide the learner with an insight into the key elements involved in safe farming and food production. This modules covers causes of accidents, assessment of risk, safe methods of work, farmer health and farm building and equipment design considerations.
Soils and the Environment- this module is intended to give the student a broad introduction to soils and the environments. Areas covered include soils classification, properties, composition and soil management, nutrient management, soil micro-organisms, environment legislation.
Safe Use of Pesticide Products- this module aims to provide the learner with the necessary knowledge, skill and competence in the safe use of pesticides in accordance with requirements of the current EU legislation and directives
Principles of Agriculture- this module will equip the learner with a broad introduction to Agriculture industry. It will provide an overview of the Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Tillage sector, plant physiology and animal behaviour and safe handling
Work Practice – On-Farm Practical Learning Period: Students on the Level 5 full-time programme spend eight weeks work placement commencing in March