A postgraduate certificate in aquaculture course run by the University of St Andrews in cooperation with TheFishSite has received its official approval from the university.
The course is a nine month e-learning course specialising in either vertebrate of invertebrate species and represents half of the postgraduate diploma course, which is already running.
The accreditation of the postgraduate certificate was announced by the course director Neil Hazon during the Aquaculture UK exhibition and conference in Aviemore this week.
The cooperation between the University of St Andrews and TheFishSite has already seen a started undergraduate distance learning course now in its third year.
The starter course is designed for those with no experience of the industry and takes one year.
The postgraduate diploma course that is still in its first year takes 18 months of study.
Following this course, students can then take on up to six months research to convert the diploma into a Master of Science degree.
The new postgraduate certificate, which is essentially half the postgraduate diploma course, is expected to start in 2013.
The courses are not tied to the academic year and at present have two starting dates during the year.
"The undergraduate certificate course can provide a road into the post graduate courses for people with experience of the industry," said Dr Hazon.
The courses are an alternative to regular course and can take work experience into account to get into the postgraduate certificate or diploma.
"To get the MSc through the undergraduate certificate, people will have had to have worked in the industry for some time," Dr Hazon added.
However, already several students have moved from the undergraduate certificate course to the postgraduate diploma and one student has even started to take on a PhD having achieved the MSc through the e-learning course.