Careers and employability

Careers and Employability

We have just welcomed our eighth cohort of students to the course and with the six cohorts of students having graduated now, we have been able to start building a picture of the career paths chosen by our alumni. The unique nature of the course and the opportunities for travel mean students gain a learning experience far exceeding a traditional Master degree route based at one university. Moreover, the close links we have with the aquaculture industry globally facilitates excellent employment prospects for our students, whether in the commercial or public sector and/or academia. So far, several former EMJMD ACES students have gained PhD positions in universities in the UK, Europe, South America and Australia, several are working as lecturers in universities and marine institutes, and approx. 2/3rds are working in industry. Many of our former students have also had articles published in peer-reviewed journals, including the following:

  • Development of seaweed cultivation in Latin America: current trends and future prospects, Phycologia, 58:5, 462-471, DOI: 10.1080/00318884.2019.1640996
  • Metabolomics and traditional indicators unveil stress of a seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) meadow at intermediate distance from a fish farm, Ecological Indicators 109 (2020) 105765

So, once you finish your course what can you do with your qualification?


The objectives and format of the EMJMD ACES-STAR allows for graduates to be equipped to work in senior management roles in a wide range of settings, including fin and shell-fish farms, environmental and regulatory organisations, international trade organisations, and also non-governmental organisations.

Expected career paths include:

  • Company manager: work with a team to innovate and develop farm operations to boost productivity.
  • Policy and strategy: develop aquaculture-related procedures, guidelines and policies
  • Project development: create and implement aquaculture-related projects.
  • Applied research: design and carry out research into environmental and/or social issues and the effectiveness of certain practices and innovations in the aquaculture industry.
  • Stakeholder partnership: build networks and collaboration, especially to raise the profile of the aquaculture industry and develop consensus to promote sustainable practices.

Interaction with industry

The EMJMD ACES-STAR programme is also geared towards developing professional practice and policy. Close links with the aquaculture industry and legislators are central to this programme. Our objectives explicitly promote the interests of the industry and cooperation with other professionals.

“Courses like EMJMD ACES are an important vector to bridge the gap between education, research and development, and applied industry techniques and knowledge. Aquaculture-based academia within the UK is growing and the research undertaken at SAMS, Crete and Nantes is industry-relevant. Students educated there learn and understand theories, techniques and skills that can bring a significant and sustainable growth to Europe’s salmon farming industry.”

Steve Bracken, Marine Harvest Scotland

“I believe this course will bring new ideas and ways of thinking into the European aquaculture sector.”

Dr Tim Atack, Managing Director, FAI Aquaculture Ltd

Each university of the EMJMD ACES-STAR will facilitate links between students, local industry and regulators through invited lectures, fieldtrips, workshops and networking events, where the exchange of information, knowledge and contacts can take place. Dedicated industry placements have been built into Semester 2, so that knowledge is applied and developed in an industry-based setting.

Dawn Shand, Scottish Institute for Enterprise

“The students’ considerable knowledge of aquaculture coupled with their various international perspectives on Scotland’s most pressing challenges brought a new dimension to the innovation workshop.  In a matter of hours the students were not only coming up with novel ideas but really appreciating what drivers are required to make a good idea a reality.  Both business and research opportunities were formulated providing a sound platform to do further research and prototyping.”

Further details of our industry-based partners can be found by clicking on this link: Industry partners