The PGDip/MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture offers a range of part-time, e-learning, postgraduate-level modules which aim to develop students' critical understanding of the development and principles of aquaculture.

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 their employment.


  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing their employment.
  • The course uses an online e-learning platform with tutorial support, direct contact with tutors, video stream 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.


  • 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.
  • Health and Disease: the factors that influence disease processes in cultured fish and invertebrates.
  • Local and Global Impacts of Aquaculture: the environmental impact of aquaculture practices on both local and global scales.
  • 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.
  • Nutrition for Aquaculture: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of key fish and invertebrate species.


Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.

Optional modules in the past have included:

  • 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.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


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.

Entry requirements

  • A 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant biological science. Entry will also be offered following successful completion of the Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture in conjunction with additional evidence of relevant professional experiential learning.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
  • two original signed academic references.
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • English language requirements certificate.
  • covering letter or letter of intent (optional).


Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

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Last updated March 15, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
18 - 60 months
21,990 GBP
MSc: £21,990; Postgraduate Diploma: £14,660
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
End Date
Sep 30, 2021
Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Sep 9, 2019

Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
End Date
Sep 30, 2021

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