Higher Diploma in Agri-Food ICT Systems

Higher Diploma in ScienceAgri-Food ICT Systems

Cork Road
2 year



Agri ICT
The Higher Diploma in Agri-Food ICT Systems is designed to produce graduate with the expertise and competencies required to select, deploy, control and manage technology and data in the agri-food sector both in Ireland and Internationally.

With a focus on learning through applied industrial challenges students will develop a strong numeracy and technology competency whilst being committed to and engaged in a practical and dynamic learning environment. This will focus on the various requirements for database maintenance and scaling for industrial environments, an ability to manage and interpret and analyse big data, either locally or cloud hosted. Students will also develop skills in data modelling representation and visualisation. Student will also hear from entrepreneur in the Agri-Food sector and their challenges encountered in developing a new product / technology. This dynamic learning environment will be complimented with industry leading guest speakers from a policy, industrial and research background presenting students with state of the art thinking in the sector and everyday challenges encountered.

The course will be delivered from January 2019 on a blended learning style basis and will require students be present on campus on as well as engage with interactive online material over 2 years. The course is comprised of 10 modules, 2 of which are 10-credits and the rest 5 credit modules.

Graduates will develop the skills required for implementing and analysing technology applied to Agri-Food processing with respect to process efficiency and sustainability. Graduates will become leaders in agri-technologies through the industry / academic led development and deployment of cutting edge ICT across the sector. They will gain exposure to and a working knowledge of a number of game changing key enabling technologies in the sector, namely sensing networks, IoT test beds as well as data analytics and statistical modelling on which to further drive business and sectoral intelligence both nationally and Internationally. 

Year 1
Semester 1Semester 2
Agricultural ICT Case Studies : 5 creditsBusiness Management for Food Scientists : 5 credits
Agricultural Policy & Markets : 5 creditsCloud Computing for Agri-food : 10 credits
Database Design and Implementation : 5 credits
Year 2
Semester 3Semester 4
Data Analytics : 5 creditsBusiness Intelligence Visualisation : 5 credits
Advanced Quality Methodologies : 5 creditsLand Sciences Research Project : 10 credits
Project Management for Land Sciences : 5 credits

Semester 1

Agricultural ICT Case Studies: 5 Credits
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of state-of-the-art tools and technologies currently being deployed at work in the industry. This course will involve a number of relevant guest speakers discussing experience and presenting case studies as well as a number of field trips to relevant stakeholders.

Agriculture Policy and Markets: 5 Credits
This module will enable the student to describe the structure of Irish agriculture, and outline national and EU supports the agriculture sector. The student will gain an insight into the state agencies involved in policy creation and food promotion. The odule will review the main farm enterprises as well as alternative enterprises, and describe the range of schemes and services available to Irish farmers.

Database Design and Implementation: 5 Credits
This module will introduce the student to the principles and practice of designing and implementing database systems. The student will gain competence in designing relational databases using Entity Relationship Modelling. They will implement relational databases using SQL data definition language. They will query the relational database using SQL data manipulation language. The students will be introduced to the concepts and use of NoSQL databases. The teaching of this module will be supported by using agricultural examples. The student will construct a database for an agricultural topic. For example, contract rearing, fertilizer planner, calf remedy register, ewe scanning database etc.

Semester 2
Cloud Computing for Agri–Food: 10 Credits
This module introduces students to the capabilities of cloud computing. The main concepts of cloud computing are covered and students carry out a series of Agri–food orientated practical exercises with cloud computing technologies and services. Students are also exposed those concepts of computer organization and networking that are required to work in cloud environments.

Business Management for Food Scientists: 5 Credits
This module aims to provide students with knowledge of fundamental managerial skills and ethical and social responsibility of businesses, evaluate forms of business ownership and practical skills for decision making (cost–volume–profit analysis, relevant costs and revenues, pricing and capital investment appraisal).

Semester 3
Data Analytics: 5 Credits
Data analytics supports critical decision making in business. It helps to create new knowledge and to draw conclusions on existing models or theories. This module introduces the learner to the fundamental concepts of data analytics. These concepts include; data identification, cleaning, transforming and modelling data for the purpose of analysing and manipulating data to discover relevant information to support decision making. The student will also be introduced to advanced analytics such as prediction, data mining and Big Data.

Advanced Quality Methodologies: 5 Credits
This module covers aspects of quality management, including advanced quality systems such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and Risk Management, instrument validation and calibration management systems. It also looks at leadership, Innovation Management and Process Planning. It prepares the student for work in the pharmaceutical, healthcare
or food industries, which operate under strict quality management regulations.

Project Management for Land Sciences: 5 Credits
In this module students will develop an understanding of project management in the Agri–Food context, show the importance of the planning process in ensuring project success, define and build agricultural related project plans, estimate project durations using appropriate software tools, and apply appropriate tools and techniques to control and monitor project schedules.

Semester 4
Business Intelligence Visualisation: 5 Credits

The fundamental area of Business Intelligence (BI) is the skill to effectively communicate analysis, supporting a firm’s decision makers. The aim of this module is how BI visualises and analyses a firm’s data. It builds on the skills learnt in a previous module from the creation of insights from structured and unstructured data. Visualization will facilitate the understanding of data and publish required metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a business. The approach of this module will enable visualisation for accessing, analysing, managing and interacting with data.

Land Science Student Research Project: 10 Credits
This module consists of a research and development project, which aims to give students the facility to plan and carry out a programme of work based significantly on their own initiative. The student project will be carried out in semester 4, following on from a literature review on their chosen topic in the 2nd semester. The projects will be carried out under the supervision of individual members of the academic staff within WIT/Kildalton, or with outside co–operators. As part of the module students will be introduced to techniques that are necessary in a research environment, such as choosing the correct experimental design and data management and analysis techniques for their chosen specialised research topic. This will culminate in the production of a written ‘mini-thesis’ on this research topic.

Course Leader(s)

Anne Dunphy

Email: [email protected]

Ultan McCarthy

Email: [email protected]

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