Skip to Content


Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course features significant input from professional scientists from Marine Scotland Science (MSS), the Scottish Government’s foremost marine science research laboratory, based in Aberdeen.  Computer practical sessions, delivered by MSS scientists, introduce students to the principles and methods of modern fisheries stock analysis and assessments, which ultimately help determine how fishing quotas are set.  The course develops students’ computer programming abilities, adding to their numerate and analytical skills, which are in such high demand from employers in academia and applied science.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 5.5 credits (2.75 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Paul Fernandes

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of MRes Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MRes Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or MRes Environmental Science or MRes Soil Science or MSc Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or MSc Forestry (Taught) or MSc Soil Science or MSc Environmental Science or MSci Biological Sciences
  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or BI4015 Grant Proposal (Passed)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to ideas about analysing fisheries data and applying both classic and modern fisheries science models. The course is based on a series of computer-based practicals which deal with such concepts as: assessing stocks using catch and/or survey data, cohort analysis, separable analysis, and length-based assessment. Extensive use will be made of the R programming language and Excel spreadsheet modelling. The assessment tests the students’ understanding through the writing of a number of short abstract-type summaries.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

·         Understand and apply principles and methods of classic and modern fisheries analysis and stock assessment.


Practical skills

·         Develop computer programming skills.

·         Develop mathematical modelling skills.

·         Develop concise technical writing skills.

Transferable Skills

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

·         Appreciate the link between science and management of marine resources

·         Handle R code more effectively

·         Use (and program with) a greater variety of R functions


The assessment is based on a short, abstract-length answers to four essay questions. 

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • MRes Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology
  • MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology

Contact Teaching Time

80 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


The module will be assessed based on a single graded exercise (100%), to be handed in after the end of the course.

Formative Assessment




Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.