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 duration programme, comprising coursework in the first year and thesis/research work in the second year.


The importance of the fisheries sector in the economy of many developing countries cannot be overemphasised, given that it provides livelihoods for many coastal communities and contributes significantly to gross domestic product (GDP). Unfortunately, the fisheries in many of such countries are in a state of decline which calls for urgent management actions to reverse the trend. Institutions mandated to oversee the development and management of the sector are constrained by a shortfall in middle and high level personnel with both theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in fisheries science. The MPhil programme in Fisheries Science of the Department is therefore designed to give students a holistic training in this discipline and thus develop their competency to contribute to management of the sector.  


Entry Requirements: 

Admission Requirements:


  1.  Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences with a Second Class Lower Division or higher
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 examinations score. The End of Semester examinations constitute 60% of the total marks. A thesis/research work in the second year will start 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 Fisheries Science

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: 

Trained middle-level manpower to assist with teaching, research and extension in tertiary and other research institutions.

Personnel with managerial capacities in the fishing industry and related fields produced.

Graduates capable of training lower-level personnel in fisheries institutions on fishery data collection produced.

Career Opportunities: 

Not Published

Programme Structure

Level 800

First Semester

FAS 801: Ichthyology
3 Credit(s)

This course shall involve studies of the morphology, functional anatomy, and geographical distribution of marine and freshwater finfish of economic importance. Monographs and keys would be used for classification and identification of local freshwater and marine finfish.

FAS 802: Malacology
3 Credit(s)

Morphology, anatomy and zoogeography of marine and freshwater shellfishes of economic interest shall be studied. Classification and identification of local freshwater and marine shellfishes would be carried out using monographs and keys 

FAS 803: Advanced Fisheries Biology
3 Credit(s)

This course will examine the feeding ecology of finfish and shellfish; methods for the determination of age and growth of finfish and shellfish shall be studied; the von Bertalanffy and Gompertz growth models shall be explained. Studies on the reproductive biology, recruitment and early life history of fish and shellfish shall be conducted. The course shall involve the use of statistical packages to analyze fisheries data.

FAS 804: Fishing Gears and Techniques
3 Credit(s)

The course will provide a survey of fishing gears and fishing techniques employed in coastal and inland fisheries of Ghana and other countries with particular emphasis on their effects on the fisheries resources. Selectivity of fishing gears shall be determined. 

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 the quality of fish feeds.

Second Semester

FAS 805: Fisheries Management
3 Credit(s)

Students will be introduced to the concept of a fish stock, and fishery and biological information necessary for assessment of fish stocks will be studied. The importance of studies on age structure of stocks, population growth and mortality parameters of fish stocks shall be highlighted. The course will also examine indices of over-fishing, and fisheries management techniques (i.e. conventional versus traditional methods), and expose students to the use of software for assessing fish stocks.

FAS 806: Ghanaian Fishery
3 Credit(s)

This course shall deal with organization of the fishing industry in Ghana, with emphasis on the essential features of inland, and coastal and marine fisheries. It will give an overview of the Fisheries Law of Ghana, and role of the sector ministry and other organizations in fisheries development and management. The role of gender in the fishery, fish storage and marketing shall be discussed.

FAS 807: Global Fisheries and International Treaties
3 Credit(s)

Trends in global fisheries and the major international instruments for the management of ocean fisheries (e.g. UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, FAO Compliance Agreement, UN Fish Stocks Agreement, FAO code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, FAO International Plans of Action and World Summit for Sustainable Development) will be explained.  Objectives and functions of some Regional fisheries bodies, e.g. CECAF, WACAF, ICCAT, ICES, CIFA, will be discussed. This course will involve extensive use of the internet to access information.

FAS 808: Current Research and Communication in Fisheries Science
3 Credit(s)

Students will be required to study recently published research papers in various aspects of fisheries science, paying particular attention to the methodology, presentation of results and discussions. Seminars would be arranged at which such papers would 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 899A: Thesis research in Fisheries Science
15 Credit(s)

Students will undertake a field and or laboratory research project in any aspect of fisheries science and present a thesis for examination. Students will also 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

FAS 899A: Thesis research in Fisheries Science
15 Credit(s)

Students will undertake a field and or laboratory research project in any aspect of fisheries science and present a thesis for examination. Students will also make at least two seminar presentations during the research and thesis preparation, as well as an oral defense of the thesis.