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Our aim is to develop a world class executive education programme for individuals and organisations to support the development of global leaders in the Agri-Food industry.

Our programmes equip current and future industry leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the global challenges facing the agri-food industry.

We design courses on key topics relevant to all sectors of this broad industry encompassing agriculture, food, nutrition, forestry and the environment.

We offer options for both individuals and organisations covering a range of topics

  • Short courses
  • Custom programmes
  • Postgraduate qualifications

We deliver flexibility in the delivery of Executive Education, face to face, blended or online options, through CPD or formal university qualifications which can feed higher post graduate qualifications (MSc) through the UCD pathways programme.

Discount for UCD Graduates

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science is pleased to offer UCD graduates a 20% discount on tuition fees for micro-credentials. To avail of this discount you must use your UCD login details when submitting an online micro-credential application, so that we can verify your UCD student details. If you cannot remember your UCD login details please contact the UCD Student Desk for assistance.

For further information contact (opens in a new window)julie.dowsett@ucd.ie

Programme Title

Manager Development Programme for major UK/Irish food producer

Programme Overview

This programme is designed based on the HR competencies of the organisation to provide a comprehensive Development Programme for young managers in all areas of the business.

Programme Objectives

The programme is designed help the graduates to address the global challenges facing the agri-food industry such as economic and environmental sustainability, food safety and healthy diets.

Expected Outcomes

The programme focuses on developing the skill sets of leadership, negotiation, communication and project management to ensure the graduates are equipped to take a leadership role to address these challenges.

Delivery Method

Delivery is given face to face on campus over 2-3 day blocks over a total of 18 days.

An Action Learning Project is identified for 5 teams to work on during the course of the programme and reported on in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ format to Senior Management Team at conclusion of programme.

Module Description

Self-Management – PDP, time management, self-awareness, networking , influence

Managing Others – Leadership and management, team management, feedback

Managing work – Innovation, NPD, Lean principles, project management, negotiation

The Agri Food Business – Market trends, food safety, finance, marketing, supply chain

More Information

Programme coordinator (opens in a new window)Julie.dowsett@ucd.ie

Programme Title

Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science (ONLINE) - D068

Programme Overview

Food Safety is an essential Public Health issue without which there is a significant threat to health from foodborne disease.  Understanding the legislation, policy and science behind maintaining a safe food system is essential for regulatory bodies, government and the agri-food industry.

The (opens in a new window)Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science  integrates science, law and food policy from pre-harvest to the consumer and brings experts together from UCD and beyond to helps students to develop knowledge and understanding of food risk and regulation and acquire skills to disseminate and implement knowledge in practice.   

The programme is suitable for those with a Level 8 degree in scientific discipline –experiential prior learning will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

This on-line programme gives you all the convenience that remote learning brings with flexibility and learning during your career, while also connecting you to all that UCD has to offer.

Delivery Method (online)

The Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science is delivered through the UCD online Platform (Brightspace) and will consist of online lectures, videos, interactive learning, discussion boards and virtual classroom environments.

Course content and structure

There are 3 modules each worth 10 credits. All modules must be taken. For each 10 credits module students are expected to undertake about 250 hours of work including online learning and independent learning activities. 

Career opportunities

On completion of this programme, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills relevant to Food Safety and Regulatory Science within the food industry and beyond which will develop your deep discipline specific knowledge. This can enhance your career options, progression and capabilities within the food industry, regulatory body, or within your own business.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a second class degree or higher in a scientific discipline. Applicants from other disciplines may be accepted on the basis of previous relevant experience and prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the Programme Director to discuss their eligibility.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English Language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element) or equivalent.

More Information & To Apply

Download more information: Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science

Apply: (opens in a new window)click here 

Contact: Ms Julie Dowsett, Programme Director, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science - Email: (opens in a new window)Julie.dowsett@ucd.ie

Programme Title

Prof Diploma in Food Safety & Quality for a global food and beverage manufacturer

Programme Overview

This programme provides students with a broad knowledge and understanding of food safety, foster their ability to assess available evidence and data, make sound judgements and communicate findings effectively to all stakeholders in the food chain.

Programme Objectives

- To deliver high level future managers who have an appreciation of the legal framework underpinning food safety & a knowledge of food regulation

- To provide students with an understanding of the chemical, physical and microbiological hazards that may be present in foods and how to identify them

- To have an overall understanding of food Risk Analysis from both a consumer and regulatory perspective

Delivery Method

This course is delivered entirely online, using UCD's e-learning environment, BrightSpace.

Module Description

Module 1 (10 ECTS): Regulation of the Food Supply

Module 2 (10 ECTS): Risk Analysis in Food Safety

Module 3 (10 ECTS): Managing Food Safety & Quality

More Information

Programme coordinator(opens in a new window)fiona.lalor@ucd.ie

Duration:           February to December 
Schedule:          Part Time
Starting:            Spring 2023
Contact:            (opens in a new window)Dr Tomas McCabe 
Fees:                 Click here for fee listings

  • HETAC Level 7 programme
  • Part-time programme delivered in three one week blocks at UCD and Teagasc
  • Completion of this qualification enables practitioners in crop advisory industry to register as pesticide advisers
  • Those registering to the module AESC30240 Pesticide use, Integrated Pest Management and the environment may use this to gain credits for CPD which is mandatory in order to remain on the register of Pesticide Advisors.

Overview - Who is the Course For?

This course has been developed by the School of Agriculture and Food Science in UCD and its course partner Teagasc at the request of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to fulfil the obligatory national requirements under the EU Directive (2009/128/EC) on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, enacted into Irish legislation by S.I. No. 155 of 2012. The course will provide training for persons wishing to register with DAFM as pesticide advisors. This course replaces the 10 day course in Crop Protection previously delivered by IASIS. 

