This innovative course, will train you in all subjects appropriate to global aquaculture. Aquaculture - or aquatic agriculture - is much more than ‘fish farming’ and includes culture of species such as prawns, shrimps, mussels, oysters, crocodiles, turtles and algae. Aquaculture already produces more than half of all of the fish consumed globally.
The Institute of Aquaculture is the largest multi-disciplinary aquaculture department in the world, with 110 staff and 120 postgraduate students, and has a practical involvement in industry through its own fish farms, marine station and many commercial activities. There are especially strong links with research and development organisations worldwide.
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
SQA Adv. Higher:
To include Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology.
General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
Find out more
Semesters 1 - 3
During Year 1 and half of Year 2 (Semesters 1 – 3) you will take core modules such as:
- Our Blue Planet
- Our Thirsty Planet
- Principles of the Aquatic Environment
- Cell Biology and Physiology
- Ecology and Evolution
- Practical Skills in the Natural Sciences
Semesters 4 - 8
Honours students take the following core modules:
- Science of Diving
- Managing Aquatic Resources
- Issues in Marine Biology
- Genes and Evolution
- Animal Physiology
- Experimental Design and Statistical Techniques
- Aquaculture Field Course
- Aquaculture Assignments
- Aquaculture Project (Final Year)
Specialised half modules in:
- Aquaculture Nutrition
- Aquaculture Production Environments
- Aquatic Diseases
- Aquaculture Genetics and Reproduction
- AQU1BP – Our Blue Planet
- BIO1CB – Introduction to Cell Biology
- SCI1LS – Practical Science Skills I: Laboratory Skills
- AQU2PP – Our Thirsty Planet
- BIO2IP – Introduction to Physiology
- SCI2FS – Practical Science Skills II: Field Skills
- AQU3AE – Introduction to Aquatic Environments
- BIO3EG – Evolution and Genetics
- AQU4DS – Science of Diving
- BIO4BD – Biodiversity
- SCI4T4 – Statistical Techniques
- ANYSE3 – Any Semester 3 module for which the student has met the prerequisites
- AQU5AR – Management of Living Aquatic Resources
- BIO5AP – Animal Physiology
- BIO5MI – Microbiology
- AQU6AF – Aquaculture Field Course
- AQU6MB – Issues in Marine Biology
- AQU6AQ – Aquaculture
- AQU7AP – Aquaculture Honours Project
- AQU7AD – Aquaculture Disease (½ module)
- AQU7NU – Aquaculture Nutrition (½ module)
- AQU7PE – Aquaculture Production Environments (½ module)
- AQU7GR – Aquaculture Genetics and Reproduction (½ module)
- AQU8AP – Aquaculture Honours Project
- AQU8AG – Aquaculture General Exam and Assignments
Teaching and assessment
The Aquaculture degree at Stirling is taught by one of the largest groupings of aquatic scientists in the world and shares a common foundation with the degree course in Marine Biology. Teaching is delivered through formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, fieldwork and guided reading and research. Each semester module is assessed by a combination of coursework (usually 50 percent) and written examination.
Final degree classification is derived from your performance in Semesters 5 – 8 and does not involve a large final examination. Scuba diving, although not a compulsory part of the course , is available both through the University’s Sub-Aqua Club and an option to gain an HSE Professional SCUBA diving qualification, or a PADI sports diving qualification, through articulation with a professional diving company.
In addition to day visits to nearby facilities, you will take part in a residential field course in which you will study aquaculture in practice. An independent research project is a major component of the final year and is often carried out in association with external bodies. Staff involved in the Aquaculture course have considerable overseas research experience, contacts and current projects. Overseas projects in Semester 8 are encouraged and past projects have been located throughout Europe, North and South America, the Indian subcontinent, Asia, Oceania and Australasia.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Aquaculture is not available as a combined degree. However, the option to take a degree in Marine Biology is retained until mid-way through Year 3.
The Institute of Aquaculture is uniquely placed in its field and there are no other Aquaculture Honours degree courses in the UK underpinned by the wealth of expertise and resources offered by this course at the University of Stirling. We also allow movement between this course and the Marine Biology stream until mid-way through the Year 3.
An exchange course is available to Aquaculture students in Year 3. The partners include the Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm in Sweden and various institutions in the USA. Semester 8 projects frequently take place overseas, often in conjunction with our international research and development activities.
Teaching provision in Aquaculture has been assessed by the Scottish Funding Council and rated as 'highly satisfactory'. The Institute of Aquaculture was ranked top in Aquaculture with 90 percent of the research output rated as 'internationally recognised' in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
The Institute of Aquaculture is the leading international centre in its field and is the largest of its kind in the world. With an excellent outcome in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, we bring together cross-disciplinary, world class researchers to meet the wide range of challenges faced as aquaculture grows to meet global demands.
We have built up a first class international reputation in teaching, research, contract research and consultancy, with an annual operating budget of almost £5 million. Our core-funded is from SHEFC via the University and we also receive substantial research and project funding from Research Councils, UK Government departments (Department for International Development, Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsDEFRA), the European Community and from a wide variety of national and international research organisations, foundations and trusts and industry.
We have links with many other academic institutions, throughout Europe, and also with the Asian Institute of Technology and the Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute (Thailand), the National Agricultural University, Mymensingh (Bangladesh), the College of Fisheries, Mangalore (India), the Universidad Michocana, Morelia (Mexico) and Myazaki University (Japan). We have had considerable, direct involvement with the industry during its rapid expansion and we provide disease and environmental management services to industry as well as project design, development and management through Stirling Aquaculture for which we received the Queens Award for Industry in 1990.
Research focuses on fundamental questions relating to strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in feeding poor communities in developing countries. Fundamental research on environments, reproduction, genetics, aquatic health, nutrition and feed supplies, on production systems, on markets, and on social and economic impacts all play significant roles. We have grown steadily over the last 35 years to our present size of more than 110 staff and 120 postgraduate students.
94% of University of Stirling 2012 graduates have found work, or are in a
further programme of study within 6 months of graduation. The Telegraph
ranks Stirling in the top 12 UK universities for getting a job.
A graduate in Aquaculture is well equipped to enter both the expanding field of Aquaculture or related positions including: aquaculture development, aquaculture production, hatchery companies, fish farm companies, environmental impact assessment, environmental and conservation fields, pollution control, pharmaceutical companies, fisheries management and governmental regulatory departments. In addition, there is a wide range of more general graduate employment, such as with biotechnological companies, bioinformatics, health and clinical sciences, forensic science, medical sales and marketing, science journalism and teaching.
There is also the option to gain further advanced post-graduate training to Masters and PhD levels for those wishing to develop specialist skills or to pursue a research career.