Soil Health & Water Management - Waterford

The primary objective of this course is to enable, and empower, participants to assess soil profiles in the landscape and understand how to prevent and mitigate soil degradation and improve overall soil health, function, and water relations for sustainable food production.

- Soil biological, chemical, and physical field assessment and laboratory analysis methods
- Soil nutrient and mineral balancing to optimise animal and plant production
- Feeding soil for enhanced soil biological activity for improved nutrient cycling and recycling
- Soil fertility maintenance necessary for plant, animal and human health following transition to organic low input systems
- Assessment of soil structure and prevention and mitigation of degradation, compaction, and erosion
- Optimising the water cycle - effective versus non-effective rainfall and water availability and storage
- Harnessing water resources for livestock hydration and maintenance and crop irrigation systems
- Developing policy and regulation for soil and water management in the EU Green Deal, F2F Strategy, and the Programme for Climate Action

On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

- Describe and explain priority field and laboratory practices for soil assessment, analysis methods and techniques.
- Interpret soil analyses to estimate optimum inorganic and organic fertiliser levels required to balance the soil nutrient profile for improved output and production.
- Show how to enhance soil micro-organism activity to enhance soil biological processes for nutrient cycling and recycling.
- Categorize and discriminate between different land management practices to reverse soil degradation and improve physical function.
- Arrange and combine evidence for natural water management practices to develop plans for climate resilient production.
- Estimate and evaluate the cost-effectiveness and profitability of water irrigation systems and storage practices for crop and livestock production.
- Critique, interpret and summarize appropriate and relevant scientific research information and associated best practice for climate resilient soil and water management.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a National Framework of Qualification (NFQ) Level 8 honours degree in Agri-business and Rural Enterprise, Agriculture, Environmental and Land Science, or other Science-related discipline. Offers will be made based on the applicant's Grade Point Average (GPA). Applicants who hold a Level 8 degree in a non-cognate area may be considered for entry under SETU Waterford's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism and equal weighting will be given for GPA qualifications (50%) and a selection interview (50%) to assess prospective candidate's aptitude and experience relevant to the certificate programme.

Application dates


Applicants for entry to these programmes are made online by going to

Expression of interest to


12 weeks

Post Course Info

Graduates with the Level 9 Certificate in Soil Health and Water Management may wish to apply the knowledge and practices learned in primary commercial production, provide support and technical advice to growers and farmers or may opt to remain in a research, development and innovation environment. They may also use their applied knowledge and skills in public service for the development of supportive agricultural, climate, and environmental policy.

Upon successful completion of other Level 9 Certificates the learner can graduate with a Certificate in Organic and Biological Production (30 credits), a Postgraduate Diploma in Organic and Biological Agriculture (60 credits), plus a dissertation for a MSc in Organic and Biological Agriculture (90 credits).

More details
  • Qualifications

    Minor Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider