MAgrSc Agricultural Extension and Innovation

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc Agricultural Extension and Innovation is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme based in UCD and is focused on meeting the needs of those who are interested in developing careers in advisory, consultancy or education services in the public, private or non-governmental sector.

This MSc will equip graduates with the skills and knowledge to understand more about the processes of learning that underpin change and development and to be effective in building the capacity of farmers to adopt new practices and technologies.

A two-year part-time distance learning taught Masters option is also available for those working in the agri-food sector. 

Students will develop competencies in: analysis of the context of agricultural change; design and development of appropriate advisory strategies to support agricultural development; how to support adult learning and behaviour change and research and analytical skills to identify and support worthwhile innovations.

The programme emphasises and values group work, problem solving and creative thinking and encourages students to be active, self-directed and reflective learners. Assignments are based on real life case studies that are complex and unpredictable, reflecting the norms of practice in advisory and education services.

Placement Opportunity

Students on the full time programme have the opportunity to take an industry placement as part of their minor thesis. Students have taken placements with Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK, Microsoft and many other companies and institutions who support farmer advice and behaviour change.

The programme also provides opportunities for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for graduates who are already working in areas of knowledge transfer with farmers.

Careers & Employability

Across the globe there is increasing awareness of the critical contribution of knowledge transfer processes to sustainable and competitive agricultural development and graduates with competencies in agricultural extension are highly sought after.

Career opportunities for graduates of this programme are excellent and include advisory services, agricultural sales, agricultural media, agri-tech companies, consultancy and education delivery in the public, private or non-governmental sector. 

Graduate Roles

  • Agricultural Advisory
  • Agricultural Consultancy
  • Training
  • Education Delivery
  • Communications / Media
  • Sales / Account Management
  • Knowledge Transfer

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The Programme is primarily focused on meeting the needs of Agricultural Science graduates who are interested in careers in advisory, consultancy or education services in the public, private or non-governmental sector. This programme will suit you if you are interested in supporting farmers in agricultural innovation and development and are interested in understanding more about the processes of learning that underpin change and development. The programme is suitable for individuals interested in careers in agricultural extension and education in the public, private or non-governmental sector.

The Masters in Agricultural Extension and Innovation (available both part and full time) aims to build competencies in agricultural advisory and educational services and systems that can support and enable learning and behaviour change at farm level, so that farm households can innovate and build sustainable livelihoods in a context of changing agricultural policy and market forces. The programme prepares Agricultural Science graduates for future roles in advisory services, technical consultancy and education delivery as well as providing opportunities for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for agricultural science and other graduates who are already working in areas of knowledge transfer with farmers.  The programme equips graduates with the skills and knowledge to develop and deliver appropriate agricultural advisory and educational programmes that serve the needs of farmers and farm families who are their clients. The programme emphasises and values group work, problem solving and creative thinking and encourages students to be active, self-directed and reflective learners.  Assignments are based on real life case studies that are complex and unpredictable, reflecting the norms of practice in advisory and education services.  

  • Apply research and analytical skills required to identify and support worthwhile innovations
  • Be committed to ongoing reflective practice and professional development
  • Be competent to facilitate processes of knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange in support of client livelihoods
  • Demonstrate a specialized understanding of the agricultural knowledge and innovation system and in particular the synergy between research, extension and education as policy instruments in the context of agricultural change
  • Demonstrate an empathy and understanding of the interplay between economic, social, cultural, and psychological factors that affect farm household decision making and the ability to use this understanding to formulate appropriate responses to clients in different circumstances
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to support adult learning and behaviour change
  • Design and develop appropriate advisory and educational strategies to support agricultural development

MAgrSc Agricultural Extension and Innovation (D049) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9230
nonEU    fee per year - € 26400

MAgrSc Agricultural Extension and Innovation (D050) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4670
nonEU    fee per year - € 13200

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

  • Applicants must hold the equivalent of a minimum Lower Second Class Honours Degree (NFQ Level 8), or international equivalent, in a range of academic qualifications including Agricultural Science, Life Science and Business Degree programmes from a recognised higher education institution.   
  • Applications are welcome from people with work experience in government and non-governmental organisations that provide rural extension services in agriculture, environmental and community development.
  • 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.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Danny Fanning

MSc (Agr) Agricultural Extension and Innovation
While completing the Bachelors of Agricultural Science Degree at UCD I gained invaluable insight into the Agri-food industry value chain. This inspired me to complete further study in relation to knowledge transfer which plays a vital role in supporting agricultural development. When looking for a Master’s programme that would further develop my skills and knowledge to help support food producers uptake new practices and technologies the MSc in Agricultural Extension and Innovation programme ticked all the right boxes.

The School of Agriculture in UCD has a high reputation of teaching quality and the MSc programme provides an opportunity to learn from experts in the field of research and extension. The MSc programme industry linkages with the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) in the United Kingdom provided a unique opportunity to complete work placement in the UK. This allowed me the opportunity to conduct my research thesis in conjunction with AHDB, apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the lectures on a practical level and develop a network of contacts that will stand to me.

The following entry routes are available:

MAgrSc Agricultural Exten (D049)
Duration
1 Years
Attend
Full Time
Deadline
Rolling*
MAgrSc Agricultural Exten (D050)
Duration
2 Years
Attend
Part Time
Deadline
Closed

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised