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Innovative new aquaculture course from NAFC Marine Centre. An innovative new course being launched online by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Shetland will allow students from anywhere in the world to obtain a qualification in Aquaculture Management, without having to attend the college.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course is aimed at experienced aquaculture staff and other persons interested in aquaculture who are seeking a qualification in aquaculture management. The programme, which will be delivered entirely online and take about nine months to complete, leads to a diploma-level qualification.

The CPD 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 new course builds on NAFC’s previous experience of delivering aquaculture training online and of providing training in aquaculture management. “It became apparent to us that there was a lot of interest in aquaculture management training, both within Scotland and beyond,” explains NAFC’s Head of Aquaculture Training, Stuart Fitzsimmons. “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 learning materials for the course will be delivered entirely through online distance learning using the University of the Highlands and Islands’ ‘Brightspace’ Virtual Learning Environment. 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.

The NAFC Marine Centre has developed considerable experience in the online delivery of aquaculture training courses. Well over 200 students from across Europe and Canada have enrolled for its online Fish Welfare course. Online courses in Fish Farm Containment and RAS Water Quality Awareness are also available, with others in the pipeline.

 Full details of the new Aquaculture Management CPD course and NAFC’s other aquaculture training courses are available at www.nafc.uhi.ac.uk/aqua or by contacting Stuart Fitzsimmons (stuart.fitzsimmons@uhi.ac.uk, 01595 772000).