Explore the principles of sustainable aquaculture and the key factors influencing the viability of aquatic animal farming and food production systems.
Study at the world-renowned Institute of Aquaculture – a leading international centre in sustainable seafood production and the largest of its kind in the world. The Institute brings together world-class, cross-disciplinary researchers to address a wide range of global challenges facing industry and society.
Our Masters in Sustainable Aquaculture explores the principles of aquaculture and the key factors influencing the viability of aquatic animal farming and food production systems. You’ll develop an understanding of aquatic animal biology, environmental issues, nutrition, reproduction and genetics, disease and health management.
With practical application at the core of your studies, you can choose to focus on specific aspects of sustainable aquaculture, including:
- advanced broodstock management
- aquaculture policy and planning
- livelihood analysis
- environmental management and biodiversity
- feed formulation and resources
- aquatic animal health control
You can also explore the commercial business of sustainable aquaculture, with optional modules covering marketing, business studies and economics. You’ll learn the skills necessary to establish, manage and appraise aquaculture enterprises and development projects from within the industry or public sector.
A flexible course
This course is highly modular, and has been designed to offer considerable flexibility for learning while maintaining a high standard of training. This structure lets you make more subject choices which will benefit your future career.
There are a number of degree outcomes available. These differ primarily in their defined path of required modules - specialised outcomes have more compulsory modules where the Sustainable Aquaculture degree has greater choice. The degree outcomes are:
- Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture and the Environment
- Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture Business Management
- Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma in Aquaculture and Development
- Master of Science/Postgraduate Diploma 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.
Watch our webinar to find out more about our MSc courses in aquaculture, as well as life at Stirling.
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 security of aquaculture development and practice, and on improving the efficiency of utilising natural resources. You’ll have the unique opportunity to be associated with these activities and get an insight into all aspects of aquaculture sciences and development worldwide.
Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many have first degrees in natural sciences; others have qualifications in agriculture, engineering, business and finance or information technology. Many have some prior work experience and we welcome more mature applicants looking for a step-change in their career. The diversity and experience of students on the programme contributes substantially to everyone's learning and ensures the programme is relevant to, and connected with, the global aquaculture industry.
Our MSc Aquaculture courses are also very International. In 2016-17 there were 42 MSc students across our courses from around 25 different countries. This involved students from Europe, the Near/Middle East, Africa, Asia, The Americas and Australasia.
The MSc Sustainable Aquaculture involves a research project lasting approximately three months. This can be carried out in Stirling, or with partner organisations in Scotland and other countries. In recent years, student projects have been hosted in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, USA and New Zealand.
If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.
The Institute of Aquaculture aims to provide the highest standard of facilities in an ever-changing commercial, academic and regulatory environment. We have freshwater sites in Central Scotland, tropical and temperate freshwater recirculation systems in Stirling and marine facilities in the West of Scotland.
The Institute provides analytical laboratories in all the key priority research areas, including:
- Genomic, molecular and bioinformatics
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Imaging facilities
- Nutritional analytical services
- Water quality services
Top 5 in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Sciences (REF2014)
With more than 80 percent of our research rated either world-leading or internationally excellent, students benefit from our focus on research-led teaching in key areas such as Sustainable Aquaculture, Health, Breeding and Genetics, Welfare and Behaviour, and Nutrition. The Institute of Aquaculture was graded the top Aquaculture department in the UK.
The full Masters course for each degree outcome is divided into six taught modules, and a single research project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:
Foundation modules (September to November)
There are two compulsory modules taken consecutively, which give a broad introduction to aquaculture science and practice. The first focuses of aquaculture species, systems and environments and their interaction whilst the second considers aquaculture as a commercial activity, its governance and insights into aquaculture in practice. Successful completion of the foundation modules plus one advanced module will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.
Advanced modules (November to March)
You must choose four advanced modules from nine offered. As these are sequential, there is a choice of two or three modules for each of the four timetable blocks. Successful completion of the two foundation modules plus four advanced modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture.
Research Project module (April to August)
The Research Project module is completed in a subject area which complements the chosen course of advanced study or your named degree outcome. These projects can be lab based, field based, or involve a desk study analysis/report. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in a selected degree outcome.
A variety of teaching approaches is used in the course. In addition to lectures, workshops, seminars, case studies, field and laboratory exercises, a number of minor projects are assigned throughout the course. These are an integral part of the teaching and will involve the students working alone or in groups. These projects may require a written outcome or a presentation to peers and other staff and students.
There will be a number of field exercises throughout the course. Some trips may involve several nights away from Stirling.
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 a written dissertation, a press release and seminar presentation which is delivered to peers, supervisors and the external examiner.
The Sustainable Aquaculture course involves intensive teaching and study. A standard day involves lectures, practicals, tutorials or group work between 9.30am and 4.30pm, with assignments taking additional time in evenings or weekends. There are sometimes field trips which may start earlier or return later or involve several nights away from Stirling.
University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship
The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.
If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.
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.
For other qualifications, check by selecting your country of residence.
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 (Academic) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill
- IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
- Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a 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.