'Permaculture is not about gardening. It’s about problem solving and decision making. It’s critical thinking. You USE permaculture. You don’t DO permaculture.' - Larry Santoyo

The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a vital stage in the development of understanding of permaculture ethics, principles, design processes and implementation techniques.

The Design 4 A.C.T.I.O.N course is participatory and dynamic, using diverse visual, audio and kinesthetic learning methods such as group work, games, problem solving, discussion, observation, field trips, practical activities, lectures and slideshows during course sessions. We aim to provide positive, safe learning environments where, from the outset, all participants are able to feel valued and respected without fear of discrimination and operate a safer spaces policy.

Participants are encouraged to further their learning through home study during the breaks between modules, which can include further research, personal reflection, and application of what’s being learned in practice. Participants will also work together on applied design projects relevant to their own situation that will consolidate the learning content and empower students to take solutions-based thinking back into their own homes, gardens, lives & communities, providing essential skills for effecting positive change whatever their concerns. 

In addition to 6 core weekends that will cover permaculture fundamentals, design methods and applications to the natural world and built/human environment there will be additional optional days on forest gardening, holistic health, green building, community development and more. 

Aims of the Course
  • Introduce the basic concepts of permaculture theory & practice.
  • Introduce tools for making change happen in your own lives and places.
  • Enable learners to integrate ecological & design thinking into their everyday lives.
  • Introduce learners to existing examples of permaculture & relevant networks, and make them familiar with current development in the subject.
What we will cover
  • Permaculture basics - Ethics, Principles, Design
  • Thinking in Systems
  • Understanding Natural Systems: Energy, Soil, Water, Ecosystems
  • The Human World
  • Design Practice & Group Projects
Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will be able to:
  •  Apply permaculture ethics & principles to situations in your own life
  • Describe some of the principles, processes & elements working within natural systems
  • Describe the process of design & a variety of tools & methods within it
  • Use design thinking in a variety of situations
  • Apply what you've learned in your work and personal life
Teaching Methods & Learning Activities
  • Guided discussions
  • Work in small groups
  • Practical activities & demonstrations
  • Group & Individual Design Projects
  • Presentation & Slide Shows
  • Making a portfolio
  • Site visits

The Design 4 A.C.T.I.O.N.  and Spring into Action! Full Permaculture Design Course includes the PDC Core curriculum certified by the Permaculture Association (Britain). You may be interested to listen to What's a PDC? to get a sense of 'What is a Permaculture Design Course? and What isn’t a Permaculture Design Course?'.

See some photos from our 2014 course here and 2015 course here.

Completion of our course qualifies attendees for the Permaculture Design Course certificate, provides recognition as a Permaculture Design graduate, and enables you to go on to study for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.


The Design 4 Action! Full Permaculture Design Course will take place 2016-2017 one weekend a month between October 2016 and March 2017.

29 - 30 Oct 2016
19 - 20 Nov 2016
10 - 11 Dec 2016
14 - 15 Jan 2017
11 - 12 Feb 2017
11 - 12 March 2017

If you have further queries relating to the course, please check this website to see if they are answered there, if they are not then contact Claire White and we will get back to you.

We offer a scale of fees reflecting the income disparities among our attendees and ask all those booking to make an honest assessment when placing themselves on this scale.

£390 - Individual, concessionary rate (unwaged)
£590 - Individual, waged (income less than £25k)
£790 - Individual, waged (income more than £25k)
£790 - Sponsored/organisation rate

A deposit of £100 is required to reserve your place, which we will hold for you until 6 weeks before the course start date, when any outstanding payment is due. Payment must be completed to secure your place

This deposit is non-refundable unless it is necessary for us to cancel the course for any reason. Your place on the course is secured once full payment has been received.

We are not in a position to offer a work-trade option for this course. For those unable to pay for the course, we have partnered with We The Trees, an organisation that will help you to fundraise your tuition by providing you with the resources and support you need to be successful. We encourage self-reliance and taking responsibility for own lives.
  Fundraise your course tuition with WeTheTrees!