Agricultural Science

What is the subject about? 

Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science is the study of the science and technology underlying the principles and practices of modern agriculture. It is a scientific approach to the knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that affect the long-term sustainability of natural resources; the land, plants, and animals, and places particular emphasis on the sustainable use of these resources for the economic and social benefit of humankind. Plants, animals and soils are investigated in the following areas: health and safety, technology, breeding and genetics, food production, nutrition, policy and economics, sustainability and environment. The new agricultural science course will be examined for the first time in 2021 and has a particular focus on sustainability. 


How is the subject assessed? 

There are two assessment components at Higher Level and Ordinary Level: 

I. Coursework Component (25%) 

This consists of a report on an Individual Investigative Study and is worth 100 marks, which is 25% of the overall marks for Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science. It is submitted in April of sixth year. This study will be based on a topical area of research which is set by the State Examinations Commission each year. For example, this year’s topic was: “Supporting conservation of the environment through Irish Agricultural practice”. As part of their investigation students gather and process data, evaluate evidence, and develop arguments. They read about current research and developments in science and relate their learning to the applications and implications of science for society and the environment. 

II. Written Examination (75%) 

There are two sections in the examination, and it is 2 hours 30 minutes duration. 

  • o Section A, you answer 10 short questions. There is some choice within these questions and each question is worth 10 marks. 
  • o Section B, you answer any 4 questions from a possible 5. Each question carries 50 marks. 

Questions arise from the areas of: Animals, Plants, Crops and the Nature of Science. 


Additional Comments 

– Agricultural Science is a good subject to study with Biology and/or Geography due to the overlap in course content. 

– It is a practical subject with 22 experiments to be carried out so an interest in lab work is desirable 

– There may be field trips. 

– You do not have to be from a farming background to study agricultural science; agricultural science is for students who want to learn about agriculture, food, plants and natural resources. 

– A considerable amount of learning and study is necessary to do well in this subject. 


Career Opportunities 

– Horticulture 

– Food Science 

– Agricultural Roles 

– Sports Turf Management 

– Environmental Science 

– Forestry 

– Farming 

– Marine Science 

– Careers in Renewable Energy 

– Teaching