What Will I Learn? How Will I Benefit?

The course modules will provide an understanding of the important issues relevant to the use of pesticides in crop production and the potential risks to human health and the environment and an understanding of the appropriate measures to reduce those risks as much as possible

The course will focus on the use of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices to reduce pesticide use in crop production by providing a detailed understanding of the biology and non-chemical control of weeds pests and diseases in crop production. The important aspects of pesticide chemistry including mode of action, physical properties and resistance risk will also be covered.

The course will provide guidance on the use of decision support systems for implementing IPM practices to guide the use of pesticides in crop production. The practical component of the course will require the attendee to provide logged practical work material including documented crop advisory work schedules which used IPM principles and practices in the use of pesticides in practice. During the course of their study specifically in Module 4. students will be given assignments which will require that they reach conclusions about very specific case studies on relevant IPM-based issues.

A number of the course modules will use case study examples of real practical pest-crop based scenarios relevant to the subject matter which will use decision support tools to make appropriate decisions relevant to sustainable pesticide use. In addition, small group work is planned to develop IPM solutions to important crop-pest problems relevant to unique local experience. Computer-based IPM tools will also be reviewed and used as part of this component of the course.

Course Delivery Details

The learning pathway for the students will commence in February of each year with a 10 month programme, with all modules including examination and project work completed by December of that year. The course will run once per year with modules 1 and 2 delivered in UCD Belfield Campus in the spring period (February / March), the Teagasc delivered supervised module 3 in early summer (April/May/June) with five attendance dates at Teagasc Oakpark. Module 4 (project-based module) runs during the autumn (September / November).


Course Modules:  Four Modules each of 5 Credits

Module 1: Biology and Control of Weeds, Pests and Diseases of Crops (CPSC 30060)

Module 2: Pesticide Use, Integrated Pest Management and the Environment (AESC 30240)

It is possible to complete AESC 30240 as a stand-alone CPD module. For further information, please see the Admissions section.

Module 3: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles and Practices (CPSC 30070)

Module 4: Use of Integrated Pest Management Practices in Crop Management Programmes (CPSC 30080) (Project based module)

For more detailed information on the modules, please see Professional Diploma in Integrated Pest Management and the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Module Listing.

Entry Requirements

Minimum requirement is Level 6 (FETAC) qualification in Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Crop and Machinery Management) or Advanced Certificate in Horticulture.

How to Apply 

Application to this course can be made online through the UCD website at www.ucd.ie/apply. Please select D041 as the major code for the Professional Diploma. Any queries should be directed by email to (opens in a new window)onlineapps@ucd.ie.

It is possible to register to Module 2 Pesticide Use, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the Environment (AESC 30240) as a Continuing Professional Development Module. Application is online through Online Applications at www.ucd.ie/apply. Please select D043 as the major code.


Click here for fee listings


The course is to provide training for practitioners who are currently working in the crop advisory industry to become eligible to register as Pesticide Advisers and continue to work in this industry fulfilling the professional training requirements under the Sustainable Use of Pesticides directive (S.I. No. 155).

Starting:            January 2023
Delivery:            Online
Duration:           12 weeks
Contact:             Dr Thomas Cummins 
Award:               5 credits at Level 4
Fees:                 Please contact the office 


This module introduces you to soils and will discuss the formation of soils, soil descriptions, the nature and causes of soil variation, the diversity of soil organisms, and the response of soils to management practices.
Topics include: The central role of soils in natural and managed systems paying particular attention to agricultural, forest and built environments; the formation of soils; the physical nature of soils; soil biology; soil descriptions; the intimate interactions between the physical and biological aspects of soil which help in the delivery of sustainable production and water management; and soil erosion.


Students will not be required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the module, however, students are expected to attend the end-of-semester exam. Students are required to spend a total 116 hours during the semester on activities consisting of:

Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 24 hours
Assessments, project and quizzes (throughout the semester): 16 hours
Student Autonomous Learning: 76 hours


2 hour end-of-semester written exam: 80%
In-semester assessment: 20%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will:

• understand pedogenesis
• understand the methods used in describing soils
• appreciate the factors which determine the type of soil occurring under particular environmental conditions
• understand the processes involved in the transformation of nutrients in soils
• appreciate the factors which determine the movement of water and nutrients through soil profiles
• appreciate the effects of physical manipulation on soil

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Otherwise, it is recommended that students taking this module should have a background in a discipline such as science, agriculture, engineering, geography or archaeology.

How to Apply

Application to this module can be made online through the UCD website at www.ucd.ie/apply. Please select Occasional CA12 as the module code. Any queries should be directed by email to (opens in a new window)onlineapps@ucd.ie

UCD micro-credentials are an exciting innovation developed and delivered by UCD's world-class academic faculty. Micro-credentials provide an opportunity to upskill in highly-specialised areas with short, accredited, flexible, and industry-aligned courses.

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science currently has micro-credentials in the areas of:

  • Food Regulation
  • Food Risk Analysis
  • Science and Standards of Food Safety
  • Concepts of Nutrition and Healthy Eating
  • Nutrition and the Consumer Diet
  • Global Food Systems
  • Sustainable Livestock Systems
  • Livestock Disease, One Health & Immunity
  • Advanced Animal Nutrition
  • Creativity & Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems
  • Principles of Sensory Science
  • Communication & Agri-Innovation
  • Greencare: Policy & Practice

To find out more about micro-credentials and their benefits, visit the UCD Micro-credentials website.

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Agriculture and Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7205 | Location Map(opens in a new window)