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Course content

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

Programme overview

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 modules

  • 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

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

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.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Sustainable Aquaculture Systems Programme Specification September 2017 3606

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


Visit the Sustainable Aquaculture Systems - MSc page on the University of Plymouth website for more details!

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