Laurea (First cycle degree/Bachelor - 180 ECTS) in Aquaculture and Fish Production Hygiene

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea (First cycle degree/Bachelor - 180 ECTS)
Academic Year 2018/2019
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8834
Degree Programme Class L-38 - Zoology
Years in which the programme is being held

All (1st, 2nd, and 3rd year)

Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Place of teaching Cesenatico
Degree Programme Director Paolo Clavenzani
Teachers Teachers
Language Italian

Admission requirements and assessment of previously acquired knowledge/competences

Access requirements

To be accepted on this degree programme you need to have a 5-year high school leaver's certificate or foreign qualification recognised as compatible, or a 4-year high school leaver's diploma plus catch-up year or, where that is no longer being run, proof of having made up an additional learning requirement.

Knowledge requirement

You also need to be able to speak and write Italian and to have good reasoning skills.

Knowledge test

A non-selective interview will test whether your knowledge is appropriate.

If the interview shows a deficiency, you will be set additional learning requirements (OFAs) consisting in individual study.

Additional learning requirements (OFAs)

OFAs are deemed to have been satisfied when you pass a first-year exam (not counting the English test) by the term set by the academic authorities. Failure to pass OFAs means you must re-enrol to repeat the first year of the programme.

Exemption from the knowledge test

The Degree Programme Board will decide about exemptions from the knowledge test as an admission requirement to the degree programme in cases of withdrawal, loss of student status, transfer, etc. and upon the following criteria:

a) the applicant's having already gained at least 6 credits in scientific subjects (SSD) from the groups BIO, VET and AGR;

b) having gained those credits no more than ten years earlier, in case the knowledge has meanwhile become out of date.

Language test

To be admitted to the programme you need to possess an A2 level of English as certified by the University Language Centre. Those whose English is shown by the test to be lower than A2 will be marked as having an initial deficiency in language. Achieving a B1 level of English is a prerequisite for taking third-year exams.

Programme profile

The degree course in Aquaculture and Fish Production Hygiene sets out to create professionals working in all branches of aquatic-animal rearing, such as technical, hygiene and economic management of zootechnical farms in the fish sector (aquaculture or mariculture expert), as well as firms supplying technical means and services, and firms engaged in transforming and commercializing fish products. Graduates may also practise as freelance Agricultural Technicians and Graduate Agricultural Technicians (a Europe-wide qualification). The degree programme trains technicians to devise and manage projects tailored to the company for which they are working.

The particular work of the graduate will entail:

1) breeding and rearing aquatic organisms, and especially improving the quality and quantity of fish stocks, introducing innovative ideas; checking the health, well-being, eco-friendliness and any pathology in aquacultured animals, in particular fish, shellfish and molluscs.

2) assessing the hygiene, quality and food safety of fish products, using veterinary biomedical laboratory techniques; managing water farms with a view to producing, transforming and marketing the fish products.

The learning model employed is inductive, based on the simultaneous teaching of a mixture of basic, technical/professional and transversal know-how.

The curriculum includes three AREAS of learning:

- BASIC SCIENCE. Knowledge here does not directly pertain to the profession, but it is fundamental in triggering professional development and background expertise. Examples of this broad spectrum of knowledge are: mathematics and logic, the basics of physics and statistics, basics of chemistry, a grounding in biology and zoology with special reference to aquatic organisms. Areas specifically covered include morphology of the various taxa of aquatic organisms for recognition and classification purposes, as well as the anatomy and physiology of the main fish species bred. Likewise, basic knowledge of microbiology, immunology and epidemiology, which serve to understand aquatic animal transmissible diseases.

- PRODUCTION AND HEALTH OF AQUATIC ANIMALS. The knowledge here forms the expertise of the professional in question. The core subjects, though not strictly related to a specific professional setting, aim to form the graduate's background, leading to acquisition of communication, relation, decision-making and problem-solving skills that are essential in turning technical know-how into effective professional performance.

The knowledge relates to the innovative production systems used in fresh- and seawater cultures, extending to the main equipment and plant used in breeding and in managing the confined spaces harbouring aquatic animals with a view to their well-being. This area of knowledge is completed by a grounding in hydraulics, hydrodynamics, water-soil ratio and water treatment, including issues of eco-toxicology.

As a whole, the knowledge of aquatic animal nutrition and diet, production and reproductive technology, the aetio-pathogenesis of transmissible diseases affecting aquatic animals and how to prevent them, and the principles of legislation underpinning aquaculture animal health constitute a decisive background of expertise for the practise of this profession branch.

- QUALITY AND FOOD SAFETY OF FISH PRODUCTS. The knowledge here forms the expertise of the professional in question. The core subjects, though not strictly related to a specific professional setting, aim to form the graduate's background, leading to acquisition of communication, relation, decision-making and problem-solving skills that are essential in turning technical know-how into effective professional performance.

The knowledge acquired relates to the production techniques for the improvement of the quality of the fish products, and their organoleptic and sensorial quality parameters, applying analytical methods that assess microbiological, nutritional and sensorial quality. The professional will know the optimal hygiene and health characteristics, and the pertaining laws , as well as the risk of any infectious agents or parasites in fish stocks being transmitted to the man, and how to control this. By such expertise the professional can extend methods of self-control to the firms that transform, commercialize and supply both fishery products and those from traditional or innovative aquaculture.

Students are taught how to apply such knowledge by classroom teaching and many hours of practicals, usually involving group laboratory work, teaching visits, and a practical curriculum internship. Students are also expected to do a lot of personal study, going over the information they have assimilated until they have mastered it.

Tuition focuses heavily on learning by doing: the basic experience is team work by student, teacher and student tutor. To this end use is made of model fish tanks and water waste treatment plants for bivalve molluscs, thus more deeply pursuing the technical and productive side to aquatic organism raising. Again, multi-purpose laboratories are used for practice in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, nutrition and diet, ichthyo-pathology, microbiology and parasitology (serving the problem issues of animal welfare and health), hygiene assessment, quality and organoleptic assessment of fish food products, including fishery production. There is also a programme of teaching visits to farms of sea- and freshwater species, and to water waste treatment and transformation plants. The general watchword is not just knowing, but knowing by doing. The pre-graduation programme may also be completed by attendance at research and diagnostic laboratories run by the Department of Veterinary Medical Science.

Testing of students' assimilation and application of what they are taught is by oral and written exams, and assessment of individual special papers in which students will display their command of the tools and methods taught.

All the subjects on the degree programme serve to train both interlinked professional profiles and achieve the objective of mastering the techniques of breeding, raising and commercializing the product in observance of health and hygiene principles and the laws governing them. The programme aims to provide the specific expertise but, at the same time, a degree of flexibility based on an overall education combining biology, zootechnics, health, hygiene, plant technology, legislation and economics.

The programme combines basic and core activities, as well as related supplementary subjects.

Expected learning outcomes

This content is not currently available.

Access to further study

It gives access to second cycle studies (laurea specialistica/magistrale) and master universitario di primo livello.

Career opportunities

This content is not currently available.