Agricultural science is the fastest growing Science subject at Leaving Certificate nationally. Agricultural science is offered to leaving certificate students at both honours and ordinary level. There is a large practical component to the subject worth 25%. The written examination is worth 75%. The students must produce a portfolio which includes two crop projects, an animal production project and practical investigations that they have completed over the course of the two years. As part of their practical work, students must gain practical experience by growing two crops (potatoes and barley) on a small scale and gain some experience in animal production. The portfolio is assessed in a practical examination by an external examiner from the states exams commission.
During the course of the two years students study a wide variety of topics including: plant and animal physiology, genetics, microbiology, ecology, soil science, crop production, grassland management and animal production (beef, sheep, dairy and pigs). Both honours and ordinary level study these topics. There is a considerable overlap between agricultural science and biology. Many students find it advantageous to take both of these subjects for their leaving cert as a result. In addition the soil science material covered in agricultural science is also covered in the geography syllabus.
- Trips to a sheep, beef and dairy farm
- Students growing their own potatoes and barley
- Carrying out practical investigations in the laboratory