Permaculture Courses-Whats the Difference



New to Permaculture and  trying to work out what's best for you to do to further your knowledge? 

There are a range of permaculture courses on offer and  we outline the different types of courses, and what to expect , 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 open to all .

We believe that  all permaculture courses should be taught by educators who have a range of practical experiences and a sound theoretical knowledge of permaculture.

Permaculture Workshops 

Permaculture workshops tend to be based on one or more of the main learning areas of a PDC 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 

Introduction to Permaculture at  Brogo Permaculture Gardens 

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.

PDC at  Brogo Permaculture Gardens

Permaculture Diploma

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.

A possible future option for degree and higher degree study may be available in 2020, and may be offered online, through Rak Tamachat in Thailand- we will keep looking at this and advise if and when it becomes available.

Please advise us if you know of one at any point. 

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: Callum Champagne, PDC Graduate, Bachelor of Environmental Science (Wollongong), Master of Sustainability

( University of Sydney) 

Farm Manager , Green Connect, Warrawong