Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 5)

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This programme is aimed at new and less experienced fish farm staff and will allow you to gain an initial qualification in fish farming while working in the aquaculture industry. It covers a wide range of topics from initial stocking of fish through husbandry to harvesting, and will normally take about 12 months of study and on-site training to complete.

On successful completion of the programme you will receive a Lantra Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 5 and an SQA Scottish Vocational Qualification at Level 2 (equivalent to a Nationa 5), plus additional short course certificates.

You will have to demonstrate that you are able to undertake a variety of tasks to to the required standard as part of your work.


Entry Requirements

Candidates must:

  • be at least 16 years old.
  • be employed in an appropriate position by an aquaculture company, and have the support of their employer.
  • be capable of completing the short courses required as part of the programme.


To complete this programme you will have to complete 9 units (5 mandatory + 4 optional) plus 1 core skills units. You will also have to complete several separate short courses (if you have not already done so):


Mandatory Units

  • Prepare and gather live fish / shellfish
  • Monitor the aquatic production environment for farmed fish / shellfish
  • Monitor fish / shellfish health and welfare
  • Work safely in an aquatic environment
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with others

Optional Units

(choose 4)

  • Prepare holding units to receive fish
  • Stock fish / shellfish into holding units
  • Feed fish
  • Collect information on fish growth and development
  • Carry out routine maintenance and repairs on aquaculture facilities
  • Prepare and maintain fish eggs in a hatchery
  • Monitor and maintain juvenile fish in a hatchery
  • Prepare and operate small craft

Core Skills Units

  • Working with others (level 4)


For each unit, you will have to demonstrate your competence against the performance criteria through a combination of:

  • Written questions
  • Oral Interview
  • Site assessment
  • Product evidence

Short Courses

  • Powerboat Level 2
  • Elementary First Aid


The programme is undertaken while working full-time at your employer's aquaculture site(s), with some attendance at the NAFC Marine Centre.



You can start the programme at any time - please contact the NAFC Marine Centre.



  • £3,000

Note: Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will normally pay the fee for students in Scotland (subject to eligibility).

(Fees are subject to change without notice.)


Booking / Queries

To book a course please download an application form, or contact NAFC.

If you have any questions or need any more information please contact NAFC.