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Postgraduate Diploma & MSc Sustainable Aquaculture

    E-Learning Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    MSc: £20,370; PGDip £13,580; PGCert £6,790 (for January 2017 entry, tuition fees are £6,470); Non-graduating CPD: £1,250 per 10-credit module

The Sustainable Aquaculture distance learning modular programme is taught part time via an online e-learning platform offering online tutorial support, direct email contact with tutors, video streams and access to student bulletin boards. This structure allows students the maximum flexibility to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.

This course can be studied on a modular basis, as a PGCert, PGDip or MSc.


  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
  • The course uses an online e-learning platform with tutorial support, direct contact with tutors, video steam and access to student bulletin boards.

Teaching format

Both PGDip and MSc students take taught modules covering all aspects of aquaculture both vertebrate and invertebrate over an 18-month period. MSc students then spend the next six months researching and writing a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words to be submitted on a specified date at the end of the course.

Classes are taught through a combination of weekly lectures and tutorials and are assessed through a combination of written examinations and coursework. The course consists of a series of compulsory core modules and a choice of five optional modules matched to students’ specific interests.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change.

Core modules

  • Aquaculture and Fisheries: the global importance of aquaculture and fisheries industries worldwide.
  • Biology for Aquaculture: the fundamental biology, anatomy and physiology of both invertebrate and vertebrate aquaculture species. 
  • Nutrition for Aquaculture: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of key fish and invertebrate species.
  • Health and Disease: the factors that influence disease processes in cultured fish and invertebrates. 
  • Management, Husbandry and Sustainability: production management and business management of modern aquaculture practices.
  • Markets, Products, Processing and Food Safety: advanced knowledge of aquaculture markets, products, processing and food safety.
  • Local and Global Impacts of Aquaculture: the environmental impact of aquaculture practices on both local and global scales.

Optional modules

  • Advanced Welfare and Ethics
  • Breeding and Genetics
  • Larval Rearing
  • Ornamental and Aquaria Production
  • Recirculation Aquaculture Systems.

Research Dissertation

Students on the MSc programme complete a 15,000-word dissertation at the end of their studies. The dissertation involves the study of a defined problem within the field of sustainable aquaculture. Students are required to collate and analyse data and to discuss their results in the light of existing literature. In some cases, projects might also involve the design of experiments or the gathering of data. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing the exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the taught portion of the programme and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.


Graduates will typically pursue a career in higher level management, research and development or business development within the global aquaculture business.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Visit the Postgraduate Diploma & MSc Sustainable Aquaculture page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!






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