DN271 Forestry (FOS1)

Academic Year 2019/2020

Interested in the environment, forests and wildlife? Then read on to find out more about our forestry degree programme.

Curricular information is subject to change

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Managed forests, and the ecosystem services they provide, are an essential component of a sustainable world. The BAgrSc Forestry programme is designed for students who wish to become forest scientists or leaders in the forestry profession, or who wish to develop a career in related disciplines such as natural resource management, land-use planning and the timber processing industry, in Ireland and abroad. We value scientific rigour and independent thinking, and therefore we encourage our students to be active learners, developing a critical and scientific approach to forestry and its related disciplines. As forestry is an multi-disciplinary science and practice, students need to be able to integrate knowledge from a wide range of subjects, such as basic sciences and applied sciences, forestry and ICT. We provide a learning environment that will encourage students to develop a holistic, scientific view of forestry, making connections between all components of the programme, based on research-informed teaching and learning. The programme is based on core and elective modules and is designed around a mixture of lectures, tutorials, practicals, presentations, field trips, work placements, case studies and projects, often employing multiple learning approaches in combination to optimise the learning environment. The elective modules allow students to deepen their knowledge of a particular area or to widen their understanding of subject(s) outside the core areas. In the later stages of the programme, the emphasis is on preparing students for entry into the forestry profession or to start a scientific career, using individual field studies and projects that reflect the activities and responsibilities of university-educated professional foresters and scientists, such as professional forestry practice, work placements, a forest establishment project, multi-criteria forest inventories, a forest management plan and a scientific research project. All these make use of modern ICT, such as remote sensing, geographical information systems, electronic mensuration equipment and computerised decision support systems. 


  • Understand the role of forests in providing ecosystem goods and services, such as timber, recreation, biodiversity, habitat and climate change mitigation, within the legal, social, policy and regulatory environment in which forestry operates
  • Identify the forest tree and plant species occurring in Irish natural and planted forests; propose optimal silvicultural strategies based on site conditions; and assess these strategies on their the sustainability impacts
  • Understand the linkages between the species, the site, the silvicultural and management systems used, and the resulting ecosystem goods and services, especially the quality and quantity of timber produced
  • Carry out multi-resource forest inventories using computerised and electronic data collection, storage and analysis equipment and software
  • Evaluate and devise environmentally appropriate remedies for forest areas following disturbances/destruction as a result of fire/pest/disease outbreaks or severe weather events
  • Understand and assess the full range of health, welfare & safety issues associated with work in a forest environment, including harvesting operations; and evaluate forest machinery and systems and carry out sustainable operations planning
  • Devise scientific investigations relevant to all aspects of forestry; apply appropriate research methodologies using a range of field/laboratory/office equipment in an efficient and safe way, and interpret findings
  • Use a range of communication techniques to interact effectively with all relevant stakeholders

As a forestry student you will learn how to manage forests in environmentally sound ways. You will also understand how the different components of a forest; the trees, soils, water, climate and wildlife, interact with each other and are affected by human requirements.

Currently 9% of Irish land is under forestry and the objective of the State is to increase this to 17% by 2030.

The objectives of this degree are to:

  • Equip you with the education and skills to enable you to provide leadership within the forestry profession
  • Help you develop an overall view of forests with regards to their ecological, economic, socio-cultural, environmental and utilisation functions
  • Provide you with the scientific basis for the balanced management of the forest resource that is consistent with the principle of sustainability
  • Help you develop the ability to think analytically and provide you with the knowledge necessary for professional decision-making in forestry and related disciplines
  • Equip you with skills in the areas of computer applications, information technology, communications and professional development

This four-year programme combines biological, management and utilisation modules. Stage 1 includes a full range of core science subjects as well as an introduction to forestry.

You will go on to develop the applied sciences you need as well as developing your forestry skills through modules in silviculture (growing trees) and forest biometrics.

You will gain a greater understanding of forest ecosystems. In addition, forest establishment, protection and management form the basis of the forest utilisation component of the programme. Familiarisation with a wide range of computer techniques forms another important aspect of the programme.

