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HomeBeef‘The advanced entry route is always available’ – Woodcock on ag options 
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘The advanced entry route is always available’ – Woodcock on ag options 

That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, speaks to Dr Tony Woodcock, programme leader of the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

If students wish to enrol in our degree programmes but do not secure sufficient points, the main option available is the formal progression link SETU has made with Teagasc, Kildalton Agricultural College and other agricultural colleges such as Gurteen, Pallaskenry etc., where a level 6 qualification in agriculture is available to students.

Students coming from such locations with a level 6 agriculture qualification can apply for advanced entry into second year of our BSc in Agriculture programme at SETU.

To note, the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture referred to above is what people generally call the ‘Green Cert’.

Application is via the CAO website, and in years when the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available (typically 15 places), successful candidates are selected based on their GAP in their level 6 qualification and also an interview.

Typically we take in 15 students through the advanced entry route each year. This would make up roughly 30% of our students in the BSc in Agriculture in years 2 and 3 of the programme.

Transferring to other universities

In the past, before we offered a level 8 in agricultural science, progressing from our level 7 agricultural science programme to level 8 in UCD was relatively common.

While it is still technically possible to transfer, this has not happened in practice for the last number of years.

If a student needs to transfer between colleges for personal reasons etc., that is generally possible so long as they can show that the credits that they have accumulated to date are equivalent to what has been delivered in the college they are proposing to join.

This would be the case for students transferring into and out of SETU but would always be dependent on available places. Currently, SETU does not facilitate students on a part-time basis.


If you do not get the required CAO points, do not panic. Make contact with me or Teagasc on options. The advanced entry route is always available.

Also, there are other opportunities out there in terms of farm manager roles, machinery operators etc., that could be worth exploring. Share farming is another potential avenue for the right student.

I will always do my best to advise any student with an interest in agriculture. The information above is based on the course I am responsible for, which is the BSc in Agriculture.

We also have a BSc in Agricultural Science which is a 4-year level 8 degree, which is also an extremely popular course.”

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