SAMS news room

New global marine master degree set to make waves in aquaculture industry

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), near Oban, is leading the way in producing the next generation of global aquaculture experts by offering a new world-class Joint Master Degree course.

The specialised degree in AquaCulture, Environment and Society (ACES) is part of the European Union’s ambitious Erasmus+ programme (previously known as Erasmus mundus), making it one of Europe’s highest ranked academic programmes.

ACES has been specifically designed alongside industry to address major scientific, technological and social obstacles facing the sustainable development of the global aquaculture industry and is one of only seven Masters course granted Erasmus+ funding from 58 applications.

The two-year course is looking to attract international star students with a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in one of the fields of environmental or social sciences and will be run in partnership with the universities of Crete and Nantes.

Students will spend semester one at SAMS, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, before going on to study finfish aquaculture in Greece (Crete) and shellfish aquaculture in France (Nantes).

The students will then complete research projects at one of the three centres in semester four, before returning to Oban for a final conference. 

SAMS Acting Director Axel Miller said:

'SAMS is proud to be able to lead the ACES Masters Degree through the elite Erasmus+ Programme.

'Erasmus+ courses go through an extremely competitive approvals process and this endorsement from the EU is a testament to the standard of SAMS science and the education developing from it.

'This course is a wonderful opportunity for young scientists to make connections with industry, travel beyond their own scientific communities and learn from industry-leading scientists.'

The first ACES students will arrive at SAMS on August 31 this year.

Dr Lois Calder, SAMS’ head of education, said:

'We are delighted to be co-ordinating this programme and to welcoming the first ACES students, many of whom are receiving international scholarships and widening educational access to individuals who would not otherwise have been able to study.

'We have strong relationships with the aquaculture industry, which will help to build student networks and support personal and professional development of the very particular skill set they will need for the future.  This is an exciting time for both students and staff at SAMS and I truly believe this Masters will have a positive and lasting effect on the career prospects for our ACES students.'

Prospective students may apply until 1st June for this year's entry. More...


Notes to editors

  • The aquaculture industry currently returns significant economic benefit to Europe and the rest of the world, and with increasing concern over food security, declining wild fish stocks and the future of rural communities, aquaculture has the potential to mitigate some of the associated challenges. 
  • SAMS is Scotland’s largest and oldest independent marine science organisation, dedicated to delivering marine science for a healthy and sustainable marine environment through research, education and engagement with society.
  • Erasmus + (2014-2020) is the new €16 billion catch-all framework programme for education, training, youth and sport. Its main objective is to improve employability of the youth by acquiring supplementary competences appreciated by employers, as well as improving their language skills and flexibility. More...

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