What's the difference ?
New to Permaculture and trying to work out what course is best for you to do?
There are a range of permaculture courses, we outline the different types of courses to help you decide what is best for you.
We believe that:
all Permaculture Courses and workshops should be based firmly on permaculture principles and inclusive.
all permaculture courses should be taught by educators with a range of practical experiences and sound theoretical knowledge of permaculture.
Permaculture workshops tend to be based on one or more of the main learning areas of permaculture and are aimed at expanding knowledge with more detailed training in those areas.
Generally there are no prerequisites to complete a workshop. Workshops vary from 1/2 day to a week. Some examples of workshops are : earthworks, mushrooms, earth building, compost making, social permaculture.
Workshops are informal training, a certificate of attendance and/or completion may be issued by the workshop organiser.
Introduction to Permaculture
An Introduction to Permaculture course. is usually a two day course which combines theory and practice. Some include an element of design work; most are based on the Permaculture Principles.
An Introduction course is great value if you are wanting to gauge if permaculture is the right direction for you, if you want an overview of permaculture
Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
A Permaculture Design Course is a 72 hour course which can be an intensive course or broken up over weekends or even months.It can be either 'in place' or online.
Many students cite the learning environment and networking of an intensive 12 day course as a highlight, for others being able to complete a course over a longer period or online is the only way that they can do a PDC. Completing more than one PDC can be beneficial as teachers have different focus and new learning will occur. Some teachers offer a discount if you have already completed a PDC.
In Australia a PDC is an informal course, it is not accredited by any organisation nor, generally, is it recognised as prior learning for university courses etc. Some employees are including a PDC as a 'desirable' criteria, this is notable in aid organisations.
A Diploma of Permaculture is fully accredited by the AQTF (Australian Quality Training Framework) under the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework). The Diploma is recognised nationally and in New Zealand, Canada, UK and most Asia-Pacific, African and Latin American countries . It is based on units of competency. Clearly defined knowledge and skills requirements are assessed throughout the course.
You can complete the diploma through TAFE NSW online. Full-time students can apply for Austudy.
Other TAFE course ( ie Horticulture) may include elements of permaculture in their course of study.
Some independent permaculture practitioners offer a Diploma of Permaculture. These are not accredited but recognise that you have met the criteria for a diploma for that institution only. These diploma's are not recognised nationally or internationally. More Information
Permaculture -Higher Education
At the time of writing we could find no evidence of undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses in permaculture in Australia following the demise of the post graduate Permaculture Course at QC University.
Rak Tamachat ( in Thailand) offers a Permaculture Design Masters Degree in Sustainable Systems.
Please advise us if you know of any other Higher Education courses. .
Career and Employment Opportunities
Permaculture training can be useful in a variety of employment fields
Urban and rural property design and implementation supervision
Permaculture and environmental information services
Development and management of sustainable land-use systems
Environmental management and community development programs
Education and training in permaculture and environmental management
Facilitation and coordination services
Eco-tourism enterprises and operations
Photo: Cal Champagne,
Bachelor of Environmental Science (Wollongong), Master of Sustainability ( University of Sydney)