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.



Successful completion of this course will result in a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture 6M2254.  This course is also known as the ‘Green Cert’ for taxation purposes.



The following subjects are taught as part of this programme.

  • Applied Cattle Breeding, 6N3525
  • Beef Management, 6N2235
  • Sheep Management 6N2237
  • Farm Machinery Maintenance 6N2244
  • Farm Equipment Fabrication 6N2243
  • Farm Performance Measurement 6N3005
  • Grass Management 6N2250
  • Boom Sprayer Pesticide Application 5N1797
  • Farm Management 6N2232
  • Farm Business Planning 6N2233
  • Work Practice 6N1947
  • Communications 6N1950


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


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.



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.


Applied Cattle Breeding 6N3525

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
  • 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
  • Interpret animal and herd reports generated from a database
  • Use sire advice reports to aid in the selection of sires for a livestock enterprise

Assessment Criteria: Assignment 100%


Beef Management 6N2235

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Identifying  factors affecting profitability, production standards and guidelines for different systems of beef production
  • Evaluating cattle housing and handling facilities in respect of planning permission requirements, facilities, costings, structural improvement schemes and environmental impact
  • Creating a suckler herd breeding policy, programme and calendar to maximise output/cow including choice of cows and bulls, calving arrangements and breeding, calving and weaning tasks
  • Devising a health programme for a beef herd to include bio-security, control of internal and external parasites, control of infections diseases and implementation of a vaccination programme

Assessment Criteria: Examination 50% Assignment 50%


Sheep Management 6N2237

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • 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 quality standards for sheep carcasses to include market specifications, lean meat index, grading and pricing grids, niche market quality requirements, producer and processor partnerships, lamb marketing groups, purchasing groups, marketing of wool and market strategies and schemes
  • Devising a sheep flock breeding policy, programme and calendar to maximise output/ewe including choice of breed for ewes and rams, lambing arrangements and breeding, lambing and weaning tasks
  • Devise a grazing and winter feeding programme and plan to maximize performance for a large ewe flock including grazing management plans, silage production plan, diet formulation for different classes of stock and winter feeding programmes for different classes of stock
  • Evaluating potential financial returns from sheep farming to include impact of scale, system of production, assets and capital requirements and compatibility with other enterprises

Assessment Criteria: Examination – Theory 50% Assignment 50%


Farm Machinery Maintenance 6N2244

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Interpreting technical specifications of modern tractors and machinery including their design and associated legislation
  • Describing the principles of hydraulic, electrical and fuel system
  • Setting up and operate a manual arc welding, inert gas and gass cutting plant for a range of different welding configurations and types
  • Maintaining a range of agricultural machinery to include servicing, overhaul, preparation for storage and maintenance of records
  • Operating in accordance with standard safety procedures, using personal protection equipment and ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation and regulations

Assessment Criteria: Examination – Practical 60% Examination – Theory 40%


Farm Equipment Fabrication 6N2243

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • The methodologies, nature and key features of materials used for artifact design and fabrication
  • Planning an artifact design process, including identifying materials required and appropriate methodology
  • Using a range of fabrication and machinery techniques to design and fabricate an artifact
  • Evaluating a design and overhaul process to include implementation of planning and preparation, risk and safety assessment, materials and methodology, background research, drawing, costings and conclusions

Assessment Criteria: Project 100%


Farm Performance Measurement 6N3005

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • The principles of farm performance measurement and benchmarking techniques
  •  Assessing the role and application of comparative performance measurement and benchmarking in current farming practice
  •  Analysing a set of comparative farm performance data in regard to the key variations arising and their implications for a given farm situation
  • Evaluating the role of farm discussion groups in assisting comparative farm performance measurement

Evaluating the role and application of information technology systems and databases in farm performance measurement for a given situation

Assessment Criteria: Project 100%


Grass Management 6N2250

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • The growth habit and annual production pattern of a grass sward including factors that influence grass growth and quality
  • The principles and benefits of grass measurement and budgeting
  • Reseeding and establishment requirements for grass including methods, conditions for a good seedbed, choosing grass varieties and mixtures and management practices to ensure good establishment
  • Completing a grass budget for a given farm situation to include spring rotation planner, summer wedge and autumn budget.

Assessment Criteria: Assignment 60% Examination – Theory 20% Examination – Practical 20%


Boom Sprayer Pesticide Application 5N1797

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Preparing boom sprayer for work, including calibration, in accordance with safe recommended good practice and manufacturer’s instructions
  • Making up a pesticide spray mix in accordance with good practice including the pesticide product label dosage recommendations and the application area
  • Storing a boom sprayer and personal protective equipment in a safe and efficient manner according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Apply a pesticide mix with a boom sprayer in a safe and efficient manner in accordance with recommended good practice.

Assessment Criteria: Skills Demonstration 60% Examination – Theory 40%


Farm Management 6N2232

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Appraising farm business management in respect of business management, the management process, decision making and characteristics of successful farm managers
  • Explaining liability issues relating to farming including public liability, employers liability, rights of way, nuisance, trespass, negligence, types of insurance and valid contracts
  • Understanding legislation and best practice relevant to employment in agriculture including a range of the following: employment acts, contracts of employment, wage calculations, staff management, contracts and arrangements with service providers and negotiation skills
  • Calculating costs of transferring ownership of farm property, including stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax and fees associated with land registration and property transfer

Assessment Criteria: Examination – Theory 70% Assignment 30%


Farm Business Planning 6N2233

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Analysing farm business taxation accounts to compile key financial indicators including gross output, net profit, total expenses, total cash expenses, net worth, total debt and cash flow
  • Analysing the costs and benefits of undertaking a major farm business investment including total cost of investment, annual loan repayments, annual impact of proposed changes and annual cash surplus/deficit resulting from the investment
  • Preparing a business plan for a given situation to include description of the business, proposed changes, physical plan, balance sheet, cash flow, banking and loan details, taxation and conclusions.

Assessment Criteria: Project 70% Examination – Theory 30%


Work Practice 6N1947

Studying this module will allow one to become proficient in:

  • Executing work practice duties and responsibilities in a professional manner ensuring respect and safety of colleagues and staff
  • Reflecting 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
  • Reviewing 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.

Assessment Criteria: Portfolio/Collection of Work 40%, Learner Record 60%


Communications 6N1950

Students studying Communications Level 6 will do the following:

  • 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.
  • Participate in formal and informal working groups, to include leading or facilitating, notetaking, summarising discussion, agreeing outcomes and action points.
  • 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.
  • 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 or advocating.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work – 50%, Skills Demonstration – 50%


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.