MSc in Aquatic Food Security

University of Stirling

Program Description

MSc in Aquatic Food Security

University of Stirling

MSc in Aquatic Food Security

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.

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.

Module titles

Foundation modules:

  • Principles of Aquaculture (topics: Aquatic Animal Biology and Health, Aquatic Animals in the Environment, Aquatic Animal Nutrition and Food Safety)
  • Aquaculture Production (topics: Aquatic Animal Reproduction & Genetics, Aquatic Production Systems, Aquaculture in Practice)

Advanced Modules:

  • Food Quality and Safety (topics: Seafood Safety and Quality assessment, Spoilage and Sensory Assessment, Global Certification, Food Chain and Legislation)

One of

  • Animal Health & Breeding (topics: Broodstock Management & Genetics, Epidemiology & Health Control, Ecotoxicology)
  • Aquaculture Development (topics: Policy, Planning & Management, Livelihoods & Aquatic Resources Management, Business & Financial Management)
  • Numerical Skills (topics: Handling data, statistical analysis, using mathematical models) (AQUPMM)

Research Project module

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.


  • 2016/17 Overseas £17,350
  • 2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
  • 2015/16 Overseas £16,600
  • 2015/16 Home/EU £6,000

Academic requirements

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.

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

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.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 26, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 5 years
Full time
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 5 years
Price Request Info