British Columbia is the country’s largest producer of farmed seafood, producing half of Canada’s output in 2016 (Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance). More than 700 seafood farms are located in the province producing finfish (mainly salmon), and a wide variety of shellfish, including clams, oysters and mussels. Many people are also employed in supplying feed and nutrients to fish, and in value-added food processing.

UBC’s Graduate Certificate in Aquaculture provides an excellent entryway into this exciting and evolving area. Students will gain the theoretical and practical skills to become contributors to the aquaculture industry from a sustainability, biological, social, and economic lens.

The certificate program is a one semester/4-month, 17-credit specialized program that is ideal for students interested in entering the aquaculture industry and for those who are ready for a career transition. It explores principles across the broad scope of fields involved with food production from aquaculture.

What makes the program unique?

  • British Columbia – and UBC – are perfectly situated for the aquaculture industry. Access to large tracts of coastline and moderate temperatures have helped aquaculture grow into a $700 million industry in the province.
  • UBC offers the only graduate-level aquaculture program in Western Canada. The program trains people who possess foundational critical thinking and problem solving skills to become future leaders in the industry.
  • While here, students will discover the types of jobs available in aquaculture throughout the province, earn credits in courses that prepare them for all aspects of aquaculture, and build a network with industry professionals.

Program Structure

Courses will be delivered at the UBC Vancouver campus during Winter Term 1 (September – December). Students will complete the certificate on a full-time basis over a period of 4 months, completing 7 required courses (17 credits required):

  • AQUA 501 (3 credits) Aquaculture Production Systems
  • AQUA 502 (2 credits) Fish Nutrition, Feeds and Feeding
  • AQUA 503 (3 credits) Fish Health
  • AQUA 504 (2 credits) Finfish Genetics and Reproduction in Aquaculture
  • AQUA 505 (3 credits) Ecological Sustainability of Aquaculture
  • AQUA 506 (2 credits) Business concepts in Aquaculture
  • AQUA 507 (2 credits) Seafood Processing

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Tuition and Fees

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Tuition per credit$608.85$1,117.93
Other Fees and Costs
Supplementary fees (once)$1060.00 Field trip and text book fee
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
Deposit to accept offer (if admitted)
Deposit requirement$3000.00$5000.00
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Career Options

There are many aquaculture career opportunities in B.C., across Canada and around the world, spanning coastal to urban communities. The range of careers is wide and working conditions are equally varied. Our graduates can expect to find work in a place that fits their interests: land-based or sea-based farms; in a feed or food processing plant; or in an office or lab. Here are some careers available to those with an aquaculture education.

Careers at a sea-based or land-based farm site:

  • Fish production technician / manager
  • Hatchery technician / manager
  • Fish health technician
  • Aquatic veterinarian
  • Fish biologist
  • Aquaculture diver
  • Waste management technologist

Careers in an office:

  • Environmental and regulatory affairs manager
  • Aquaculture engineer
  • Research scientist / technician
  • Habitat biologist
  • Research and development coordinator
  • Environmental assessment technician
  • Regulatory affairs officer

Careers at a feed mill:

  • Feed production technician
  • Environmental assessment technician
  • Nutrition researcher

Careers at a food processing plant:

  • Processing line operator / supervisor
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Product developer
  • Waste management technologist

Careers with the government:

  • Aquaculture policy advisor
  • Aquaculture extension officers
  • Aquaculture development specialist
  • Environmental assessment technician
  • Regulatory affairs officer

Further Information


Aquaculture is farming in water. It’s the cultivation of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants in fresh or marine water, typically for food. Aquaculture started in Canada as a way to supplement natural fish stocks, and it has since grown into a large, commercial industry. Today, seafood farms are located in every province and in the Yukon, and aquaculture employs 25,000 people across Canada.


Program Enquiries
If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Why should you choose UBC?

From academic excellence and modern facilities to our diverse degree program listings to being named one of the “most innovative universities” by Reuters in 2019, UBC has a lot to offer.