MSc in Aquatic Food Security

General information

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 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. The 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.

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:

1. Foundation Modules (Semester 1) 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. Students select a particular named degree outcome at the end of the Foundation modules. Topics of study within the Advanced Modules are then chosen appropriately.

  • Principles of Aquaculture
  • Aquaculture Production

2. Advanced Modules (Semester 2) In order to graduate with an MSc in Aquatic Food security students must take a module in Food Quality and Safety for the first six weeks and can then chose one module from three for the second six weeks of teaching (choose from Animal Health and Breeding, Aquaculture Development and Numerical Skills).

  • Food Quality and Safety and one of the following
  • Animal Health & Breeding
  • Aquaculture Development 
  • Numerical Skills

3. Research Project module (Semester 3)
Projects can be lab based, field based, or involve a desk study analysis/report or mathematical modelling exercise. Successful completion of the module will qualify the student for the MSc in Aquatic Food security.

The course is also available on a block-release basis (by selecting individual or a series of modules) over a period not exceeding five academic years.

Modules

Foundation modules:

  • Principles of Aquaculture (topics: Aquatic Animal Biology and Health, Aquatic Animals in the Environment, Aquatic Animal Nutrition and Food Safety) 
  • Aquaculture Production (topics: Aquatic Animal Reproduction & Genetics, Aquatic Production Systems, Aquaculture in Practice)

Advanced Modules:

  • Food Quality and Safety (topics: Seafood Safety and Quality assessment, Spoilage and Sensory Assessment, Global Certification, Food Chain and Legislation)

One of

  • Animal Health & Breeding (topics: Broodstock Management & Genetics, Epidemiology & Health Control, Ecotoxicology)
  • Aquaculture Development (topics: Policy, Planning & Management, Livelihoods & Aquatic Resources Management, Business & Financial Management)
  • Numerical Skills (topics: Handling data, statistical analysis, using mathematical models) (AQUPMM)

Research Project module

Modes of study. 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.

Strengths. 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.

Academic strengths. 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. 

Learning outcome:

Career opportunities. 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. 

Employability. 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.

Industry connections. 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.

Contact Person: Rachel Norman (Course Director) (r.a.norman@stir.ac.uk)

Content

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

Venue

Venue: University of Stirling
Stirling, United Kingdom

School of Natural Sciences
FK9 4LA Scotland

Application


Cost:

Full-time programme 2016/2017

  • UK/EU students: £6.100
  • Overseas students: £17.350

Full-time programme 2017/2018

  • UK/EU students: £TBC
  • Overseas students: £18.150

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. 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


Prerequisites:

Degree 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/life experience are encouraged to apply.

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

Application Procedure:

You can apply for this master using either the online application form or via an international representative. Please see the full list of international representatives or you can email the international recruitment team: sraagents@stir.ac.uk. Please include the following documents, as well as your application form:

  • Copies of academic qualifications or certificates
  • An academic transcript from your undergraduate programme (translated if not in English)
  • One reference
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (if relevant)
  • A copy of the personal details page of your valid passport (for international students)
  • A copy of your current Tier 4 visa, if you are currently studying in the UK (for international students)

Application Deadline: applications can be made up to one years in advance of the programme start date. There are no application deadlines - the University considers applications throughout the year. International candidates requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK are advised to apply at least 8 weeks in advance of the programme start date. 


Grant Opportunities:

Scottish Funding Council Masters Scholarships

The Scottish Funding Council is funding Home/EU tuition fees for a number of places on this course. Funded places are open to applicants domiciled in Scotland and the EU.

Further information on possible sources of funding is available at the Scholarhsip finder and the Sources of funding webpages of the University.

Scholarship finder

Fully funded masters scholarships

In partnership with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and The Data Lab, the University of Stirling is currently offering up to 82 fully funded places on a select range of Masters Programmes during 2016/17. For each place, the full cost of tuition will be covered across a diverse set of courses.

All of the cutting-edge programmes supported by this funding have been handpicked because they arm graduates with all the skills necessary to impact Scotland's key up-and-coming industries – and each scholarship is supported by a set of inclusive eligibility requirements.

How do I apply? You don't. So long as you apply for one of the listed postgraduate courses, accept an unconditional offer and meet all eligibility requirements, you will automatically be considered for one of the SFC's 82 masters scholarships. Successful candidates will then be notified via email by the University's Admissions Office.

Qualification

Academic level: Master

Assessment:

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.


Qualification: Master of Science

Credits:
Scheme: 
SCQF Credits
Value: 
180
Occupations (not validated):
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