MSc Sustainable Aquaculture

Explore the principles of sustainable aquaculture and the key factors influencing the viability of aquatic animal farming and food production systems.

Sustainable Aquaculture

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2022
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Overview

Study at the world-renowned Institute of Aquaculture – a leading Institute for sustainable aquatic food production and the largest of its kind in the world. The Institute brings together world-class, cross-disciplinary researchers to address a wide range of global challenges facing industry and society.

 

Our Masters in Sustainable Aquaculture explores the principles of aquaculture and the key factors influencing the viability of aquatic animal farming and food production systems. You’ll develop an understanding of aquatic animal biology, environmental issues, nutrition, reproduction and genetics, disease and health management.

With practical application at the core of your studies, you can choose to focus on specific aspects of sustainable aquaculture, including:

  • advanced broodstock management
  • aquaculture policy and planning
  • livelihood analysis
  • environmental management and biodiversity
  • feed formulation and resources
  • aquatic animal health control
  • epidemiology
  • ecotoxicology

You can also explore the commercial business of sustainable aquaculture, with optional modules covering marketing, business studies and economics. You’ll learn the skills necessary to establish, manage and appraise aquaculture enterprises and development projects from within the industry or public sector.

 

A flexible course

This course is highly modular, and has been designed to offer considerable flexibility for learning while maintaining a high standard of training. This structure lets you make more subject choices which will benefit your future career.

There are a number of degree outcomes available. These differ primarily in their defined path of required modules - specialised outcomes have more compulsory modules where the Sustainable Aquaculture degree has greater choice. The degree outcomes are:

  • Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture
  • Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture (Environmental Management)
  • Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture (Breeding and Genetics)
  • Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture (Aquaculture Nutrition)
  • Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture (Aquaculture Development and Food Security)

The course is also available on a block-release basis (by selecting individual or a series of modules) over a period not exceeding five academic years.

Watch our webinar

Find out more about our MSc courses in aquaculture, as well as life at Stirling. Watch our webinar >>

Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2019

The Institute of Aquaculture has received the UK’s most prestigious academic honour – the Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2019. The honour recognises outstanding work that shows quality and innovation, and delivers real benefit to the wider world through education and training. It recognises our pioneering work in the world’s fastest-growing food production sector and our bid to tackle global hunger.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The Institute of Aquaculture has been closely associated with the global expansion of aquaculture, initially through developing and improving the existing production systems and the development of new farmed species.

In recent years our research has focused on increasing the sustainability and security of aquaculture development and practice, and on improving the efficiency of utilising natural resources. You’ll have the unique opportunity to be associated with these activities and get an insight into all aspects of aquaculture sciences and development worldwide.

Our students

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many have first degrees in natural sciences; others have qualifications in agriculture, engineering, business and finance or information technology. Many have some prior work experience and we welcome more mature applicants looking for a step-change in their career. The diversity and experience of students on the programme contributes substantially to everyone's learning and ensures the programme is relevant to, and connected with, the global aquaculture industry.

Study abroad

The MSc Sustainable Aquaculture involves a research project lasting approximately three months. This can be carried out in Stirling, or with partner organisations in Scotland and other countries. In recent years, student projects have been hosted in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, USA and New Zealand.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

The Institute of Aquaculture aims to provide the highest standard of facilities in an ever-changing commercial, academic and regulatory environment. We have freshwater sites in Central Scotland, tropical and temperate freshwater recirculation systems in Stirling and marine facilities in the West of Scotland.

The Institute provides analytical laboratories in all the key priority research areas, including:

  • Genomic, molecular and bioinformatics
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Imaging facilities
  • Nutritional analytical services
  • Water quality services

Research overview

  • Top 5 in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Sciences (REF2014)

With more than 80 percent of our research rated either world-leading or internationally excellent, students benefit from our focus on research-led teaching in key areas such as Sustainable Aquaculture, Health, Breeding and Genetics, Welfare and Behaviour, and Nutrition. The Institute of Aquaculture was graded the top Aquaculture department in the UK.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Other routes of entry

If you don’t currently meet the academic requirements for this course, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need for direct entry.

Explore INTO Stirling programmes to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available for this course and others at the University of Stirling.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill 
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 1 February 2021

If you are from India, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

The full Masters course for each degree outcome is divided into six taught modules, and a single research project module. The overall course is divided into three parts.

Foundation modules (September to November)

There are two compulsory modules taken consecutively, which give a broad introduction to aquaculture science and practice. The first focuses on aquaculture species, systems and environments and their interaction whilst the second considers aquaculture as a commercial activity, its governance and insights into aquaculture in practice. Successful completion of the foundation modules plus one advanced module will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.

