The programme in aqua medicine is based in the natural sciences. Through research-based instruction, the students learn the biology of aquatic organisms, pathogens, and the impact of environmental factors, i.e. conditions that can lead to the development of illness and injury. The students learn modern and appropriate methods of diagnosis and are given thorough insight into the prevention and treatment of illness and injuries in aquatic organisms.
Education in aqua medicine encompasses a wide range of topics that encompass work in the aquaculture industry, aquatic animal health services, management, and educational and research institutions. The programme provides the student with particular insight into the biology of aquatic organisms and interactions among these organisms, pathogens and external environmental factors. The education also covers the primary aquatic animal health service and gives insights into the organization and legislation related to fish farming and disease.
The programme helps to focus students ethical reflections on and awareness of animal husbandry and animal experiments, promotes respect and understanding of biological factors and provides insight into environmental and health perspectives on a global scale. Through specialization, the students develop a reflective and critical scientific mind-set and a deliberate approach, interpretation and presentation of their own research results.
The programme meets the requirements set for certification as an aqua medicine biologist, and strict requirements are set for the content of the study so that most elements in the programme are compulsory. Upon completion of the programme, the students can apply for the title of aqua medicine biologist (Fiskehelsebiolog), by submitting an application to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (FSA). The title of aqua medicine biologists is regarded as equivalent to the title of veterinarian in Norwegian legislation, and candidates who have been awarded the title have the same rights as the veterinarians with regard to treating diseases in aquaculture. The title gives limited prescription rights.
Required Learning Outcomes
A candidate who has completed his or her qualifications should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- Is aware of and can describe the anatomy, physiology and nutrition of fish.
- has a sound knowledge of pathological organisms associated with farmed and wild fish species and knows how the immune systems of fish function
- knows how the conditions related to the marine ecosystems influence disease development and disease proliferation
- understands and can explain the circumstances that may lead to illness and injury in fish farming
- can discuss relevant and appropriate methods in diagnostics
- knows different principles of and strategies for vaccination
- can explain the laws and regulations related to aquaculture and illness
- can provide correct diagnostics and treat illnesses in fish.
- can propose and monitor the implementation of disease treatment in aquatic organisms.
- can use modern working and analytical methods promoting fish health.
- can plan and conduct scientific studies based on data collected from the field and laboratory
- can formulate a research question and analyze and write a report based on the data collected from the study.
- can give advice on preventative and mitigating measures
- can read and understand scientific work relevant to aqua medicine and combatting disease
- can work within an ethical framework based on current legislation and ethical guidelines.
- can practically apply laws and regulations in daily professional practice
- can make ethically informed decisions about animal husbandry and animal experiments
- can work based on reputable scientific principles, with understanding of and respect for transparency, accuracy, accountability and knows the importance of distinguishing between knowledge and opinions.
- can work alone and with others in a team and in close contact with the industry
- can discuss the field in the public debate based on available facts and unhindered by different agendas