Agriculture Level 6

Agriculture Level 6 QQI Certificate (Green Cert)

 

Course Duration                      

 This is a one year, full time course running from September to May.

 

Entry Requirements

A QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture or Agriculture is required.   Acceptance to the course is also based on an interview.

 

Award

Successful completion of this course will result in a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture 6M20486.  This course is also known as the ‘Green Cert’ for taxation purposes.

 

Modules

The following subjects are taught as part of this programme.

  • Applied Livestock Breeding 6N3525
  • Beef Husbandry Management 6N20465
  • Capstone for Agriculture 6N20464
  • Communications 6N1950
  • Farm Performance Measurement 6N3005
  • Farm Management and Business Planning 6N20462
  • Grassland Management 6N20472
  • Sheep Husbandry Management 6N20466
  • Sustainable Farming in the Environment 6N20463
  • Work Practice 6N1947

 

Additional Activities

Students on this course will partake in a number of field trips and activities. Examples are listed below

  • UCD College Farm
  • Teagasc Farm Visits
  • Ploughing Championships
  • Visits to Sheep/Beef/ Dairy enterprises
  • Farm Machinery Show
  • Meat Factory Live to Dead demonstrations

 

Career Options

The course is suitable for people seeking employment on farms or working on their own farms. Graduates of the course are eligible to:

  • Transfer to linked courses at Institutes of Technology through the Higher Education Links Scheme
  • Farm Manager in the Beef/ Sheep Sector
  • Gain employment on a farm either in Ireland or Aboard
  • Run and manage their own farm enterprise at home

 

Further Courses of Study

  • Bachelor of Business in Rural Enterprise and Agribusiness (Level 7) Galway/Mayo IT (GMIT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Management (Level 7) Galway/Mayo IT (GMIT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture – HETAC Level 7  Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science – HETAC Level 7 Waterford Institute of Technology
  • BSc in Land Management in Agriculture/Forestry/Horticulture – HETAC Level 8 Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science (BAgrSc)  University College Dublin

 

Student Testimonial

Annie

I am finding Agriculture Level 6 at WCFE to be brilliant and fun too.  We are learning so much about large animals.  The teachers are great and helpful which really makes the course for me.

 

Fees

Applicants are asked to pay a non-refundable €50 Administration/Application fee on submission of their Application Form.  Once you have applied you will be called for an interview within a few weeks.  QQI examination fees cost €80, although Medical Card holders are exempt from paying this fee on production of a valid medical card.  Books and essential class materials may also be required.  A €200 Government levy will apply on acceptance of a place on PLC course, but medical card holders and those in receipt of a maintenance grant will be exempt.  There is also a €50 Student Services fee required on acceptance of the course.

DETAILED COURSE OUTLINE

 

  • Applied Livestock Breeding 6N3525

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to apply best practices in livestock breeding management.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Explain current breeding indices used to evaluate animals for a livestock enterprise
  • Devise a livestock breeding policy, programme and calendar for a farm enterprise
  • Establish current performance measurement and benchmark data for a livestock enterprise in regard to economic breeding indices
  • Set targets and criteria for improving breeding indices for a livestock enterprise
  • Record animal events data for use in a livestock breeding programme to include a range of the following: artificial insemination, natural service, pregnancy diagnosis, drying-off, health events, animal weights and body condition scores
  • Produce animal and herd reports relating to livestock breeding, parturition and slaughter using a database system
  • Interpret animal and herd reports generated from a database
  • Use sire advice reports to aid in the selection of sires for a livestock enterprise

 

 