Concluding stages place considerable emphasis on individual and group projects, and these form the major component of our marks towards your degree, rather than a final examination.

In Stages 3 and 4 there are opportunities to go abroad for a semester or as part of your project work, or for your Professional Work Experience.
Forestry graduates find employment in all areas of the sector including:

  • State and semi-state agencies
  • Forest management and consultancy
  • Wood processing
  • Environmental agencies, renewable energy, carbon accounting
  • Education and research

    Other opportunities include information technology, land-use planning and financial services. Research to master’s and PhD level is available.
  • UCD Agriculture and Food Science Programme Office,
    Agriculture and Food Science Centre,
    Belfield,
    Dublin 4
    Tel: +353 1 716 7194
    Email:agandfoodprogrammes@ucd.ie
    Web:www.ucd.ie/agfood

    Stage 1

    In addition to the 50 credits of core and option modules, students must take elective credits amounting to 10 credits.

    Stage 2

    In addition to the 55 credits of core modules, students must take an elective credits amounting to 5 credits.

    Stage 3

    In addition to the 50 credits of core modules, students must take elective credits amounting to 10 credits. A period of Professional Work Experience is mandatory and must be undertaken in Stage 3.

    Stage 4

    In addition to the 50 credits of core modules, students must take an additional 10 credits, by taking either the option module (listed) and an additional elective credit (5 credits) or by taking elective credits amounting to 10 credits.

    Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    CHEM00020 Introductory Chemistry Autumn

    5

    FOR10020 Trees and Forests in Ireland Autumn

    5

    MATH10230 Mathematics for Agriculture I Autumn

    5

    PHYC10180 Physics for Ag. Science Autumn

    5

    RDEV10020 Information Skills Autumn

    5

    RDEV10030 Introduction to Agricultural Economics and Business Autumn

    5

    BIOL10010 Animal Biology and Evolution Spring

    5

    BIOL10030 Cell and Plant Biology Spring

    5

    CHEM10010 Introduction to the Chemistry of Biomolecules Spring

    5

    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    Stage 1 Options - A)1 OF:
    Students must select one of the following modules
         
    BSEN10010 Biosystems Engineering Design Challenge Spring

    5

    CPSC10010 Introduction to Crop Science Spring

    5

    HORT10020 Plants and People Spring

    5

    RDEV10040 Introduction to Food and Agribusiness Management Spring

    5

    Stage 1 Options - A)1 OF:
    Students must select one of the following modules
         
    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    AERD20030 Business Management Autumn

    5

    AESC20060 Soil Science Basics Autumn

    5

    FOR20040 Tree Structure and Function Autumn

    5

    FOR20100 Applied Biostatistics Autumn

    5

    HORT20070 Agricultural Botany Autumn

    5

    MICR20010 Agricultural Microbiology Autumn

    5

    BSEN20010 Engineering and Surveying Spring

    5

    CPSC20040 Physiological Plant Ecology Spring

    5

    FOR20050 Principles of Forestry Spring

    5

    FOR30340 Professional Forestry Practice Spring

    5

    RDEV20140 Health, Welfare & Safety in Agriculture Spring

    5

    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    AESC30150 Forest Protection Autumn

    5

    FOR30400 Silviculture Autumn

    10

    FOR30420 Forest Management and Economics Autumn

    5

    FOR30430 Geographic Information Systems Autumn

    5

    FOR30070 Forest Harvesting Spring

    5

    FOR30180 Professional Work Experience Spring

    10

    FOR30320 Wood Science Spring

    5

    FOR30410 Forest Inventory and Sampling Spring

    5

    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    FOR40160 Forest Inventory & Mgmt. Plan 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr)

    20

    FOR40140 Forest Policy and Law Autumn

    5

    FOR40150 Experimental Design Autumn

    5

    FOR40130 Research Project Spring

    15

    FOR40170 Forest Planning & Optimisation Spring

    5

    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Options - A)MIN0OF:
    Select this module and one general elective amounting to 5 credits, or ten credits of general electives.
         
    FOR20110 Forests, Climate and Carbon Spring

    5