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Course content

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
  • epidemiology
  • ecotoxicology

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.

Course objectives

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

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.

Study abroad

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.


Visit the Sustainable Aquaculture MSc page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

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