BSc (Hons)


This innovative course, will train you in all subjects appropriate to global aquaculture. Aquaculture - or aquatic agriculture - is much more than ‘fish farming’ and includes culture of species such as prawns, shrimps, mussels, oysters, crocodiles, turtles and algae. Aquaculture already produces more than half of all of the fish consumed globally.

The Institute of Aquaculture is the largest multi-disciplinary aquaculture department in the world, with 100 staff and 110 postgraduate students, and has a practical involvement in industry through its own fish farms, marine station and many commercial activities. There are especially strong links with research and development organisations worldwide.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: C163; C164
  • Qualification: BSc (Hons)
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Darren Green
  • Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Download course leaflet
Download undergraduate prospectus

Dr Darren Green

University of Stirling
Scotland, UK

View fees and finance

What makes us different?

The Institute of Aquaculture is uniquely placed in its field and there are no other Aquaculture Honours degree courses in the UK underpinned by the wealth of expertise and resources offered by this course at the University of Stirling. We also allow movement between this course and the Marine Biology stream until mid-way through the Year 3.

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Take the 360° tour

View our stunning campus and facilities in 3D and find out out why Stirling is a great place to study, live, work and play.

View our tours  >

Campus 360 tour

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
AABB - one sitting.
AAAB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

BTEC (Level 3):

Essential subjects:
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Year 2 entry may be possible with HND in a Science based subject. For information on accepted courses please consult our Advanced Entry

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.
Foundation Apprenticeships

considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

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
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • 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

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.

Fees and costs

Fees Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Science 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

Fees Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Semesters 1-4

During Years 1 and 2 (Semesters 1 to 4) you will take core modules such as:

  •     Our Blue Planet
  •     Introduction to Cell Biology and Physiology
  •     Laboratory Skills and Field Skills
  •     Our Thirsty Planet
  •     Introduction to Aquatic Environments
  •     Evolution and Genetics
  •     Science of Diving

Semesters 5 - 8

Honours students take core modules such as:

  •     Managing Living Aquatic Resources
  •     Advanced Marine Biology
  •     Microbiology
  •     Aquaculture
  •     Aquaculture Field Course
  •     Aquaculture General Exam
  •     Aquaculture Project (Final Year)

There are specialised half modules in:

  • Aquaculture Nutrition
  • Aquaculture Production Environments
  • Aquatic Diseases
  • Aquaculture Genetics and Reproduction

Delivery and assessment

The Aquaculture degree at Stirling is taught by one of the largest groupings of aquatic scientists in the world and shares a common foundation with the degree course in Marine Biology. Teaching is delivered through formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, fieldwork and guided reading and research. Each semester module is assessed by a combination of coursework (usually 50 percent) and written examination.

Final degree classification is derived from your performance in Semesters 5 – 8 and does not involve a large final examination.

In addition to day visits to nearby facilities, you will take part in a field course in which you will study aquaculture in practice. An independent research project is a major component of the final year and is often carried out in association with external bodies. Staff involved in the Aquaculture course have considerable overseas research experience, contacts and current projects. Overseas projects in Semester 8 are encouraged and past projects have been located throughout Europe, North and South America, the Indian subcontinent, Asia, Oceania and Australasia.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Combined degrees

Aquaculture is not available as a combined honours degree. However, the option to take a degree in Marine Biology is retained until mid-way through Year 3.

Learn more about studying these subjects

Related degrees

Marine Biology

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Find out more

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
1100   AQU5AR AQU5AR(P)   BIO5MI(P)
1300   BIO5AP      
1500   BIO5AP      
1600   BIO5AP      

Why Stirling?


The Institute of Aquaculture was ranked highly in the most recent Research Excellence Framework exercise with 88% internationally recognised rating.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

Year 3 students can benefit from an exchange programme with various institutions across the world including Australia, Canada, and the USA.  In Semester 8, projects frequently take place overseas, often in conjunction with our international research and development activities. 


Students benefit from their close association with a strongly research-led department, particularly in the move advanced and project modules. 

The Institute of Aquaculture is the leading international centre in its field and is the largest of its kind in the world. With an excellent outcome in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, we bring together cross-disciplinary, world class researchers to meet the wide range of challenges faced as aquaculture grows to meet global demands.

We have built up a first class international reputation in teaching, research, contract research and consultancy, with an annual operating budget of almost £5 million. Our core-funded is from SHEFC via the University and we also receive substantial research and project funding from Research Councils, UK Government departments (Department for International Development (DFID), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)), the European Union and from a wide variety of national and international research organisations, foundations and trusts and industry.

We have links with many other academic institutions, throughout Europe, and also with the Asian Institute of Technology and the Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute (Thailand), the National Agricultural University, Mymensingh (Bangladesh), the College of Fisheries, Mangalore (India), the Universidad Michocana, Morelia (Mexico) and Myazaki University (Japan). We have had considerable, direct involvement with the industry during its rapid expansion and we provide disease and environmental management services to industry as well as project design, development and management through Stirling Aquaculture for which we received the Queens Award for Industry in 1990.

Academic Strengths

Our research focuses on fundamental questions relating to strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in feeding poor communities in developing countries. Fundamental research on environments, reproduction, genetics, aquatic health, nutrition and feed supplies, on production systems, on markets, and on social and economic impacts all play significant roles. We have grown steadily over the last 35 years to our present size of more than 110 staff and 120 postgraduate students.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

A graduate, you will be well equipped to enter the expanding field of aquaculture or to work with related fish-farm, pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.  Potential roles include pollution control, environmental impact assessment, fisheries management, governmental regulation, and conservation.  There are also opportunities in more general employment areas, such as bioinformatics, health and clinical sciences, forensic sciences, medical sales and marketing, science journalism, and teaching.

There is also the option to gain further advanced postgraduate training to Masters and PhD levels for those wishing to develop specialist skills or to pursue a research career.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon