Aquaculture, or aquatic agriculture, is the cultivation and farming of fish, crustaceans, aquatic plants, algae and shellfish in freshwater and marine environments. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food producing sectors in the world, producing 50 percent of all fish for human consumption. 

The Institute of Aquaculture, based at the University of Stirling, is an international centre and the largest of its kind in the world. Their pioneering work tackles the global problems of food security, hunger and sustainability through aquaculture.

In 2021, The Institute of Aquaculture ranked 1st in the UK for research impact in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (REF 2021).

With our global reputation for teaching and world-class research, our innovative aquaculture degrees and CPD courses teach you everything you need to know for a career in aquaculture, marine biology and related areas such as pharmacy and biotechnology.

Aquaculture courses

Courses labelled are available for online study only.

Undergraduate courses
CourseStart date
BSc (Hons) Marine BiologySeptember 2024, January 2025
Postgraduate courses
CourseStart date
MSc Aquatic PathobiologySeptember 2024
MSc Aquatic Veterinary StudiesSeptember 2024
MSc Sustainable AquacultureSeptember 2024
CPD and short courses
CourseStart date
Fish Health and Welfare


We offer a variety of scholarship and funding options to help you finance your studies at the University of Stirling.

Undergraduate scholarships

See more undergraduate scholarships

Postgraduate scholarships

See more postgraduate scholarships

Why study Aquaculture at the University of Stirling?

Graduate careers in Aquaculture

Aquaculture and marine science graduates are well equipped to work in a wide range of careers in the fast growing aquaculture industry. In Scotland, salmon aquaculture revenue alone is now estimated to be worth £1.86 billion annually to the economy and supports over 8,300 jobs.

The level of industrialisation within the sector is still rather underdeveloped in terms of technological applications of nutrition, genetics, health and technology. As a result, there are a multitude of career opportunities available, including:

  • fish health experts
  • next generation feed developers
  • quality assurance operatives
  • system engineers
  • pharmaceutical and clinical researchers
  • environmental consultants
  • aquaculture and fisheries management roles

Aquaculture degrees also open up a wide range of more general graduate employment opportunities to you, such as working with biotechnological companies, bioinformatics, health and clinical sciences, forensic science, medical sales and marketing, science journalism and teaching.

Specialist facilities

The Institute of Aquaculture has secured funding for a major redevelopment of its facilities. The Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal is providing £17 million for a new Aquaculture Hub.

Currently, we’ve four research facilities providing a range of environmental conditions: marine, freshwater, temperate and tropical.

Partnerships and industry

The Institute of Aquaculture provides consultancy, scientific collaborations and expertise to develop new technology and practice in aquaculture. We work extensively with global aquaculture businesses as well as governmental and regional decision-making bodes. Our marine and freshwater facilities are available to conduct commercial research and we offer a commercial analytical service for the feed and food sector.

Aquaculture research

We're a global leader in Aquaculture research, supporting the development of aquaculture worldwide. The Institute of Aquaculture was awarded the UK’s most prestigious academic honour, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, in honour of its pioneering work in the world’s fastest-growing food production sector in a bid to tackle global hunger.

Our experts are working to tackle global problems of food security, hunger and sustainability through aquaculture. Their research focuses on:

  • Global Food Security 
  • Changing Global Environments (Mitigating and Adapting) 
  • Resilience to Change (Social, Economic and Environmental)

Aquaculture research is at the forefront of one of University’s research programmes Global Food Security.

Postgraduate research opportunities

The University of Stirling is a global leader in aquaculture research and teaching, supporting the development of aquaculture worldwide. See all our PhD and MPhil opportunities in Aquaculture and Aquatic Veterinary Studies.