  • Beef Husbandry Management 6N20465

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to manage a beef herd in accordance with best practice and relevant legislation.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Describe beef production systems in Ireland from the point of view of factors affecting profitability, production standards and guidelines for different systems of beef production, and land type for different systems of beef production
  • Appraise the beef industry, quality standards and marketing and supports
  • Identify key principles, components and requirements of food safety and overall principles of current EU and national regulation in relation to beef farming
  • Evaluate cattle housing and handling facilities in respect of planning requirements, costings, structural improvement schemes and environmental impact
  • Evaluate cattle housing and handling facilities design
  • Assess work organisation and mechanisation on beef farms
  • Appraise business management processes, decision making and characteristics of successful farm managers.
  • Describe legislation and best practice in regard to employment, engaging service providers, and negotiation skills relevant to agriculture
  • Appraise occupational health risks and appropriate control measures pertinent to beef husbandry management
  • Devise a grazing and winter feeding programme and plan to maximise performance for a commercial beef enterprise, taking account of different classes of stock
  • Devise a health and vaccination management programme for a beef herd
  • Evaluate potential financial returns from beef farming to include, assets, capital requirements and compatibility with other enterprises
  • Assess the potential for expansion and or conversion in beef production and any requirements arising at farm level
  • Appraise work practices on a suckler enterprise taking into account labour, enterprise performance, facilities and recommending change
  • Identify the latest research findings / technology development and policy trends in relation to beef production

 

 

  • Capstone for Agriculture 6N20464

 

The purpose of this award is exclusively associated with the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture. The award will be available to those learners who have demonstrated the knowledge, skill and competence prescribed in this award specification. Specifically, achieving the capstone minor award requires evidence of integrate learning involving the expected learning outcomes (ELOs) specified by all the minors required to qualify for this major and the demonstrated achievement of this awards expected learning outcomes. Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Assess and benchmark a farming business against national performance figures, EU and Irish legislation and the Department of Agriculture requirements
  • Appraise farming activity in terms of health and safety and environmental impact
  • Appraise the effect and benefits of agriculture business decisions to enhance performance
  • Assess the natural resources available at farm level and develop appropriate actions to improve farm performance while both protecting and harnessing these resources in a sustainable manner
  • Assess how a farm manager can develop a farm holding in the context of personal organisation, the holding’s resources and market requirements within natural, economic and legal constraints
  • Formulate a farming strategy and devise a farm business plan in line with best practice, to develop a given agriculture situation while complying with current EU directives and national legislation, and requirements of the various relevant governmental departments and regulatory bodies
  • Evaluate current farming practice for a given farming situation and recommend improvements
  • Formulate a plan to maximise business advantage utilising natural resources available for a given agricultural situation
  • Follow a logical practical sequence, prioritise and cost works required for proposed changes to a given farm situation
  • Evaluate likely effects on the environment, energy usage and carbon emissions, pre and post proposed farm business plan
  • Predict the effects of economic variance on the proposed farm plan
  • Defend conclusions following a strategic review of a given agricultural business situation Reflect on the impact of the knowledge, skills and competences attained in relation to developing in the role of a farm manager
  • Research sources of information and supports to enable a person to self-up-skill and self-update

 

 

  • Communications 6N1950

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to communicate verbally and non-verbally in a comprehensive range of everyday tasks and in work-related tasks independently and/or in a supervisory capacity.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Critique current issues in communications and information technology, to include digital and mobile technology, the internet, and the policies and principles relevant to a vocational area
  • Evaluate in practical terms the elements of legislation that must be observed in a personal and or work context, to include health, safety and welfare at work and communications-related legislation, and the responsibilities that apply when working in a supervisory capacity
  • Assess the impact of non-verbal communication and of the physical environment in everyday human interaction
  • Construct non-verbal and visual messages, aids, images and environments that promote interpersonal communication, to include presentation aids, handouts, and physical arrangement of meeting rooms
  • Utilise listening skills in a variety of roles and contexts, to include note-taking, receiving messages, taking minutes, reporting, summarising, and paraphrasing
  • Participate in formal and informal working groups, to include leading or facilitating, note-taking, summarising discussion, agreeing outcomes and action points
  • Use reading techniques to include skimming, scanning, reading for detail, for overview and analysing on a range of written material, including media texts, official documents, business communications, literary texts and technical and or vocational material
  • Use drafting, editing and proofreading skills and the correct conventions of language usage including spelling, punctuation and syntax to produce formal written communications relevant to a particular vocational area, to include reports, correspondence, faxes, memos, minutes
  • Use research skills to investigate relevant topics, to include use of effective study skills, research methodologies and enquiry techniques
  • Demonstrate vocal and interactive skills in personal and professional contexts, including an oral presentation, discussion, debate, meeting, interview and or job seeking skills and for the purposes of persuading, informing, advocating, and regulating
  • Work independently and or in a supervisory capacity, displaying qualities such as assertiveness, self-confidence, tact, diplomacy, empathy and patience

