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Masters Degrees (Seafood)

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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. Read more

Introduction

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 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.
This 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.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Rachel Norman

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 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

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

This course shares some modules with the MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture and 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.

Delivery and 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.

Modes of study

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.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.

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.

Careers and employability

- 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.

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Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. Read more
Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. You’ll discover the scientific rationale for improving aquatic animal health, production and reducing environmental impact and address the socio-economic factors.

Key features

-Develop an appreciation for the growing aquaculture industry within a sustainable agenda for meeting the needs of culturing fish, crustacean, mollusc, aquatic plants and invertebrates for their products.
-Choose specialised modules and draw on the expertise of research active staff with proven track records of teaching and national as well as international recognition in their fields.
-Seize the opportunity to research an aspect of aquaculture.
-Undertake a variety of projects and technical training with our contemporary facilities such as wet labs/aquaria, nutrition and feed analytical suites as well as teaching laboratories, molecular biology and an electron microscopy centre.
-Learn from internationally recognised scientists and personnel from Plymouth University and the National Lobster Hatchery.
-Gain access to expertise from leaders in industry and commerce in a variety of aquaculture systems, advancing your technical and scientific knowledge.
-Benefit from our strong relationships with government agencies, commercial enterprising and advisory organisations.
-Join our well established postgraduate environment where PhD students interact and engage in related specialised areas to foster a sound academic forum for sharing ideas and technical knowledge.
-Graduate opportunities include various career paths within the aquaculture industry as well as associated fields relating to fish and shellfish health, welfare and research. Previous graduates have progressed into careers in these fields or PhD programmes in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Course details

You’ll learn about the scale and nature of the global industry and the challenges required to develop sustainable solutions. The programme reflects key aspects of fish, shellfish and algae production relating to modern aquaculture practices with emphasis on nutrition, feed management, health, welfare and sustainable technology. It also incorporates the socio-economic and geo-political developments in this expanding area as well as marketing and enterprise. Topics include: fish nutrition, feed technology, fish and shellfish health management, disease prevention and genetic improvement of stock for aquaculture; management of fish production, ornamental fish culture and global demand for aquatic trades in captive fish species; environmental and legislative regulations in different countries and the problems of aquaculture expansion in rural areas; economics of the marine environment; seafood processing; and a research project leading to your dissertation.

Core module
-BIO504 Health and Production in Aquaculture
-BIO505 Research Project
-BIO5125 Sustainable Use of Resources in Biological Systems
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-BIO5208 Contemporary Issues in Aquaculture

Optional modules
-MAR529 Marine Planning
-BIO5209 Seafood Processing - Current Perspectives
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Read more
Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Under the pressure of the increasing world population on the one side and the stagnating or even declining fishery landings on the other side, aquaculture is considered as the only option to respond to the growing demand for healthy and sustainable seafood. Commercial aquaculture is a relatively young, diverse and dynamic bio-industry with growth figures exceeding any other traditional primary production sector.

Modern aquaculture is a strongly research-driven bio-industry requiring constant innovation and highly skilled entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is also a very diverse discipline with a wide range of involved species (plants, molluscs, crustaceans, fish), climates, environments (freshwater, brackishwater, marine), and exploitation modes (developing versus developed economies; subsistence versus business aquaculture).

The MSc in Aquaculture, established at Ghent University in 1991, offers a constantly actualised programme that balances a broad multidisciplinary approach and an in-depth research-based training. It prepares its students for fulfilling leading roles in scientific research, as well as in policy-making as aquaculture businesses.

Structure

The programme is conceived along a gradient of increasingly specialized and research-driven courses across the four semesters of the two years’ programme. In the first semester basic knowledge related to topics such as biology, microbiology, aquatic ecology, statistics is consolidated, broadened and deepened, in order to come to a homogeneous profile of the students.

The following semesters focus on specialized aquaculture-related topics underpinned by the expertise of the ARC (especially in terms of live food production and applications and larviculture microbiology). The programme is concluded with the fourth semester, which is available for thesis work. Thesis work is generally integrated within ongoing research projects, thus providing the student with a broader context of current research and applications.

Students advance their presentation techniques, communication skills and other generic skills through a variety of for teaching forms other than classical classroom teaching (e.g. practical exercises; case-study approaches, group work, lab work reporting).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme, the graduated student:
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in a number of basic disciplines (biology, ecology, pathology, genetics, zootechnology, nutrition, management, economics and statistics) relevant to aquaculture.
-Understands the processes ongoing in different forms and systems of aquatic production.
-Has acquired a broad knowledge on the production of aquatic organisms.
-Can identify and analyze the interactions between aquatic biological production systems and their environmental context, and can implement potential mitigating interventions.
-Can identify and analyze the interactions between aquatic biological production systems and their socio-economic context, and is familiar with the practicalities and organization of commercial ventures.
-Understands the ethical issues of animal production and experimentation.
-Can design and implement strategies for future development in aquaculture.
-Has acquired a scientific approach to formulate and test hypotheses to design research protocols, and to collect and analyze data.
-Is able to interact with peers, with various stakeholders in the aquaculture sector, and with a general public concerning personal research, thoughts, ideas, and research proposals, both written and orally.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted):
-TOEFL IBT 80
-TOEFL PBT 550
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)

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