Graduate Programme for Agri Industry Employees


Graduate training is a vital part of the development of young professionals. While some of the larger agri-food companies have dedicated graduate training programmes, SMEs in Ireland have limited scope to develop sector relevant graduate training programmes that meet the developmental needs of their graduates. This agri-food specific Programme which leads to a level 7, Diploma in Leadership for the Agri-Food Sector offers a valuable bridge between University and working life and will provide relevant business, management, leadership and professional development skills to graduates in SME companies, without burdening the companies with the expense of developing an in-house programme.

Who Should Attend?

  • Graduates who are working in an SME agriculture or agri-food company, and have the ambition & motivation to develop their management and leadership skills
  • Graduates who have graduated in recent years, ideally but not necessarily from the food science, Agri or related disciplines.
  • For applicants without a level 8 degree, prior experiential learning and Recognition of prior Learning (RPL) will be taken into account.


Programme Design and Delivery

The programme design facilitates individuals who are working full time, and who wish to study part time, in an integrative manner with their careers.

Ten two day interactive workshops, well separated out time wise, will be held, alternately in UCC or at an excellently chosen central Ireland location

(with online workshops also possible, should the need arise).

Professor Alan Kelly, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, University College Cork, is the Academic Director.

A dedicated, experienced and tested team of a Programme Manager, highly experienced lecturers and administration staff run this Programme. An in-company project will also be undertaken by each student which enables course participants to gain an in-depth appreciation of a topic of their choice within their company.


Course Modules
Modules, delivered in ten 2 day workshops from Sept 2020 to May 2021, include :

· Introduction to Management

· Communication & Presentation skills

· Performance Management

· Business Planning

· Time Management

· Project Management & Team Working

· Lean

· Decision making & Critical thinking

· Finance for non-Financial Managers

· Innovation, Sales & Marketing


Course Fee and Registration
The net cost for a participating company is €4,250 per student; This represents a subsidy of €3,700 from Macra Agricultural Skillnet.

This includes tuition, course manuals, off site room hire where applicable, lunches and refreshment breaks.

Places are limited to twenty.

See further information please see our brochure. 

For further information please contact:

Network Manager Brigid Quigley on 086-0822038 or 

or for specific course information contact

Deirdre Hilliard
Food Industry Training Unit, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences
College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
University College Cork