Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management (SCQF Level 9)

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This programme will allow you to gain a degree-level qualification in senior management while working in the aquaculture industry. It is aimed at experienced senior-level fish farm staff, such as assistant site managers and site managers, and will normally take about 24 months of study and on-site training to complete.

On successful completion of the programme you will receive a Lantra Technical Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 9 and an SQA Scottish Vocational Qualification at Level 4 (equivalent to an Ordinary Degree), plus additional short course certificates.

You will have to demonstrate that you are competent to undertake a broad range of management activities, many of them complex and non-routine, and to demonstrate considerable autonomy and responsibility including the management and supervision of other employees.


Entry Requirements

Candidates must:

  • be employed in an appropriate position by an aquaculture company, and have the support of their employer.
  • have at least 3 to 5 years of relevant experience.
  • be capable of completing the short courses required as part of the programme.

Candidates will normally have completed the Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture at SCQF Level 7 before enrolling on this programme, but that is not essential. Candidates with relevant experience and/or previous qualifications may be able to enroll on this programme directly.



To complete this programme you will have to complete 6 units (2 mandatory + 4 optional), plus at least 15 credits of Careers Skills Units:


Mandatory Units

  • Manage the aquatic production environment for farmed fish
  • Manage the production of farmed fish for sale or transfer

Optional Units

(choose 4)

  • Plan and manage fish feeding regimes
  • Develop and manage implementation of the site fish health plan
  • Manage the containment on a fish farm
  • Provide healthy, safe, secure and productive working environments and practices
  • Plan and manage fish/shellfish hatchery production.


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

  • Written questions
  • Oral Interview
  • Site assessment / direct observation
  • Product evidence

Careers Skills Units

(15 credits required)

  • Implement operational plans (5 credits)
  • Manage budgets (11 credits)
  • Manage people's performance at work (14 credits)
  • Manage quality assurance systems (5 credits)
  • Develop operational plans (11 credits)

Short Courses

The following short courses are also recommended to complement the programme:



The programme is undertaken by distance learning, supported by an NAFC tutor, while you continue to work full-time at your employer's aquaculture site(s).

The training materials are provided online via the UHI's 'Blackboard Learn+' virtual learning environment and can be accessed on any internet enabled device including smartphones, tablets (android and iPad) or computers. Full instructions are provided at induction.

The online learning is flexible and can be undertaken at any time. You will have 24 months from enrolment to complete the training material, and will be able to contact an NAFC tutor for assistance at any stage of the programme.



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



  • £3,500 in Scotland (or £850 with SDS funding*)
  • £4,500 elsewhere in the UK

*Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will normally pay part of 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.