GradDip Animal Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

The Diploma in Animal Science is suitable for students who wish to undertake advanced studies in specific components of animal science in pursuit of upskilling and career development in the livestock sector. This unique postgraduate programme was designed after comprehensive consultation with leading stakeholders including animal nutrition and health industries. As a component of the suite of options available for the MSC, this new diploma also aims to equip graduates with cutting edge skills and position them for leadership roles in a dynamic and critically important sector of the global economy.

This innovative programme enables students to focus their studies on specific aspects of animal science including genetics & genomics, reproduction, nutrition and health. For those with an enquiring mind, a deeper understanding of scientific principles relevant to solving issues currently limiting system sustainability will be reflected in new modules developed including immunobiology, sustainable livestock and global food systems.

Careers & Employability

There are a wide range of potential employment opportunities for graduates from this programme. Agriculture is a global enterprise and as such progressive individuals will identify the contribution this diploma in animal science can make across a wide range of career trajectories. In additional, this diploma offers career development opportunities and progression for those already in employment.

Graduate Roles include:

Further education including PhD programmes nationally and abroad
Policy and advisory roles within governmental departments
Senior positions within leading nutrition, health, breeding and pharmaceutical companies

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

Flexible programme choices enable students to focus their studies on an area of specific interest for the development of deeper expertise or tailor their module choice for a broader selection. A key strategy of the diploma is to foster the development of communication and transferable skills to enable the student to best represent their skillset and become leading ambassadors for sustainable animal production systems. It is also important to recognise that connected pathway options enable students to progress onward from the Diploma to the MSc if desired.

The suite of postgraduate options have been designed in collaboration with Industry stakeholders and will be delivered by internationally renowned discipline experts. Guest lectures and new modules will showcase the latest developments in national and international research informed by innovative projects taking place at UCD Lyons Farm.

This programme is delivered and assessed entirely online and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The online format of the programme enables students enrolled to combine studying while in employment.

The global agricultural industry is under enormous pressure to meet the increased demand for animal protein from an expanding and increasingly affluent human population while minimising its impact on the environment. The FAO predict that meat consumption is projected to rise nearly 73 percent by 2050 and dairy consumption will grow 58 percent over current levels. Practices and technologies employed to meet these dual demands have implications for animal welfare, farm sustainability, the food chain and ultimately human health. Within the environmental constraints, the Irish government has ambitious plans to sustainably grow our agri-food sector (as reflected in Food Wise 2025), which is our largest indigenous industry and a critical pillar in our economic recovery. Therefore, from an international as well as a national perspective, there is considerable potential for UCD graduates to play key roles in responding to the challenges that agriculture faces both at home and abroad.  

This Graduate Diploma in Animal Science aims to provide advanced education and training in the application of the sciences underpinning best practice in animal science, to enable the development of key transferrable skills, such as communication and research expertise, and prepare students for opportunities in animal science-related industries. The Diploma in Animal Science is unique in its orientation to develop a new generation of graduates with the ability to translate knowledge of specific aspects of animal science into practice and develop competence in research methods relevant to specific areas of animal science.

Graduates of this programme will acquire the following skills in their chosen subject areas:

A spectrum of understanding of core foundational principles in Animal Science including the latest developments in each discipline.

An understanding of the current and future challenges of animal production enterprises and how research is meeting these challenges.

The ability to comprehensively synthesize and articulate the role of education, strategic and applied aspects of agriculture in identifying the solutions for the Agri-food systems of tomorrow.

The ability to apply animal science knowledge (e.g. Nutrition, Genetics, Reproduction and Health) for the sustainable production of livestock in a welfare-friendly and ethically responsible manner.

The capacity to demonstrate and apply a foundation knowledge of how cutting-edge developments in Animal Science ensure a safe food supply for consumers.

Knowledge on how to employ a range of media to effectively communicate with the multiple and diverse stakeholders in the Irish and International Agri-food sector.

The ability to apply relevant scientific evidence and other knowledge, to positively affect policy, regulation and public health relating to animal production systems.

The self-actualisation skills to occupy leadership positions and to take active roles in societal discussions surrounding sustainable animal production systems.

GradDip Animal Science (D086) Full Time
EU/NONEU    fee per credit - € 113.4

***Fees are subject to change

  • Applicants must hold a minimum of a Second Class Honours degree in a related science discipline (or international equivalent).
  • Candidates with significant prior relevant work experience will also be considered. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the Programme Director to discuss their eligibility. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis by the Programme Director.
  • 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.

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Animal Science FT (D086)
1 Years
Full Time

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