College casts the net for online aquaculture students
An online aquaculture management course that will allow students from anywhere in the world to obtain a qualification without having to attend college has been launched by the NAFC Marine Centre at Scalloway, Shetland.
The continuing professional development (CPD) course is aimed at experienced aquaculture staff and others interested in aquaculture. The programme, which will be delivered entirely online and take about nine months to complete, leads to a Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 8 qualification, equivalent to a Higher National Diploma.
NAFC already provides tailored training for Scottish salmon farming companies, and the course builds its experience in delivering aquaculture training online, it said in a press release.
A lot of interest
The college’s head of aquaculture training, Stuart Fitzsimmons, said: “It became apparent to us that there was a lot of interest in aquaculture management training, both within Scotland and beyond.
“However, many peoples’ access to training is limited by geographical and other barriers. Persons who are employed, often in remote areas and perhaps working irregular hours, can find it impossible to access traditional college-based courses. Online delivery is key to overcoming those barriers.”
The course focuses on the management of aquaculture facilities and human resources; on financial management; and on legislative requirements. Students will have the option to focus on subjects that include the operation of fish and shellfish farms and hatcheries; fish health and welfare; and health and safety.
The programme has been designed to be relevant to a wide range of different types of aquaculture, including marine and freshwater species, as well as hatchery and off-shore facilities, anywhere in the world, the college said in a press release.
Students will be able to access the training materials on any internet enabled device including smartphones, tablets or computers. The online learning is flexible and can be undertaken at any time. Students will be supported by a tutor at NAFC throughout the course, which costs £1,500 for eligible students resident in Scotland, £1,800 for those in other parts of the UK and £2,250 for those outside the UK.
More than 200 students from across Europe and Canada have already enrolled on the Centre’s online fish welfare course. Online courses in fish farm containment and recirculating aquaculture system water quality awareness are also available, with other courses also in the pipeline.