Grow your career with qualifications in protected cropping, an emerging multi-billion dollar industry for producing high-value fruit and vegetable products with incredible efficiency.

Western’s new qualifications and are ideal for seasoned horticultural professionals that seek to gain skills, knowledge and connections in glasshouse horticultural production and the associated elements of horticultural business and logistics.

Students perform experiments in the NVPCC Glasshouse

The Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate in Protected Cropping offers you exciting learning opportunities to extend your knowledge and further develop your expertise in the areas of science, technology and business with a strong focus on intensive horticulture.

The highlight for your learning journey is the Masterclass experience, where you will be meeting with industry experts and working on real life industry challenges in a world-class greenhouse facility.

Themes for the Masterclass include software and hardware systems, crop and produce management, integrated pest management and fertigation systems.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to set up and complete your own protected cropping industry project by integrating and applying what you have learned. It will also help you to harness and showcase leadership, communication and business skills.

This versatile degree will open up more doors for your future, including articulation into postgraduate study, bringing back the latest research findings and practices to your workplace, or exploring new career options in the field of horticulture with an elevated perspective and a new skillset.

Courses and Study Options

Icon for certificate level qualifications
Graduate Certificate In Protected Cropping
  • 6 months full-time or one year part-time
Icon for diploma level qualifications
Graduate Diploma In Protected Cropping
  • 6 months full-time or one year part-time


301357: Plant-Climate Interactions in Controlled Environments

This unit aims to provide knowledge of relationships between plant growth, controlled environment and crop physiological aspects relevant to protected crop production. The unit will provide students with relevant knowledge to explain and develop concepts that are key to understanding various areas of environmental plant physiology.

The unit will also stimulate students to conceptualise interactions between the physical environment and plant functioning. The unit will compare the important parameters and concepts (e.g. plant growth, plant and fruit development, light interception, light use efficiency, biomass partitioning, and water use efficiency) in horticultural crop growth in the controlled systems.

Full details


301358: Advanced Greenhouse Technology

This unit explores a range of advanced greenhouse technologies in Australia and overseas—from simple low-cost options, through to cutting-edge technology in energy and water-efficient production. Students will observe current status and future trends in the industry to examine how advanced technologies can improve sustainability measures along with the reliability of horticultural output.

This unit focuses on engineering aspects of greenhouse horticulture systems as well as crop growth and development. The basics of crop growth and development and the physical principles of greenhouse systems at different levels will be taught.

The main in depth topics of the unit are:

  • the selection of suitable greenhouse technology
  • physics of greenhouse climate
  • greenhouse systems (passive greenhouse, climate controlled, closed or semi-closed greenhouse)
  • cropping systems
  • cover materials and smart glass technologies
  • energy saving technologies
  • water and nutrient recycling
  • and robotics for de-leafing and picking.

Full details


301359: Greenhouse Control Systems

This unit develops an understanding of the leading controlling systems for protected cropping in low, medium and high-tech greenhouses.

The main topics are:

  • the integration of hardware and software in a range of different protected cropping systems
  • management of the aerial environment (e.g. manageable parameters and greenhouse climate engineering
  • radiation management
  • energy sources and distribution systems
  • ventilation
  • air conditioning and cooling systems
  • screens
  • carbon dioxide-sources and distribution),
  • and management of the hydroponic environment (factors, tools, control of water and nutrient balance, water quality, salinity effects).

The unit emphasises computing skills, calculation, and analysis that are applicable to a range of different greenhouse control systems.

Full details


301360: Greenhouse Crop Production

This unit focuses on key concepts relating to the functioning of a range of greenhouse horticultural crops in their environment, biological mechanisms, crop growth and development, integrated pest management, crop production, quality and postharvest technology.

Students will learn concepts and knowledge relevant to plant physiology, environmental sciences, horticultural production, food technology, and postharvest physiology. Students will be able to measure and interpret plant physiological, biochemical, genetic, and produce quality traits in greenhouse experiments in the context of the functional diversity in crops.

The students will also integrate knowledge using plant growth modelling techniques, interpret model output, and address questions on functional diversity in crops by combining model output and experimental data.

Full details


301361 and 301362: Industry Projects

Over two units, students will complete an industry based project under the guidance of an industry partner and a member of the University’s academic staff.

Using a project based methodology, students will be required to solve a real world problem on behalf of a protected cropping industry partner.

Students will develop skills in scoping, planning, implementing, reporting on the industry project; reflecting on what has been learned in the context of their personal and professional development and how this can be used in their future career.

Full details: Unit One and Unit Two


The Graduate Certificate in Protected Cropping and the Graduate Diploma in Protected Cropping are recognised by Protected Cropping Australia and the Hydroponic Farmers Federation.