Advanced modules (November to March)

You must choose four advanced modules from nine offered. As these are sequential, there is a choice of two or three modules for each of the four timetable blocks. Successful completion of the two foundation modules plus four advanced modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture.

Research Project module (April to August)

The Research Project module is completed in a subject area which complements the chosen course of advanced study or your named degree outcome. These projects can be lab based, field based, or involve a desk study analysis/report. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in a selected degree outcome.

Modules

The module information below is intended only as an example of what you may study and features details for the current academic year (2021/22). Modules are regularly reviewed and are subject to future changes.

Course Details

Teaching

A variety of teaching approaches is used in the course. Our teaching makes use of both our campus-based teaching facilities and online learning environment. In addition to lectures, online materials, workshops, seminars, case studies, field and laboratory exercises, and a number of minor projects are assigned throughout the course. These are an integral part of the teaching and will involve the students working alone or in groups. These projects may require a written outcome or a presentation to peers and other staff and students. 

Fieldwork

There will be a number of field exercises throughout the course. Some trips may involve several nights away from Stirling.

Assessment

Taught module assessment is continuous, involving short tests, seminars, essays, practical reports, critical and computational analysis, field assignments and set project reports. The Research Project module is examined through a written dissertation, a press release and seminar presentation which is delivered to peers, supervisors and the external examiner.

Classroom hours

The Sustainable Aquaculture course involves intensive teaching and study. A standard day involves lectures, practicals, tutorials or group work between 9.30am and 4.30pm, with assignments taking additional time in evenings or weekends. There are sometimes field trips which may start earlier or return later or involve several nights away from Stirling. 

Key staff

Teaching on the Sustainable Aquaculture postgraduate course draws on the wide range of expertise available within the Institute of Aquaculture. Module and topic leaders include:

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2021/22 2022/23
Students from the UK£9,350£9,850
Students from the Republic of Ireland£9,350£9,850
Overseas (non-EU) students£22,825£23,325
European Union students£22,825£23,325

Students from the UK

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Other sources of funding

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

This course has run for over 30 years and we’ve trained over 700 students from all over the world. The comprehensive nature of the course and our close links with UK and overseas industry allows good potential for employment in any aspect of commercial aquaculture. Approximately 30 percent of our students follow a direct route into the industry, including production, the supply sector (feed, health, equipment and systems), or post-harvest (processing and marketing).

The course is also an excellent grounding for research and further education, often building on the dissertation, and about 30 percent of graduates choose this route. Links with government departments throughout the world allow many of our graduates to establish careers in aquaculture development and aquaculture management in developing countries.

  • Our career services is 1st in Scotland, top 5 in the UK and top 15 in the world (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018)

Employability skills

We have designed our postgraduate taught courses so that, in addition to learning about your specialist discipline, you’ll be exposed to, and trained in, a number of skills which are not specific to aquaculture but which employers increasingly expect. During your course you’ll develop capabilities in the following areas:

Academic

  • Researching information
  • Information retrieval
  • Evaluative and analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Experimental design and statistics
  • Computing modelling

Communication skills

  • Oral presentation skills
  • Scientific and business report writing
  • Presentation of reports and research findings
  • Writing for a range of readers
  • Dealing with people, interviews
  • Teamwork, group-work, leadership

Personal management skills

  • Time management
  • Organisation, planning and prioritisation
  • Working under pressure
  • Working to deadlines

Companies we work with

We work closely with the aquaculture industry in more than 20 countries, including every major company in Scotland, giving many of our students an opportunity to carry out industry-based research projects. During the course there are visits to various companies. Lectures and workshops in a number of modules are given by aquaculture professionals from Scotland.

What our students said

Chong Liu
Chong Liu
China
MSc Sustainable Aquaculture
At the end of the day, it's not what we have learned in lectures that matters, but how we are going to use it to make a difference to the world.
Read Chong's story
Riddhiman Saha
Riddhiman Saha
India
MSc Sustainable Aquaculture
I chose to study at the University of Stirling because it is one of the best universities in the world. The Faculty members are highly experienced and the employability rate of the graduates from the Aquaculture courses is exceptionally high.
Read Riddhiman's story
Pedro Munoz
Spain
MSc Sustainable Aquaculture
The Masters at Stirling is one of the most recognised Masters courses in Europe. Companies would visit just to see the new talent coming out of the course.
Read Pedro's story

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

Which course would you like to apply for?

MSc Sustainable Aquaculture

Search for another course