 

 

  • Farm Performance Measurement 6N3005

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to adopt and apply benchmarking techniques to a range of farm performance indicators.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of farm performance measurement and benchmarking techniques
  • Assess the role and application of comparative performance measurement and benchmarking in current farming practice
  • Analyse a set of comparative farm performance data in regard to the key variations arising and their implications for a given farm situation
  • Evaluate the role of farm discussion groups in assisting comparative farm performance measurement
  • Evaluate the role and application of information technology systems and databases in farm performance measurement for a given situation
  • Identify the latest research findings, extension / industry programmes and technology developments supporting farm performance measurement and benchmarking for a given agricultural sector
  • Conduct a farm benchmarking exercise for five of the following areas:
  • Herd and Animal Performance Targets
  • Grassland Management Practice
  • Winter Feed and Housing Facilities
  • Animal Breeding and Selection Indices
  • Flock Performance Targets
  • Crop Varietal Selection and Yield
  • Crop Weed and Disease Control Plan
  • Nutrient Planning5
  • Farm Assurance Scheme
  • Regulatory Compliance Measures

 

 

  • Farm Management and Business Planning 6N20462

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to effectively evaluate internal and external factors affecting the farm business

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Explain liability and risk relating to agriculture activity
  • Assess the effect of EU and National legislation on the running of a given farm situation
  • Outline supports available to farmers from government, state agencies and other nongovernmental organisations
  • Appraise the taxation system in relation to agriculture
  • Assess financial services and credit requirements available to farmers
  • Appraise stakeholders and external supports associated with the agriculture business
  • Assess efficiency, output and business performance of a given farm situation
  • Develop and evaluate realistic options to improve a given agriculture situation, taking account of EU and National environmental legislation
  • Predict benefits and implications of implementing a change to an agriculture situation including using cost benefit analysis and calculating loan repayments
  • Cost a realistic development for a given agricultural business situation
  • Investigate succession, inheritance, ownership, title and business arrangements pertinent to agriculture
  • Calculate costs of transferring ownership of farm property
  • Investigate an alternative enterprise appropriate to the land based sector
  • Appraise health, safety and welfare management for a given agricultural business situation

 

 

 

 

  • Grassland Management 6N20472

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to implement best practice in grass management

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Describe the growth habit, annual production pattern and factors influencing grass sward growth and quality
  • Outline the principles and benefits of grass measurement and budgeting
  • Outline reseeding and establishment requirements for grass
  • List actions required when grass covers are either higher or lower than target
  • Calculate dry matter yield (cover) in a paddock (field) using a quadrant and grass cutter
  • Determine the daily grass requirement for a given herd
  • Establish grass covers and targets for optimum grass utilization on a given dairy, cattle or sheep farm to include livestock details, paddock details, paddock covers, target covers, average cover and grass demand per hectare per day
  • Complete a grass budget for a given farm situation to include spring rotation planner, summer wedge and autumn budget

 

 

