Our Aquatic Pathobiology postgraduate degree gives you a unique opportunity to study the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms. You’ll study at the Institute of Aquaculture, one of the top institutions in this field. The Institute is internationally recognised for both research and teaching and has more than 70 staff and 80 postgraduate students. This Masters in Aquatic Pathobiology has been taught at the Institute for almost 40 years and is the only postgraduate degree of its kind in the world.
The course combines high-quality, practical work and field visits with class-based training in aquatic disease diagnosis and health management challenges drawn from real situations. You’ll also develop an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species.
The course can also be seen as preparation for anyone who plans to do a PhD in aquatic animal health or disease.
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.
Watch our webinar to find out more about our MSc courses in aquaculture, as well as life at Stirling.
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 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 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 in relation to fish health and welfare. The second module considers aquaculture as a commercial activity, its governance and insights into aquaculture in practice. This is important for understanding the context within which fish health management decisions must be taken.
Advanced modules (November to April)
There are four advanced modules which cover essential diagnostic skills for viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, treatments and toxicology, epidemiology and overall health control strategies. Any three of these modules may be taken as a Postgraduate Certificate in Aquaculture Health Management. Completion of all four advanced modules together with the two foundation modules can be recognised with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Pathobiology.
Research Project module (April to August)
The Research Project module involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects are mostly laboratory based and often result in peer-reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, following the foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc Aquatic Pathobiology.
The course is delivered in a number of ways, including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study.
There will be a number of field exercises throughout the course.
Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on your activities during the project, your dissertation and a seminar presentation made in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by Aquaculture and an external examiner.
Scholarships and funding
This course is currently approved for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan funding from SAAS.
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.
Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.
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, please select 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:
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.
- 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
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.