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This module will provide participants with methodologies to undertake business planning and project implementation aimed at delivering desired results. Participants will be able to estimate project duration and associated costs and develop skills necessary to plan, control, monitor project schedules and manage human resources. The challenge of converting to organic and biological production and successfully planning this transition will be discussed and explained.  The principles of marketing and how these can be applied successfully in the Irish and European marketplace will be reviewed. Factors influencing the consumer buying process, identifying appropriate markets, new product development and associated marketing mix elements, including targeted communications using online platforms will be addressed.

  • Business planning and project design: work breakdown structure, critical path network, project risk management, change management, and quality control. 
  • Project cost measurement and management using the concept of earned value. 
  • Managing a project team – leadership, resource allocation, administration, the role of the project manager, project completion and handover 
  • Consumer and organisational buying behaviour: factors impacting consumer, household and organisational buying behaviour; steps in the buying process; the concept of derived demand. 
  • Market research into market segmentation, positioning and branding strategies. 
  • The Marketing Mix – co-ordinating product, pricing, distribution and promotional strategies for effective marketing campaigns 

Discounted / Part-Funded Places Through NOTS:
Eligible participants in Ireland can avail of a 40% cost reduction on course fees through our MSc course partners National Organic Training Skillnet. Contact NOTS by calling 071 9640688 or email [email protected] for more information on eligibility for these reduced fees.

This module will be delivered from September in the first semester of each academic year with online lecture and tutorial sessions each week. Course days will be held during the semester to visit agri-food businesses under development and engaged in direct sales and marketing. Continuous assessments and the development of a marketing plan for farm business farm will be evenly spaced during the programme and the final written exam will be held at the end of the semester.

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

  1. Describe and illustrate project plans to estimate project duration using appropriate software tools. 
  2. Prepare business planning guidelines to cater for change management and project risk associated with transition to organic systems. 
  3. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and comprehension of the human resource aspects of developing projects - organisation, roles, skillsets required. 
  4. Estimate and evaluate project costs, report on project earned value, and analyse project cost variances. 
  5. Critically assess the importance of marketing to a farming business and evaluate key marketing fundamentals e.g. target market segmentation, positioning and branding strategy. 
  6. Design and develop an integrated marketing plan for a farming business with new product offering(s). 
  7. Select, appraise and summarize relevant case examples for developments in project management and market research from the published literature. 

Applicants for the Certificate in Project Management and Marketing should hold a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 8 honours degree in Agri-business and Rural Enterprise, Agriculture, Environmental and Land Science, or other Science-related discipline. Where the demand exceeds the places available, offers will be made in rank order based on applicants’ Grade Point Average (GPA).

Applicants who do not hold a degree in the cognate areas specified but who have relevant industry or practical experience in agriculture or biological systems, or same in conjunction with a Level 8 degree in a non-cognate area may be considered for entry under SETU Waterford’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism. In the case of candidates with qualifications in non-cognate disciplines 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.

The aim of this programme is to produce highly skilled professionals to support the sustainable development of organic and biological agriculture and the agri-food sector. Graduates with the Level 9 Certificate in Project Management and Marketing may wish to apply techniques 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 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).


Course Leaders

Dr Ultan McCarthy

Lecturer -

Email: [email protected]


Ms Rachel O Dowd

Lecturer in PR & Marketing -

Call: +35351845528

Email: [email protected]