Course Structure

Course Structure

The EMJMD ACES+ is a 2 year programme and involves study periods in three (or more) different European countries. This movement allows students to gain experience and networking opportunities in European ‘Centres of Excellence’ for aquaculture research and learning, the chance to learn new languages (including Greek and French, not essential, but definitely a plus point for your CV) and, of course, the experience of living in different cultures and making friends with students from all over the world!

The EMJMD ACES+ is  modularised to enable flexibility for learning whilst at the same time maintaining the very highest standards of training.  The modular structure allows the student to make subject choices according to their future career aspirations. The course is divided into nine taught modules and a single research project module.  The overall course is divided into four parts or semesters:

Semester 1 (September to February, Year 1) – Foundation

The first semester is based in Oban (Scotland) and students undertake two compulsory modules and one optional module.  The compulsory modules focus on providing the student with an overview of the global aquaculture industry and environmental interactions of aquaculture. These modules enables students to acquire the principles, concepts and skills of aquaculture. Students must select either a module focused on the new technologies and systems designed to address the various challenges and opportunities associated with aquaculture, or a module concerned with how the industry is governed and managed at a global level and how knowledge is exchanged between stakeholders and industry.

Successful completion of this semester will qualify the student for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Semester 2 (March – August, Year 1) – Advanced

The second semester is based at the University of Crete in Greece and focuses on finfish aquaculture. It is based on two compulsory advanced and one optional module.  The compulsory modules specialise in early life stages, including critical points of development for marine and freshwater commercial fish species, feeding and nutrition, reproductive biology and broodstock management. These modules also focus on fish behaviour, stress and welfare, pathology and disease prevention, genetic selection and stock improvement, fish quality indicators, live prey – including new management methods for mass production, feed formulation and manufacturing, optimisation of feed digestibility and efficiency, feeding systems and biologicial feeds.

The student will also be able to choose one of two optional modules, which are (i) Fish Quality – Environmental and Genetic Components; and (ii) Environmental Impact Assessment for Aquaculture Projects.

Semester 3 – (September to February, Year 2) – Advanced

The third semester is based at the University of Nantes in France and focuses on bivalve and crustacean aquaculture and marine product safety. This semester comprises on two compulsory modules and two optional modules. The compulsory modules have a particular focus on shellfish reproductive cycles, development of early life stages, metamorphoses and postlarval critical developmental stages, focus on gill development, functions and performance in suspension-feeders, accessory feeding structures and functions, growth including physiological processes, net energy balance and modelling, analysis of the food sources in the environment: spatio-temporal variability, ecosystem carrying capacity, trophic competition, infectious diseases: characteristics and management and the economics of shellfish production.  In addition, the marine product safety module focuses on toxic fungi and microalgae, including their identification, ecology and relevance to the aquaculture industry, plus chemical pollutants and their bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity in marine products and public health implications such as biomonitoring, methodologies and regulation.

The student will also be able to choose one of two optional modules, which are (i) Refinement and Development of Marine Natural Products and (ii) Food Composition, Trophic Transfer and Human Nutrition.

Semester 4 (February – July, Year 2) – Research Project

The research dissertation module will be completed in a subject area which complements your choice of modules up to this point.  These projects can be lab-based or field based with one of our 4 core partners (SAMS-UHI, the Universities of Crete, Nantes or Radboud) or with one of our international Associated Partners.  All the projects must involve data analysis and the production of a report.  Successful completion of this module, together with the preceding foundation and advanced modules, will qualify the student for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree.

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