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MSc Aquatic Veterinary Studies

Our course is for students with a veterinary science qualification. Gain the skills you need for the investigation, prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases.

Aquatic Veterinary Studies

Key facts

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

Food from aquatic systems is essential for much of the world’s population. However, with wild catches of seafood declining in many places, aquaculture is playing an increasing role as an alternative source of high-quality, nutritious food - and as an employer. Controlling disease is important to the ongoing success of this industry.

This Masters in Aquatic Veterinary Studies provides you with training in the wide range of disciplines and skills you need for the investigation, prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases. You’ll develop an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species, as well as specialist expertise in aquatic animal diseases.

You’ll study at the Institute of Aquaculture, one of the top institutions in this field. It’s internationally recognised for both research and teaching and has more than 70 staff and 80 postgraduate students. 

The Institute has over 40 years of experience in investigating and controlling fish and shrimp diseases worldwide, which it uses to improve your problem-solving skills, ultimately equipping you to make a real contribution to the sustainability of aquaculture.

The course can also be seen as preparation for anyone who plans to undertake a PhD in the area of aquatic animal health or disease.

Our students

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and many different countries. Some may have prior experience in general veterinary practice; others already have some experience in fish health laboratories.

Intercalating opportunities for veterinary students

Intercalation gives you the opportunity to take 12 months off of your undergraduate studies to specialise on a subject by undertaking another degree such as a Masters course. Our MSc Aquatic Veterinary Studies is available to all students considering this option. This is a great opportunity as you will gain an additional degree for only one year of study. It offers greater career prospects, and provides you with a specialisation on aquatic veterinary.

After the completion of the Masters, you can return to finish your undergraduate course.

Watch our webinar

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

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • 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

    With more than 80 percent of our research rated either world-leading or internationally excellent by REF 2014, 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.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent in Veterinary Medicine. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life 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 C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 with minimum of 162 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 162 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    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.

The full Masters course 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 two compulsory modules, taken consecutively, which give a broad introduction to aquaculture science and practice. The first focuses of aquaculture species, systems and environments and their interaction in relation to fish health and welfare. The second module considers aquaculture as a commercial activity, its governance and insights into aquaculture in practice. This is important for understanding the context within which fish health management decisions must be taken.

Advanced modules (November to April)

There are four advanced modules which cover essential diagnostic skills for viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, treatments and toxicology, epidemiology and overall health control strategies. Any three of these modules may be taken as a Postgraduate Certificate in Aquaculture Health Management. Completion of all four advanced modules together with the two foundation modules can be recognised with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Veterinary Studies.

Research Project module (April to August)

The Research Project module involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects are mostly laboratory based and often result in peer-reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, following the foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc Aquatic Veterinary Studies.

 

Modules

The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    The course is delivered in a variety of ways, including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study.

  • Fieldwork

    There will be a number of field exercises throughout the course.

  • Assessment

    Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on your activities during the project, your dissertation and a seminar presentation made in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by internal and external examiners.

  • Course director
  • Key staff
    Ask an expert

    Professor Herve Migaud

    Professor Migaud, Director of the Institute of Aquaculture, talks in more depth about the science of aquaculture and the benefits of studying at Stirling.

    Ask an expert in aquaculture

  • Fees and costs

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

      2020/21

    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.

    £8,500

    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.

    £20,750

    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 and funding

    This course is currently approved for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan funding from SAAS.

    University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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

This course has run for almost 40 years and we’ve trained over 200 students (in combination with Aquatic Pathobiology) from all over the world. As a graduate, your expertise will be relevant to a wide range of potential careers in aquatic animal health. Your selected career path will depend on your personal interests, as well as your previous experiences. Graduates have gone on to work as aquatic health consultants, with government fisheries departments, and as managers of seafood farms and aquaria.

The course provides training for those who wish to pursue a PhD, especially in aquaculture, aquatic health, fisheries and aquatic resources management.

In combination with the Aquatic Veterinary Studies degree these are the destinations of our graduates over the last five years:

  1. About 30 percent have gone on to a PhD or further research
  2. Around 20 percent work in government fisheries departments
  3. About 15 percent are university lecturers
  4. The remainder are managers of farms or aquaria or have other similar types of employment
  • 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)
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