  • Sheep Husbandry Management 6N20466

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to manage sheep in accordance with recommended standards, relevant legislation and good farming practice.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Describe sheep production systems in Ireland including factors affecting profitability, production standards and guidelines for sheep production systems and land types for different systems of lamb production
  • Appraise the sheep industry, quality standards, marketing and supports
  • Identify key principles, components and requirements of food safety and overall principles of current EU and national regulations in relation to sheep farming
  • Assess work organisation and mechanisation on sheep farms
  • Evaluate sheep housing and handling facilities in respect of planning permission requirements, facilities, costings, structural improvement schemes and environmental impact
  • Evaluate sheep housing and handling facilities design
  • Appraise business management processes, decision making and characteristics of successful farm managers
  • Describe legislation and best practice in regard to employment, engaging service providers, and negotiation skills relevant to agriculture
  • Appraise occupational health risks and appropriate control measures pertinent to sheep husbandry management
  • Devise a grazing and winter feeding programme and plan to maximise performance for a large ewe flock for different classes of stock
  • Devise a health and vaccination programme for a large ewe flock
  • Evaluate potential financial returns from sheep farming to include impact for scale, system of production, assets and capital requirements and compatibility with other enterprises
  • Assess the potential of expansion and / or conversion in sheep production and any requirements arising at farm level
  • Appraise work on a sheep enterprise taking into account labour, enterprise performance, facilities and recommending change
  • Identify latest research findings /technology development, new practices and policy trends in relation to sheep production

 

 

  • Sustainable Farming in the Environment 6N20463

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to use environmentally-friendly and sustainable farming methods in compliance with relevant EU and national legislation.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Outline the effects of farming on the environment
  • Describe wildlife habitats of Irish agriculture
  • Describe measures to protect and enhance wildlife and biodiversity
  • Outline hedgerow management and its role sustainability
  • Evaluate the suitability and impact of environmental protection schemes for a given farm situation
  • Outline requirements for compliance in respect of EU legislation relation to the environment
  • Describe key considerations and methods in agriculture sustainable development
  • Outline policies and strategies for reducing the greenhouse impact of agriculture
  • Carry out an environmental resource audit for a given farm situation
  • Evaluate energy usage and efficiency and energy conservation principles of a given agricultural situation
  • Draw up a manure management programme for a given agricultural situation
  • Devise an integrated pest management plan for a given agricultural situation

 

 

  • Work Practice 6N1947

 

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to work in a range of organisations or vocational contexts and to engage in vocationally-related tasks independently and or in a supervisory capacity.

Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to:

  • Evaluate the characteristics of the organisation or workplace, to include its status whether public, private, voluntary or other, size, organisational structure, mission and values, the workplace culture and management practices
  • Assess internal and external issues, challenges and trends affecting the workplace, to include as appropriate, local, national, global, team-based and cultural issues, and a personal response to the issues or challenges identified
  • Research the specific legislation and regulations relevant to the place of work and vocational context; including rights and responsibilities in relation to, health, safety and welfare at work, equality, employment and specific work and or vocational practices
  • Evaluate the organisations internal and external policies and procedures ensuring appropriateness to current legislation and regulations
  • Execute a range of vocationally specific tasks and activities during a minimum 2 month work practice placement
  • Apply effective communication skills in communicating with colleagues, staff and external individuals or groups as required working autonomously or in a supervisory capacity
  • Allocate resources to analyse and solve routine and non-routine problems arising in the workplace
  • Show judgement and initiative while working autonomously and or in a supervisory capacity, taking responsibility for own work and the work of others and allocating resources as required
  • Contribute positively to the achievement of objectives and or targets in the workplace working autonomously and or with responsibility for the work of others
  • Execute work practice duties and responsibilities in a professional manner ensuring respect and safety of colleagues and staff
  • Reflect on personal and professional work practices, to include feedback from senior staff or mentors and colleagues or team workers on individual performance, achievements, strengths and challenges

Review at own learning and progress and that of others within the workplace or team, to include identification of personal and professional skills, abilities and strengths, areas for development and opportunities for learning and career development within the vocational field.

 

 

Westport College of Further Education reserves the right to limit the number of places available, make changes in any course or to withdraw the course. No part of this information shall be deemed to form a contract between Westport College of Further Education and the student, or a third party.