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 our daily diet provides an affordable source of macro and micronutrients required for optimal human health and development.
This course is designed to introduce the global issues affecting seafood production and trading, and will promote an understanding of the key factors affecting aquatic food production, post-harvest protocols, post-mortem metabolic events and microbial/chemical processes key for food safety and quality. Sensory assessment and shelf-life extension technologies will also be covered. The course will also examine other key issues in seafood trading such as traceability systems, certifications as well as the impact of governance and legislation on the global seafood sector.
This is the only aquatic food security MSc currently available in the UK. It will comprehensively follow the food chain from production through to consumer health and welfare.
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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.
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This course shares some modules with the MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture and there is flexibility within the system to change the degree title depending on what advanced modules are taken. 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:
In addition to lectures, tutorials and seminars, a number of assignments must be completed. Laboratory-based practical sessions are also important elements of the course. 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 written dissertation and seminar presentations by both supervisors and an external examiner.
Research Project module
Full-time study or 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.
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.
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This MSc brings a unique perspective to the expertise that already exists in Stirling on global seafood production. It is the only MSc in the UK that focusses on how seafood can contribute to global food security.
We have a number of links in the production, processing and retail industries and this will provide students 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 will allow the opportunity to undertake the Research Project overseas.
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. In addition, we have recently invested in new posts in Aquatic Food Security whose activities also include research into food safety and quality post harvest, aquatic animal nutrition, as well as developing mathematical models of production systems. We therefore have 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.
Professor Rachel Norman
Rachel has a first class Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Stirling and also did a PhD in Liverpool in which she used mathematical models to understand infectious disease dynamics and control. She spent a year in the Zoology department at Oxford University using mathematical models to understand the dynamics and control of Lymphatic filariasis. She came to the Computing Science and Mathematics department as a lecturer in 1996 and since then has been working closely with biologists on models of wildlife diseases. In particular for the last 10 years she has focussed on models of aquatic parasites. In January 2013 she was appointed to the chair of Aquatic Food Security and has been looking at how seafood can contribute to the global issue of food security.
Dr Mags Crumlish
Mags’ research includes the identification and characterisation of microbial diseases affecting farmed aquatic animals. She is particularly interested in understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial infections affecting farmed fish and shellfish. She gained her PhD at Stirling where she continued her research in disease identification and diagnosis leading to the production of vaccines against bacterial infections. She has a keen interest in microbial food safety.
Dr Amaya Albalat
Amaya has a background in fish and crustacean physiology. Her main interests are a better understanding of animal physiological responses in situations of stress, infection, fishing and aquaculture practices and their impact into the post-mortem metabolism and ultimately seafood quality. She conducted her PhD in the University of Barcelona and during the last eight years she has work in the University of Glasgow.
Dr Anthony O’Hare
Anthony is a physicist by background with interests in emergent phenomenon in complex many-body interacting systems, game theoretic approaches to dynamic interacting systems and the simulation of non-linear mathematical model Prior to taking up his position of lecturer in Aquatic Food Security, he completed several years of postdoctoral research in the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health in the University of Glasgow investigating the transmission dynamics of bovine Tuberculosis within the UK.
Dr Oscar Monroig
Oscar works in fish nutrition with special interest in Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) biosynthesis in farmed species, in particular understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the LC-PUFA biosynthesis and genetic improvement of Atlantic salmon stocks. He has already spent some time in Stirling on a Marie Curie fellowship. Immediately before coming to Stirling Oscar has been working in Spain.
Demand for well qualified postgraduates to contribute to food production and the supply chain will continue to increase in line with demand to double food production over the coming decades. This course provides each student with the appropriate knowledge and practical experience important for a career in aquatic food security. The course has been developed to provide students 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.
This course has been developed to provide students 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.
We have a number of links in the production, processing and retail industries which provides students 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 allows the opportunity to undertake the research project overseas.