Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Controlled Environment Agriculture
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Interactive Task  (Minimum 1200 words)  20%
Semester Assessment Digital Story  3 Minutes  10%
Semester Assessment Critical Review  2000 Words  30%
Semester Assessment Report  (on crop/system design options for a CEA system)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Report  (on crop/system design options for a CEA system)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Critical Review  2000 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Interactive Task  (Minimum 1200 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Digital Story  3 Minutes  10%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. ​Explain the current and future food production challenges that CEA technologies can help solve.

2. Describe current limitations of CEA technology with regard to food production.

3. Compare the benefits and drawbacks of CEA technologies for different crops and locations.

4. Discuss plant biology relevant to CEA.

5. Assess biosecurity issues in different CEA systems.

6. Identify opportunities for co-location of CEA with industry for resource use and energy efficiency.

Brief description

This module is part of the Bioinnovation Wales courses. Students will learn about the latest advances in CEA as well as developing an understanding of plant biology and physiology that is needed by agri-tech companies to develop suitable CEs.
It will cover the benefits and limitations of a range of controlled environments and their potential for improved food security, highlighting relevant research and including case studies relevant to the agri-tech sectors.


​​​​The module will cover the following topics:

The reasons for and potential benefits of CEA;
Examples of CEA technologies and a glossary of terms;
Current CEA systems and future potential;
Plant Biology applied to CEA (e.g. science of plant-light interaction, nutrient use, stress etc.);
Molecular biology (Biochemical processes – molecular and cellular);
Physiology (Biological functions);
Control of environmental stress in plants and implications for human nutrition;
Horticultural/agronomic processes/practices applied to CEA systems;
Biosecurity (pests, pathogens, diseases and controls) in CEA systems;
Farm diversification, urban growing and hybrid systems;
Co-location with industry for resource use and energy efficiency, e.g. heat, nutrients;
Circular economy solutions for CEA production systems.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be required to examine and synthesize quantitative data from a range of publications and databases in their assignments and will be expected to explain or show evidence to support claims of financial gains, waste reduction, etc. in the case study.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments and to discuss relevant topics with each other in the forums.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work for students to see where improvements could be made before subsequent assignments. A written formative assessment will give an early risk-free opportunity for feedback and there will be 3 successive assessed forums which will be marked and feedback provided in time to aid performance in the next forum. Formative MCQs will enable students to see where they need to concentrate their self-directed study.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and to use Blackboard for all aspects of the module.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will provide the students with the latest research into controlled environment agriculture and associated technologies to help them provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the agri-tech industries; they will be assessed on their understanding of this information but won’t be specifically assessed on personal development and career planning.
Problem solving Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students’ problem solving skills, through use of questions that present theoretical problems for the students to solve. The case study will also require students to propose ways to amend and improve existing waste streams.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study, so will develop their literature research skills. Feedback from assignments will offer advice on information synthesis.
Subject Specific Skills Types, benefits and challenges of CEA. Appraisal and evaluation of the different methods.
Team work Online forums will require students to debate among themselves to develop a consensus of opinion.


This module is at CQFW Level 7