5th Year Agricultural Science As An Extra Subject
Leaving Cert Agricultural Science, or “Ag Science”, looks at the science and technology of farming. The subject has grown in popularity in recent years as Agriculture has become one of the major growth sectors in our economy, providing many jobs.
Many students are now taking Ag Science up as an extra subject outside of school because:
- There is excellent overlap for students already studying Biology and/or Geography
- Continuous assessment of the practical elements of the course accounts for 25% of the overall mark
- It is recognised as a Laboratory Science subject for almost all 3rd Level courses, including Nursing
The Dublin Academy of Education will provide students with everything they need to maximise their marks in the practical and written aspects of this course, from detailed and comprehensive study notes to dedicated field trips.
Practical Portfolios will be worked on within class time and as part of the course, students will undertake laboratory experiments and two farm visits.
Students attending this course receive the following:
- A weekly 90-minute class
- Two mock exams
- Two farm visits
- All necessary laboratory practicals
- An intensive, 5-day Easter Revision Course, taking place during the Easter holidays.
The following topics are covered:
- Animal Diseases
- Animal Physiology
- Animal Production (Cattle, Sheep, Pigs)
- Classification of Organisms
- Crop Production
- Fertilisers, Pollution & the Environment
- Plant Physiology
- Soil Science
75% of the marks go for the written paper examining the topics above.
The other 25% is based on an assessment of your work. Your teacher is required to grade you. An external assessor will then validate your teacher’s grades, usually in May of 6th Year.
This assessment of work can be broken into three parts:
- Identification of plant and animal types associated with agriculture (usually a written exam or interview where you must identify 5 plants and their respective families and 10 animals and describe their importance to agriculture.
- Practical experience with crops, livestock, house and farmyard layouts. This usually takes the form of a written project.
- Investigations and experiments relating to ecology, soil science, animal physiology, plant physiology, genetics and microbiology are carried out. These are normally recorded in a lab copy which is then assessed, sometimes in conjunction with an interview.
Ross O’Connor has over eight years’ experience teaching Agricultural Science. He has also gained widespread international experience working as a Production Manager in both ‘Alltech’, one of the top ten animal nutrition companies in the world, and also the ‘Kerry Group’, a leader in global food ingredients and chilled foods supply. Ross draws on these experiences, as well as those gained as a part-time farmer, to make classes relevant, up to date and meaningful. He hosts field trips on his family farm in Co. Wicklow throughout the academic year which contribute to project work requirements. Ross has also previously written for the Irish Farmers Journal Study Guide.
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