Southeastern Technological University (SETU) has expanded its agricultural course offerings with four new degree programs in Organic Agriculture and Farming Systems Engineering.

Prospective students interested in a career in the agribusiness industry can apply for a Level 8 BSc (Hons) and Level 7 BSc in Organic Agriculture and a Level 8 BEng (Hons) and Level 7 BEng in Agricultural Systems Engineering when the CAD opens in November.

The addition of the undergraduate courses further strengthens a ‘well-established’ course portfolio, bringing the total number of earth and food science programs to 14 across campuses in Wexford, Waterford and Carlow.

SETU kicked off the programs at the National Plowing Championships earlier today (Wednesday, September 21, 2022).

Diploma in Organic Agriculture

First, SETU said the BSc in Organic Agriculture would complement existing BSc programs in Sustainable Agricultural Management and Agribusiness with which it shares science and business modules.

This will be one of four agro-marine programs offered by SETU at the Wexford campus, complementing the various Earth, Marine and Food Science related programs offered across SETU.

It developed the organic farming course in ‘close’ consultation with industry, including the Irish Organic Association, whose expertise was used to develop the organic modules for the programme.

Program director Dr Stephen Whelan said the new organic agriculture programs offer students a “unique” opportunity to have a “big” impact on the organic industry.

He understands that the BSc in Organic Agriculture is the “only such degree” offered on the island of Ireland.

‘We believe the honors version of the course is the only Level 8 organic farming qualification offered in the UK or Ireland.’

Dr Whelan continued: “The agricultural team at the Wexford campus are grateful to all those in industry who have contributed to the development of the programme, in particular Grace Maher from the Irish Organic Association, who has been heavily involved from the start.

Agricultural Systems Engineering

Additionally, he also developed the BEng in Agricultural Systems Engineering by “working closely” with industry.

Dr John Carroll, co-director of the program with Dr Anthony Nolan, said his vision for the program is that it will create “talented problem solvers” for the agricultural industry, which is becoming “increasingly mechanized and technical “.

He added that students on this program will be able to take advantage of the best offers from SETU’s Wexford and Carlow campuses, capitalizing on the former’s agricultural expertise and the latter’s engineering expertise.

The BEng in Agricultural Systems Engineering programs will share several Agribusiness and Applied Agriculture modules with the parent program, the BSc in Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness.

Students will complete the engineering components of the program at Carlow and learn from exposure to the many agri-engineering companies in the South East.

SETU will offer both the BSc in Organic Agriculture and the BEng in Agricultural Systems Engineering at levels 7 and 8.

Both will have their first class of students in September 2023.

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