This programme provides courses at university level on the most important aspects of aquaculture, for both marine and freshwater organisms. The programme takes a multidisciplinary, interuniversity and international approach, and aims at the acquisition of fundamental knowledge and skills with the main objectives being:
- to deliver researchers able to design and perform research in various aquaculture fields;
- to deliver experts who can draw and implement strategies for future development in the aquaculture industry;
- to form key persons who can act as a nucleus in their local environment through dissemination of their acquired knowledge;
- to deliver academically trained staff for the aquaculture industry.
The learning outcomes and competencies will differ from student to student as each one will follow his/her own customized program, with a solid foundation in the basic principles of aquatic production. However, the common learning outcomes of the Master of Science in Aquaculture program can be summarized as follows:
- to have acquired knowledge on the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms (shellfish, finfish, etc.) and to be able to apply this to aquatic production;
- to be capable of characterising, analysing and evaluating different forms and systems of aquatic production;
- to understand the interactions between human activity, environmental conditions and aquatic exploitation, and to determine potential ameliorating interventions;
- to acquire a scientific approach to formulating and testing hypotheses, to be able to design research protocols, as well as to collect and analyse data and to research scientific literature;
- to be capable of reporting both orally and in writing the results of their work;
- to understand and communicate with the industry, and be familiar with the practicalities of commercial ventures;
- to understand the ethical considerations of animal production and experimentation;
- apart from these academic competencies and professional insights, students will have improved their social and generic skills and language knowledge;
- to have adopted a problem-solving capacity so that he/she can occupy an independent and responsible position as an aquaculture specialist.
The study programme comprises two years of study, with courses as: Aquatic Ecology; Biology of Aquatic Organisms; Fish Culture Techniques; General Aspects of Aquaculture; Microbial Ecology and Environmental Sanitation; Physiology of Aquatic Organisms ; Technology of Fishery Products; Algae Culture; Aquatic Farm Management Training; Mollusc and Crustacean Culture; Aquaculture and the Environment; Larviculture and Larval Food Production ; Applied Statistics; Management in the Aquaculture Industry; Aquaculture Genetics; Diseases in Aquaculture etc. Subject to the Faculty’s approval: elective courses to a total amount of 15 credits, to be chosen from a list of courses from UGent and the partners of the European Master in Aquaculture and Fisheries: National University of Ireland, Cork; Wageningen Universiteit en Research Centre; Universidade do Algarve, Institutt for fiskeri- og marinbiologi, Universitetet i Bergen, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet; Uniwersytet Warminsko – Mazurski w Olsztynie. Subject to motivation max. 5 credits of the 15 can be chosen from all other programmes of UGent.
The programme is open to holders of a bachelor’s degree in exact or applied sciences, equivalent to at least three years’ university studies or a degree in Veterinary Medicine, Civil Engineering or Agricultural Engineering or any related area. Holders of other degrees must follow extra courses. Every application will be carefully examined individually. Some background in aquaculture is recommended.
The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. Command of the English language is a very important criterion for admission. With the exception of those who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) issued by an institution officially recognized by the Flemish Government, applicants must be able to prove their proficiency in English. There are 4 possibilities to supply this proof:
- TOEFL certificate (the UGent TOEFL code is 2643) with:
a. a minimum total score of 550 on the paper based test, or
b. a minimum total score of 79 on an internet based test.
The test validity is max. 2 years.
- IELTS with a minimum overall band score of 6.
The test validity is max. 2 years.
- Proof of at least 1 year of comprehensive English-based instruction at a university or recognized equivalent.
- Proof of a successful “Intermediate Academic English” test at the Ghent University Language Center.
Prospective students will not be allowed to enrol at UGent when they are unable to submit an official and by UGent recognized proof before the start of the Academic Period. For prospective students trying to obtain the “Intermediate Academic English” certificate at the UGent Language Center, the final language exam is the 22nd of September 2009. Remark: do not underestimate the level of difficulty of the UGent language test!
Failing to provide any of the abovementioned will result in not being allowed to enrol at UGent, thus this candidate will have to return back home.
Type of diploma