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MSc Aquatic Food Security

Study for our Masters and gain a greater knowledge of the global issues affecting seafood production and trading, as well as an understanding of the key factors affecting aquatic food production.

Aquatic Food Security

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Campus based

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This Masters in Aquatic Food Security brings a unique perspective to the expertise that already exists in Stirling on global seafood production. It's the only Masters course in the UK that focuses on how seafood can contribute to global food security.

Food security is a complex issue of global significance and understanding the role and contribution of seafood within food security is an emerging research area. Seafood products are provided by both aquaculture and capture fisheries and are one of the most highly traded food products globally. Including seafood in people's daily diet provides an affordable source of macro and micronutrients required for optimal human health and development.

This course will introduce you to the global issues affecting seafood production and trading. You'll gain an understanding of:

  • the key factors affecting aquatic food production
  • post-harvest protocols
  • post-mortem metabolic events
  • microbial/chemical processes key for food safety and quality
  • sensory assessment
  • shelf-life extension technologies

You'll also examine other key issues in seafood trading such as traceability systems, certifications and the impact of governance and legislation on the global seafood sector. You'll follow the food chain from production through to consumer health and welfare.

We have a number of links in the production, processing and retail industries giving you the opportunity to interact with industry and potentially carry out a project which is of direct relevance to the sector.

We also have links within Asia and Europe which gives you the opportunity to undertake the summer research project overseas.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Work placements

    We have a number of links in the production, processing and retail industries which provides you with the opportunity to interact with industry and potentially carry out a project which is of direct relevance to the sector. We also have links within Asia and Europe which gives you the chance to undertake the research project overseas.

  • 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
    • 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.

    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 reducing the environmental impact of these activities.

    We've recently invested in new posts in Aquatic Food Security. Their activities include research into food safety and quality post harvest, aquatic animal nutrition, as well as developing mathematical models of production systems. We've expertise that covers the whole production cycle from farm to fork.

    The Institute of Aquaculture is internationally recognised for both research and teaching and is one of only a handful of institutions devoted to aquatic food security. The goal is to develop and promote aquatic food security building on the Institute staff expertise in sustainable aquatic animal production. 

  • 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 experience are encouraged to apply.

  • English language requirements

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

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our 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.

This course shares some modules with the MSc Sustainable Aquaculture. There's flexibility within the system to change your degree title depending on what advanced modules you complete. The course is divided into four taught modules, containing 18 subject areas or topics, and a single research project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:

  • Semester 1 - foundation modules
    There are two compulsory modules consisting of six topics of study, taken consecutively, giving instruction in basic aquaculture concepts and skills. Successful completion of both foundation modules will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture. You'll select a particular named degree outcome at the end of the foundation modules. Topics of study within the advanced modules are then chosen.

  • Semester 2 - advanced modules
    In order to graduate with an MSc Aquatic Food Security you must take a module in Food Quality and Safety for the first six weeks and then you can chose one module from three for the second six weeks of teaching. You'll choose from Animal Health and Breeding, Aquaculture Development or Numerical Skills.

  • Semester 3 - research project module
    Projects can be lab or field-based, or involve a desk study analysis/report or mathematical modelling exercise. Successful completion of the module will qualify you for the MSc Aquatic Food Security.

You can study this course full-time or through discontinuous study by block release. The course is available on a block-release basis (by selecting individual or a series of modules) over a period not exceeding five academic years.

Modules

The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2017/18 on this course of study.

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Course Details

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Home/EU Students

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

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £6,300 TBC

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £18,970 £19,850

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships

    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. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.

    To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • 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.

    EU 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

Demand for well qualified postgraduates to contribute to food production and the supply chain will continue to increase in line with the need to double food production over the coming decades.

This course provides you with the appropriate knowledge and practical experience important for a career in aquatic food security. You'll graduate with core knowledge and practical skills on aquaculture, food safety/quality, numerical analysis and legislation appropriate to aquatic food security. These skills will be equally applicable to those wishing to pursue an academic career as well as those seeking employment in Government or industry.

Stirling is the only University in the UK and in Europe to offer the MSc Aquatic Food Security and I am honoured to be the first graduate.
Nada Bougouss
MSc Aquatic Food Security
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The department here has great links with industry and so we got to visit a lot of industry sites and also had many guest speakers. This allowed us to get more than just an academic insight into what the industry needs.
Sarah Evans
Scotland MSc Aquatic Food Security
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