Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Controlled Environment Crop Production and Horticulture
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essays  (Two 1,800 word essays with timed release)  50%
Semester Assessment Report  (2,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essays  (Two 1,800 word essays with timed release)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Report  (2,000 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss how plant physiological mechanisms operate in optimal and sub-optimal conditions.

2. Describe the various ways crops are propagated indoors in the Horticultural industry.

3. Explain how stressors influence plant development, growth and chemistry.

4. Assess plant performance using classical growth analyses of plants grown in indoor environments.

Brief description

The challenges of feeding a growing global population and the impacts of a changing climate on crop production mean that we must now identify new ways of food production. Controlled Environment crop production represents a new dawn for food production, buoyed by new and inexpensive LED lighting systems and more efficient hydroponic and aeroponic systems. A key goal for the industry has been to improve the nutritional quality of indoor crops which has often been inferior to those grown outdoors in the soil. However, through plant breeding and the application of controlled stress this can now be realized.


The first part of the module introduces fundamental aspects of Plant Physiology including an understanding seed and germination physiology. We explore photoreceptors, photosynthesis and photobiology. The products of photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon partition will be discussed in relation to plant growth and this will be integrated with practicals that use classical growth analyses and biomass partitioning. The role of plant growth regulators will be considered and regulation of shoot, root and reproductive organ growth. Water and nutrient uptake and use will be considered in plants growth in soil or other media. The second part of the module focusses on Horticulture and optimization of indoor environments to maximise plant growth and yield. Here we will explore horticultural production via glasshouse and polytunnel systems also looking at different growth media including soil, hydroponics and aeroponics. Next, we will look at more advanced indoor systems that are often fully automated and exploit LED technology. Here we will return to photobiology, carbon partitioning and the control of plant development and growth. Finally, the absence of stressors will be considered indoors and how we can use plants stress, EUstress to manipulate plant growth and chemistry. This again integrates with the practical elements that will apply various stressors to plants under glasshouse conditions to enhance crop quality.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication N/A
Improving own Learning and Performance N/A
Information Technology N/A
Personal Development and Career planning Real industry focus and applying fundamental elements to applied aspects.
Problem solving Practical work in glasshouse, hypothesis testing.
Research skills Practical work in glasshouse and critical assessment of literature for assessments.
Subject Specific Skills Growth and chemical analysis.
Team work Group practical work in glasshouse.


This module is at CQFW Level 5