Aquaculture Biology

  • Years2 years
  • ECTS credits120


Objectives and content

The goal of the Aquaculture Biology specialization is to give a theoretical basis and practical experience for understanding the biological principles in aquatic food production. Aquaculture is a diverse discipline, covering topics such as molecular biology, chemistry, nutrition, as well and the biology, physiology, and behaviour of fish. The practical work of aquaculture takes place in the laboratory, the hatchery, or the fish farm. The courses in this specialization provide an insight into the role of aquaculture in global food production, and the knowledge and skills needed for its further development. The student research project can be undertaken in a commercial setting or at a research institution. The research question may be focussed on a fundamental biological process, or be designed to test and refine production techniques or instrumentation. The specialization is intended to give a solid background for students who wish to work in aquaculture or related industries, or to pursue further research.

What you Learn

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the Aquaculture Biology study specialization, students will be able to:


  • Understand of the role of aquaculture for global commerce, health, and food security
  • Understand the biology of relevant aquaculture species, and explain the different life history stages and their requirements in aquaculture
  • Understand the biological basis (molecular, endrocrinological, cellular, nutrition) for the control of growth and development of aquaculture species
  • Discuss the balance between requirements for environmental quality, ethics, legal governance, and the requirements of commercial production in aquaculture.


  • Be familiar with relevant research questions in aquaculture biology
  • Analyse growth patterns and explain the major aspects of the development in marine species
  • Apply common aquaculture biology research methods for investigating growth, reproduction, and development
  • Determine the causes of variations in development and growth rate
  • Pursue an independent research task, in accordance with proper health and safety practice, including analysis of biological material, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results.
  • Show proficiency in the main analytical methods used in the student's own research task, and be able to explain, discuss, and interpret other methods that may be included in that research task.
  • Be able to retrieve, analyze and apply new knowledge within the field

General competences

  • Be able to work in accord with scientific principles, and understand and respect openness, precision, accountability and the significance of distinguishing between knowledge and opinion.
  • Discuss biological theories in relation to the biology of aquatic organisms in cultured conditions
  • Present a scientific conclusion based on the analysis of student's own data, and in context with existing research results.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and mastery of the literature and reference databases relevant to student's own work
  • Work independently and as part of a team with comprehensive and demanding assignments, and to meet deadlines.
  • Produce a formal oral and written presentation of student's own research results.
  • Be able to discuss the student's research field in public discussions.

How to Apply



Admission Requirements

In order to qualify for admission to the Master's Programme in Biology, you must fulfill the following criteria:

1) hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology or related field

2) document university courses covering the following:

  • 80 ECTS in Biology, which must cover the following fields: Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Physiology, Evolution and Ecology
  • 20 ECTS in Chemistry, whereof 10 ECTS must include lab work
  • 10 ECTS in Statistics
  • 10 ECTS in Mathematics (excluded in GPA calculation)

3) have obtained a minimum average grade equivalent to ECTS grade C / US grade B for the above-mentioned courses (excluded:10 ECTS in Mathematics)

Use this GPA calculator to check if your average grade compares to a US grade B.

4) document proficiency in the English language, read how here

The main intake is in the autumn. A supplementary intake in the spring is available (only for Nordic citizens and applicants residing in Norway) if not all spots have been filled.

Number of international applicants (EU/EEA/EFTA and non-EU/EEA/EFTA) residing abroad admitted to each specialisation, per intake: max. 2 students.

Follow the guidelines on how to apply depending on which applicant group you belong to:


More information

About the programme

See full study plan


Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

For more information please contact the study advisor at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no