Sustainable Aquaculture – Distance Learning (MSc/PGDip) 2017 entry

The MSc/PGDip 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.

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or a Master of Science (MSc)

Course duration

18 months part time (PGDip); two years part time (MSc)

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. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative 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.

Tuition fees

MSc: £20,370
Postgraduate diploma: £13,580

Application deadline

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • English language requirements certificate
  • covering letter or letter of intent (optional).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes. 

Sustainable Aquaculture is also offered as a Postgraduate Certificate degree programme and as a modular course (in which you can take modules individually).

If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Sustainable Aquaculture – Distance Learning (MSc/PGDip) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.

Apply for this course
Sustainable Aquaculture courses on The Fish Site

More information about the course and degree routes can be found on The Fish Site.

Course information

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.


  • 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.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


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 2016-2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

  • Breeding and Genetics: selective breeding programmes and modern genetic techniques applied in aquaculture practices.
  • Advanced Welfare and Ethics: the welfare and ethical issues raised by current aquaculture practices.
  • Recirculation Aquaculture Systems: the use of recirculating aquaculture systems in modern aquaculture practices.
  • Ornamental and Aquaria Production: advanced knowledge of animals produced for the ornamental and aquaria section of the aquaculture business.
  • Larval Rearing: the larval production techniques used in the aquaculture business. 

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

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.


There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the PGDip/MSc

Research degrees

Graduates may continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. PhD students at the School of Biology at St Andrews have the opportunity to undertake a research degree in their chosen subject area where research interests span the breadth of biological science.

St Andrews graduates who have graduated during the last three years are eligible for a Recent Graduate Discount, which offers a 10% discount on tuition fees.

PhD studentships are offered by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

PhD in Biology


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


School of Biology
Biomolecular Sciences Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3441

Biology website

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)