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Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

Release Date: Each May

Professional Accreditation: IEMA (as part of MSc)

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

Learn about the latest advances in the field of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and how to develop controlled growing systems

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is a technology-based approach to food production, allowing growers/food producers and agri-tech businesses to optimise growing conditions and resource usage. CEA has the potential to increase business resilience and food security in the face of factors such as climate change and land availability. This module introduces students to the latest advances in this rapidly developing area of agriculture, highlighting the benefits of a range of controlled environments and their potential for improved products and food security.

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The course will consist of a series of lectures and guided learning focused on:

List of Units


The reasons for and potential benefits of CEA

Technologies and Terms

An overview of technologies and a glossary of terms used in CEA

Plant Biology and CEA

Molecular biology (Biochemical processes – molecular and cellular);

Physiology (Biological functions)

Stressing Plants

Control of environmental stress and implications for human nutrition

CEA Practice

Horticultural/agronomic processes/practices applied to CEA systems


Pests, pathogens, diseases and controls in CEA systems

Business Opportunities

Farm diversification, urban growing and hybrid systems

Circular Economy Solutions

Co-location with industry for resource use and energy efficiency, e.g. heat, nutrients


Tutors Name
Dr Sarah Watson-Jones
Dr William Stiles
Dr Peter Wootton-Beard


Jodie Pritchard

What I have learnt will help with the hydroponics unit that we will receive from Tech Tyfu next spring and I hope we will be able to learn from our practical experience. We also hope that we will be able to encourage other farmers to investigate CEA as an addition to their farming operation and also encourage more people to take part in further studies in their adult life.

Jodie Pritchard Senior Rural Surveyor - Baileys and Partners, Gwynedd
Amanda Wood

It has changed how my business operates and has led me to some further reading and experimentation. I learnt so much about CEA that I think it could be a stand alone degree. I would love to dig further into every aspect more thoroughly.