Last updated: 26.05.12

University of St Andrews approves postgraduate online training course

An e-learning course has received official approval from the University of St Andrews.

The aquaculture subject is operated by TheFishSite and the educational facility and the postgraduate certificate's official accreditation was announced by director of the subject Neil Hazon during Aviemore's Aquaculture UK exhibition and conference.

Other enterprises involved in the creation of the virtual learning environment include 5M Publishing and consultancy body Fish Vet Group.

The online training platform was first launched in 2009 and aimed to assist new biological sciences graduates that wanted to improve their knowledge and skills in the global water-based industry.

It is a modular subject and features part-time study through the virtual learning environment, which enables students to complete their education while remaining in employment.

Elements of the e-learning course include the biology of fishes and invertebrates, the structure of the international aquaculture sector, as well as markets and products.

Each of these modules contains a number of online learning tools, including discussions, case studies, lectures and tutorials.

A starter e-learning course, which takes one year to complete, is designed for individuals with no experience of aquaculture, while the postgraduate diploma lasts for 18 months.

Students who pass this module can then convert the diploma into a Masters of Science (MSc) degree following up to six months' research in the field.

"The undergraduate certificate course can provide a road into the post graduate courses for people with experience of the industry," Mr Hazon said.

He added: "To get the MSc through the undergraduate certificate, people will have had to have worked in the industry for some time."

The specialist had previously described the Certificate in Aquaculture online learning course as primarily to do with "sustainable food production".

Dr Hazon stated: "The course aims to address the many challenges of the global aquaculture industry, with strong components drawing directly on experience from the fields of marine and fresh water aquaculture."