Education, Training and Skills Development in Aquaculture


Wellboat delivering smolts alongside a salmon pen

We offer a broad spectrum of training opportunities relevant to careers and personal development in the Aquaculture Industry from working with schools through CPD modules to degree and postgraduate programmes that complement and include our research activities.

If you have a training, development or CPD requirement please contact us at We can also look to offer bespoke courses to meet specific training needs.

Many of the following qualifications have been designed in partnership with the Sector Skills Council, Lantra, to ensure relevance to the sector.

Short Courses content

Short Courses

Short Courses

Short courses

These courses are all offered by Shetland UHI. Delivery locations and methods vary to suit business needs. Full tutor support is provided for online courses.

CourseFace to faceOnline
Fish Welfare 1 day Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Fish Welfare 2 day Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Fish Welfare (refresher) 0.5 day  
Introductory Fish Health 1 day  
Advanced Fish Health 2 day  
Sea Lice Identification and Recording 0.5 day  
Biosecurity in Aquaculture 0.5 day Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Technical Aquaculture for Fish Farmers   Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Internal Auditing Techniques for Aquaculture 1 day  
Water quality awareness in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) 0.5 day Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Water Quality Awareness in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)    
Introductory Fish Farm Containment 0.5 day Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Fish Vaccination   Flexible (up to 12 months to complete)
Confined Space Awareness Training 0.5 day  
Pressure Washing Safety Awareness 0.5 day  
Manual Handling Awareness 0.5 day  
First Aid Courses (Elementary, Medical First Aid, Medical Care On Board Ship) 1-5 day  
LiftTruck Operations: Industrial Masted < 5 tonnes 2 day  
LiftTruck Operations: Industrial Masted < 5 tonnes (refresher) 1 day  

RYA Powerboat Level 2

2 day  
Day Skipper 10 day  
Advanced Powerboat 5 day  
VHF (GMDSS SRC) 2 day  
Small Ships Navigation and Radar 5 day  
Personal Survival Techniques 1 day  
MCA Diesel Engine 5 day  
Stability (Awareness, Workboat and Advanced) 1 day each  
Crane Safety Awareness 0.5 day  

Moorings Safety Awareness

0.5 day  
Firefighting and Prevention (various) 1-3 day  
Abrasive Wheels 0.5 day  

Further information available at UHI Shetland and Fishing and Marine Courses at UHI Shetland

Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture - Training in the Workplace content

Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture - Training in the Workplace

Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture - Training in the Workplace

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs)

CourseLevelSuitable for IndividualsCourse available at
Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Level 2 (SCQF 5) New and less experienced staff working in aquaculture

UHI Shetland

UHI West Highland

UHI Argyll

Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Level 3 (SCQF 7) Working in aquaculture

UHI Shetland

UHI West Highland

UHI Argyll

Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management Level 4 (SCQF 9) Managers and experienced senior staff UHI Shetland

Level 2 and 3 MAs are designed by the finfish and shellfish farming industries and are aimed at those carrying out daily husbandry duties on either a freshwater or marine site. These MAs can be used as part of a progression plan within an individual’s place of work and is particularly useful for those without any formal qualifications in aquaculture. The MA provides an opportunity to demonstrate skills and be recognised for these achievements.

The Level 4 MA course is aimed at experienced, senior-level fish farm staff such as managers or assistant site managers. At the end of the course the student will be competent at a broad range of management activities, many of them complex and non-routine, and be able to demonstrate considerable autonomy and responsibility including the management and supervision of other employees. It runs at SCQF level 9, so equivalent to a Higher national Diploma.

Aquaculture Management CPD content

Aquaculture Management CPD

Aquaculture Management CPD

Aquaculture Management continuing professional development course is delivered online over ~ 9 months. It is aimed at experienced aquaculture staff working in, or progressing into, management roles or for those with a professional interest in aquaculture. The course is applicable to a range of production techniques, countries, and species. It is a SCQF Level 8 course, and students complete three modules from

  • Managing fish farm operations
  • Managing fish health and welfare
  • Managing hatchery operations and production
  • Managing shellfish operations and production
  • Managing health and safety for the production environment
Degree Programmes content

Degree Programmes

Degree Programmes

Degree programmes


BSc(Hons) Marine science

BSc (Hons) Marine Science with Arctic Studies

The BSc. includes aquaculture, fisheries, ecology, marine environmental impact assessment, ocean science and management.

The Arctic Studies program includes an opportunity to study environmental sciences in the arctic at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) Spitzbergen.

Postgraduate Courses content

Postgraduate Courses

Postgraduate Courses


MSc Aquaculture, Environment and Society (ACES)

ACES is an amazing 2-year programme that allows an international group of students to study aquaculture in Scotland (semester 1), Crete (Greece, semester 2) and Nantes (France, semester 3) with intensive involvement from industry.

As an ACES graduate, our alumni will contribute to developing a global aquaculture industry that produces sustainable seafood for a growing human population.

The programme is funded by the European Union's elite Erasmus Mundus programme and offers fully funded studentships to up to two students per country.

Students will build a lasting, international network and lay the foundation for outstanding employment opportunities.

ACES is coordinated by SAMS. Please visit our dedicated website for all relevant information

MSc. Algal Biotechnology and Bioeconomy

Algae produce much of the oxygen we breath and underpin aquatic food chains, but they also have important current and potential roles in pharmaceuticals, pigments, nutraceuticals, biofuels, enzymes, fertilisers, and bioremdiation materials. Students will learn many research approaches, micro and macro-algal species cultivation, biotechnology, genomics, metabolomics, and will undertake a dissertaion project

MRes Algal Biotechnology, Biology and Ecology

This demanding Master of Research programme is built on the student choosing and carrying out a full-time one-year research project that culminates in the submission of a written thesis. This develops the student's critical evaluation and problem-solving skills relating to theoretical and practical knowledge in biotechnology. Students leave not only with knowledge but with substantial laboratory and research skills and experience.

The course provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed by all biotechnologists including: isolation, culturing and enumeration of algae, protistan physiology, microbial biodiversity, state-of-the-art molecular biological skills and bioinformatics, statistics and experimental design, as well as critical business, management and communication skills. Students explore micro- and macro-algal taxonomy, systematics, and physiology, in specific relation to the biotechnological exploitation of these organisms focussing on their use as: human/animal food; hydrocolloids; fine chemicals; green fertilizers and as feed-stock to produce algal biofuels.

MSc by Research - one-year full-time research projects (two-year part-time) with a number of areas of focus to choose from.


There are a wide variety of on-going PhD programmes covering many areas related to aquaculture.

Please see our postgraduate research opportunities page to view current PhD opportunities.

Bespoke and Flexible Training Programmes content

Bespoke and Flexible Training Programmes

Bespoke and Flexible Training Programmes

We aim to be responsive to the needs of the aquaculture industry and we often work directly with companies to develop and deliver bespoke training programmes to meet their specific needs

Working with Schools - National Progression Award in Aquaculture content

Working with Schools - National Progression Award in Aquaculture

Working with Schools - National Progression Award in Aquaculture

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Aquaculture provides opportunities for secondary school pupils to develop the necessary skills for a future career within the salmon farming industry. Set at SCQF levels 4 and 5, the Award takes a very practical and vocational approach with much of the delivery taking place, where possible, at aquaculture sites.


For more information on Education, Training and skills Development in Aquaculture, please contact us at