Degree Type: 

Master of Philosophy


Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences

Programme Duration: 

2 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 


About Programme: 

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme is a two year in duration, comprising coursework in the first year and thesis/research work in the second year.


Ghana is a protein-deficient country in which fish forms more than 60% of animal protein intake. There is however, a yawning fish demand gap that currently stands at about 450, 000 MT annually. Aquaculture had been recognised to have a great potential and offers the best long-term solution to the ever-increasing deficit in fish supply in Ghana. But lack of human capacity to support a thriving aquaculture development is one of the major limitations in the national effort to bridge the gap in fish demand and supply. The Department of Fisheries and aquatic Sciences therefore proposes to mount the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Aquaculture to address this problem. 


Entry Requirements: 


  1.  Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences with a Second Class Lower Division or higher
  2. Bachelor's degree in Fisheries related course with a Second Class Lower Division or higher
  3. In addition, candidates must pass an oral interview

Specific requirements for graduation: 
The course work assessment during the first year is based on assignments, reports from practical work as well as quizzes. These form 40% of the total exam mark. The End of Semester examinations constitute 60% of the total mark. A thesis research in the second year will starts after successfully completing the course work. Departmental seminar presentations are held to ascertain students’ progress and to allow faculty and other students make relevant inputs. The thesis is subjected to both external and internal review after submission by the student. If successful, an oral examination (viva) is held for the student. Upon successful defence, the department then recommends to the School of Graduate Studies to consider awarding the candidate for an award of MPhil degree in Aquaculture.

Target Group

  1. First degree holders in Biological sciences and related fields. 
  2. Workers in the aquaculture and fishing industry

Expected Output

  1. Trained middle-level manpower to assist with teaching, research and extension in tertiary and other research institutions.
  2. Personnel with managerial capacities in the aquaculture industry produced.
  3. Graduates capable of training lower-level personnel in aquaculture institutions on aquaculture data collection produced.

 Progression Requirements 

For progression from Year 1 to Year 2, students should:

  • Obtain a minimum grade of C in all first year courses 
  • Present their research proposals successfully in a seminar  
  • Must make good progress on the research activities and submit one progress report to the Department and UCC School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
  • Must participate in at least 75% of the regular seminars organized by Department and SGS

Graduation Requirements 

Candidates will be considered successful if his/her MPhil thesis:

  • Passes both internal and external assessment (60% minimum score)
  • Is successfully defended in a viva voce (60% minimum score)

In addition, candidate must satisfy all SGS and UCC requirement.

Goal / Aim / Objectives: 

The main goal of the MPhil programme in Aquaculture is to produce a high level personnel to develop and sustain a vibrant aquaculture industry in Ghana. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Equip the students with knowledge and hands-on skills in aquaculture 
  2. Train the students in the relevant research and teaching skills 
  3. develop in the students, competencies in problem solving and policy formulation in aquaculture 
  4. Develop aquaculture entrepreneurial skills in the students.

Career Opportunities: 

You can find jobs in the following areas:

  1. Government agencies like Fisheries Ministry
  2. NGOs engaged in aquatic environmental campaign
  3. Industries in fish processing and canning
  4. Firms engaged in commercial fishing.

Programme Structure

Level 800

First Semester

FAS 811: Aquaculture Holding Facilities
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the principles and practices in the selection of sites for aquaculture, surveying and mapping of pond sites, and techniques of pond construction.  The use of ponds, cages, pens, tanks, raceways and other facilities for fish production as well as aquarium fisheries are discussed. Students will have a practical experience of constructing and mounting holding facilities for both finfish and shellfish.  The process of land acquisition in Ghana, and tenure are also discussed.

FAS 812: Water Quality Management
3 Credit(s)

The course offers in-depth study of the neoconservative and conservative aspects of water in enclosures and other facilities for aquaculture.  Students will also study the chemical, biological, and mechanical methods of maintaining and improving water quality in aquaculture.  The possible causes and prevention of pollution of aquaculture systems as well as by the systems will be discussed.

FAS 813: Biology of Selected Culture Species
3 Credit(s)

A study of the biology of the commonly cultured finfish and shellfish species in tropical Africa is provided.  The course begins with an introductory discussion of the attributes of cultivable species, followed by in-depth study of the morphology, anatomy, respiration, food and feeding habits, growth characteristics, and reproductive habits of selected species.  Local examples of species with potential for culturing will also be considered.  Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between the biological attributes and culture methods.

FAS 814: Fish Nutrition
3 Credit(s)

This course involves an analysis of basic and applied aspects of warm water fish nutrition. Areas covered include nutrient requirement and metabolism, nutrient sources, nutrient chemistry, diet formulation and ration. Practical work will consist of preparation, administering and evaluation of feed including live feed.  Students will be introduced to the use of statistical packages for evaluating quality of fish feeds.

Second Semester

FAS 815: Diseases and Parasites of Fish
3 Credit(s)

The course presents a study of clinical diagnosis of bacterial, viral, fungal and other parasitic diseases of cultured species.  The practical work will involve the isolation, culture and identification of the disease-causing organisms.  Students will also study fouling agents and their effect on shellfish production. Formulation of corrective measures for the control of fish diseases and fouling agents will be examined.

FAS 816: Seed Production and Stocking
3 Credit(s)

Reproductive strategies of selected warm water finfish and shellfish will be examined and linked to the mass production of their seed for culture purposes.  Students will study the techniques of hybridization and selective breeding, as well as monosex fish production.  Hands-on activities will include spawning induction, artificial fertilization, and rearing. Stocking of ponds, cages and pens will be undertaken as well as evaluation of substrates for settlement of oyster spat. The control of species introductions and escape of farmed animals will be discussed.

FAS 817: Aquaculture Management Practices and Entrepreneurship
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the various aquaculture systems, management practices and production levels.  It also gives an overview of the status of aquaculture globally as well as in Ghana and other African countries.  Harvesting, processing and marketing strategies of aquaculture products will be studied.  Students will be taught how to prepare business plans and financial budgets for fish production, and record keeping.  Various sources of funding and strategies for investment will be discussed.

FAS 818: Current Research and Communication in Aquaculture
3 Credit(s)

Students are required to read research papers on current developments in aquaculture, paying particular attention to the methodology, presentation of results and discussions. The course offers students the opportunity to present seminars on the reading materials. Statistical packages used in contemporary research, and scientific writing will be discussed.

FAS 841: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Coastal Communities
3 Credit(s)

This is an advanced course that builds on the introductory course in climate change issues at the undergraduate level. It emphasises mitigation and adaptation measures for minimizing the impact of climate change in coastal communities. Students are guided to evaluate trends in the indicators of climate change and their possible effects on coastal communities identified and analysed. The course also guides students to assess the vulnerability of communities and their capacity for dealing with the effects of climate change. Students are engaged in developing skills and tools for communicating climate change issues. A short project on climate change issues will be undertaken by students and report submitted at the end of the course.

Level 900

First Semester

FAS 800A: Seminar I
3 Credit(s)

presentation of thesis proposal

FAS 899B: Thesis research in Aquaculture
15 Credit(s)

Students are required to undertake a field and/or laboratory research project in any aspect of aquaculture and present a thesis thereafter. It is also required that students make at least two seminar presentations during the research and thesis preparation, as well as an oral defense of the thesis.

Second Semester

FAS 800B: Seminar II
3 Credit(s)

Presentation of final research output before submission of thesis for examination