Sustainable Aquaculture – distance learning (PG Cert)

January 2023 entry

The PG Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture offers a range of part-time, e-learning courses at a postgraduate level with a focus on either vertebrates or invertebrates.

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

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Course dates

The following course dates are for those planning to complete the PG Cert in a year:

  • Start date: 16 January 2023
  • End date: 31 January 2024

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

Minimum one year part time; maximum two years part time

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

Postgraduate Certificate: £8,480

Application deadline

Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language)
  • covering letter or letter of intent (optional).

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

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.

The award of Postgraduate Certificate requires 60 credits gained from a selection of taught modules. The Postgraduate Certificate provides a shorter programme than the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc Sustainable Aquaculture programme. Students focus either on vertebrate or invertebrate aquaculture species and have a choice of taking two out of the three optional topics. 


  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
  • Students are able to specialise in either vertebrates or invertebrates.
  • It is also possible to study single modules rather than the whole programme.

Teaching format

Classes are taught through a combination of weekly lectures and tutorials and are assessed through a combination of written examinations and coursework.

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 2021–2022 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for January 2023 entry.

Students will take compulsory modules for either vertebrate or invertebrate study.

  • Aquaculture and Fisheries: the global importance of aquaculture and fisheries industries worldwide.
  • Biology for Aquaculture - Vertebrates or Biology for Aquaculture - Invertebrates: the fundamental biology, anatomy and physiology of either invertebrate or vertebrate aquaculture species. 
  • Health and Disease - Vertebrates or Health and Disease - Invertebrates: the factors that influence disease processes in cultured fish or invertebrates.
  • Nutrition - Vertebrates or Nutrition - Invertebrates: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of key fish or invertebrate species.

Students choose two of the following optional modules:

  • 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.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for January 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

After the Certificate

Further study

The University also offers a distance learning Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture.


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 in building their employability skills.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3441

School of Biology


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

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

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.

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.

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