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BSc (Hons) Aquaculture

Bachelor (ISCED 2011 level 6)


Duration 8 semesters
Cost Scottish/EU Students £1,820; Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland £9,250; Overseas (Non-EU) Students £15,600


By 2050, the world population is predicted to be 9.7 billion and food demand is projected to double. Aquaculture is a solution already providing over 50 percent of all fish for human consumption. Worldwide, aquaculture is the fastest-growing food production sector and one of Scotland’s biggest export markets. Keeping our aquatic environments healthy, protected and sustainable is vital for our planet.

Aquaculture – or aquatic agriculture – is more than just 'fish farming'. It includes the culture of many species, including crocodiles and turtles. Our course is the perfect place to kick-start your career in aquaculture, or to work with related fish-farm, pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.

The excellence of our course is rooted in the Institute of Aquaculture, the leading international centre and the largest of its kind in the world. You’ll benefit from our expertise in teaching, research and consultancy. You'll also have the opportunity to pursue projects overseas, often in conjunction with our research and development activities.

The Institute of Aquaculture has received the UK’s most prestigious academic honour – the Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2019. The honour recognises outstanding work that shows quality and innovation, and delivers real benefit to the wider world through education and training. It recognises our pioneering work in the world’s fastest-growing food production sector and our bid to tackle global hunger.

Studying aquaculture at Stirling will equip you with the skills and knowledge to be the difference and help feed the future.

Course details

Semesters 1-4 cover biology and marine science modules, including: Our Blue Planet; Our Thirsty Planet; Laboratory Skills; Our Hungry Planet; and Evolution and Genetics.

During Semesters 5-8, optional modules include: Microbiology and Animal Physiology, together with specialised modules such as Aquaculture Environment and Disease; Aquaculture Genetics; Reproduction and Nutrition, plus an Aquaculture field course.

In Semesters 5 and 6, you could benefit from an exchange programme with various institutions across the world including Australia, Canada and the USA.

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.

The Institute of Aquaculture brings together cross-disciplinary, world class researchers. We’ve a first-class international reputation in teaching, research, contract research and consultancy for aquaculture. We collaborate with academic research institutions throughout Europe and beyond, including Spain, China, Brazil, Norway and Thailand.

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

Mode of study 

Part-time, Full-time, Campus based


We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2018. Our academic staff use their international research activities to teach you the latest thinking and trends in Aquaculture.

Our teaching is delivered through formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, fieldwork and guided reading and research.


In addition to day visits to nearby facilities, you’ll take part in a field course to study aquaculture in practice.


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.

Study abroad

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.

Structural components
International component
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Language training
Research Project

Application procedure

How to apply

To apply for a full-time undergraduate degree, the majority of students should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).


Grant opportunities

Funding opportunities

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled overseas

The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

Tution fees paid by SAAS for Scottish and UE students.

If you are scottish or from the UE, you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid in full, providing you meet their residence conditions. You must apply to SAAS every year to ensure your fees are paid.


Year 1 entry - UK students

SQA Higher
AABB - by the end of S5
AAAB - by the end of S6

GCE A-level

IB Diploma
32 points

BTEC (Level 3)

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

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

For other nationalities, check entry requirements for your country/region.

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 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL 80 with no subtest less than 17
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

Last updated: 5 December 2019

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

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.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

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