The programme consists of an initial common semester that is carried out at Ghent University, then in the 2nd and 3rd semester students can choose* between 3 learning paths that will deepen their knowledge on a specific aspect of the overarching programme theme.

Curriculum and course details: check the study guides

* chosen learning paths may have to be redistributed to maintain balance among the learning paths per student cohort

Our learning paths

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Delivers a focus on the relationship between the ecosystem and health

Wageningen University

Delivers a focus on preventing disease and maintaining adequate health, whilst minimising the impact on the environment

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona &
Universitat de Barcelona

Delivers a focus on the relationship between animal physiology and health

In the 2nd or 3rd semester, students will undertake an internship with a company or research institute among our extended international network of partners and contacts. The internship is a practically oriented scientific project where they will gain the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the labour market.

Finally, in the 4th semester a master dissertation or thesis is undertaken that will combine a students acquired skill and knowledge.


Semester 1 – Ghent University, Belgium

The semester provides a thorough foundation on the current landscape of aquatic immunology, virology, microbiology, and other essential disciplines and is taught using a combination of in-house academic expertise and renowned international guest lecturers.

Semester 1
Principles of marine fish larviculture3
Diseases in Aquaculture6
Viral Disease Management3
Fish and Shellfish Immunology4
Aquatic Microbial Community Management3
Aquaculture Genetics6
Applied statistics5


Semester 2 & 3 : choose between 3 learning paths

  • Semester 2 & 3 – NTNU
  • Semester 2 & 3 – WU
  • Semester 2 & 3 – UAB / UB

Semester 2 & 3 – NTNU

Ecosystems and Health at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.

The path focuses on the importance of the interactions between farmed and native organisms, including how diseases and parasites are spread (salmon lice); interactions between native microbial communities and farmed hosts; the influence of water quality (e.g. toxic algae) on the health and welfare of farmed fish. The overall focus is normally on how the environment, or the ecosystem, may affect fish health, not on the effects of farming on the environment. Learning activities mainly include health, welfare and environmental issues for fish from larval to adult stages. NTNU currently has major involvements in research on health issues in marine fish farming and has a strong relationship with industry. 

Semester 2
Fish welfare and health7.5
Experts in Teams7.5
Marine Juvenile Production7.5
Recirculation Aquaculture Systems7.5
Semester 3
Internship project7.5
AquaH Journal club7.5
Aquaculture and the Ecosystem7.5
Optional courses (choose for 7,5 ECTS)7.5
___ Laboratory Animal Science for Researchers (7,5)
___ Environmental assessment methods and quality of coastal water (7,5)

Semester 2 & 3 – WU

Disease Prevention Management & Health at Wageningen University (WU), Netherlands.

The path focuses on relevant innovations by studying fish and shellfish nutrition and health. This is mainly in circular aquaculture systems, be it in recirculating aquaculture systems or ponds. Research looks into how nutrition influences health and how novel feeds improve disease resistance; it also considers the latest strategies in terms of activation of the immune system and key therapeutic tools, such as new generation vaccines. 

Semester 2
Nutrition and Health in Aquaculture6
Frontiers in Animal Health6
Academic Consultancy Training and MOS modules12
Optional courses (choose for min 6 ECTS)6
___ Sustainability in Fish and Seafood Production (6 ECTS)
___ Water Quality (6 ECTS)
___ Laboratory Animal Science: Design and Ethics in Animal Experimentation (3 ECTS)
___ Short Research Projects in Biology (6 ECTS)
Semester 3
Internship comprehensive project22.5
AquaHealth Journal club7.5

Semester 2 & 3 – UAB / UB

Physiology and Health at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat de Barcelona (UAB/UB), Spain.

The path focuses on giving students the opportunity to acquire knowledge on the physiological mechanisms involved in the overall health of fish and shellfish. Within this, the following aspects will be considered: harmonious growth and balanced nutrition; the generation of the stress response and stress prevention methodologies; the innate and adaptive mechanisms of immune defences; the regulatory systems involved; knowledge of infections; pathological signs; and the patho-physiological response.

Semester 2
Internship comprehensive project22.5
Fish Health Laboratory course2
Fish Laboratory course2
Basic marine aquaculture facility management2
Semester 3
AquaHealth Club7.5
Production and health management in aquaculture facilities8
Stress, pathology, immune response, and environmental health8
Physiology of aquaculture species8

Semester 4: Master dissertation (30ECTS)

Become an aquaculture health management innovator
and answer the challenges of global food demand and overfishing