PDC List - Directory of Permaculture Design Certificate Courses

Permaculture Design Certificate Course Directory

This page shows a directory list of some Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses that are being offered by permaculture educators in Australia and Online.

Contact survival.ark.au IMPORTANT NOTE: When there isn't time to update this page it gets somewhat out of date, however most of the links to the PDC course providers will still work and lead to info on their current permaculture course offerings.

Warning - Bush Tucker Plant Foods NOTE from July 2020: I'll go over this page soon and fix up the links. I've added a new online permaculture course at the top of the page, in the Online PDC Courses section

On This Page

What is the Permaculture Design Certificate Course?
Online PDC Courses
PDC Courses in Sydney and New South Wales
PDC Courses in the Canberra and the ACT
PDC Courses in Melbourne and Victoria
PDC Courses in Brisbane and Queensland
PDC Courses in Adelaide and South Australia
PDC Courses in Perth and Western Australia
PDC Courses in Hobart and Tasmania
PDC Courses in the Darwin and the Northern Territory
Permaculture Design Certificate Course Syllabus

The 12 Permaculture Principles

PDC List - Directory of Permaculture Design Certificate Courses
Image: David Holmgren, permacultureprinciples.com.

What is the Permaculture Design Certificate Course?

The Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) is the basic qualification in permaculture. It was developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren to teach principles and foundations of sustainable design. All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format (see course syllabus below) to assure that the integrity of certification process is upheld. The PDC is a 72 hour course that is usually run over 12 full days, the most common formats offered for attendance are doing the whole PDC course all at once over two weeks, or part-time two days a week for six weeks.

There are many organisations that offer the PDC. You can find a lot of them by doing a Google search for permaculture design certificate course.

Warning - Bush Tucker Plant Foods ATTENTION: If you are a permaculture educator offering a PDC course (or similar course) you can list your course for free on this page by contacting survival.ark.au.

List of Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Courses

Online PDC Courses

Warning - Bush Tucker Plant Foods NEWSurvival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable LivingHOT: I've just signed up (as of July 2020) as a student for this Online Permaculture Design Course at Udemy, featuring recorded video lectures by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. Please note: This course does not include an assessment component and therefore there is no formally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate. Courses where you get a formal PDC certificate cost a lot more than this one does, though you learn the same things. And in this case, you're learning from two of the biggest names in permaculture. I've already got an officially recognised PDC Certificate, but I'm interested in checking out this course — revising what I learned the first time, and watching the 54 and 1/2 hours of video lectures by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. The course is created by Tagari Publications Permaculture Institute, which is Bill Mollison's organisation. It includes student support from Tagari.

Permaculture Visions Online PDC: This is a well established course run by April Sampson-Kelly of Permaculture Visions Online Institute. They also offer other courses such as the more basic Introduction to Permaculture and a pathway towards a Diploma in Permaculture. April's course is excellent and you get a lot of helpful and encouraging personal feedback and attention.

There is a FREE Online PDC Course offered by NC State University, showing online lecture video and overhead slides together on the screen. I'm not sure if there is any assessment or certification provided with this.

Geoff Lawton offers online Permaculture Design Courses. All the comments I have heard about his courses are extremely good.

Oregon State University offer an online PDC course.

PDC Courses in Sydney and New South Wales

Milkwood Permaculture run PDC courses and other related courses in Sydney and at their farm at Mudgee, and at other locations. Their next courses are: Permaculture Design Course, January 4th-17th, 2015, Sydney, 107 Rooftop Garden. Intro To Permaculture, February 7th-8th, 2015, Sydney, 107 Rooftop Garden. Intro To Permaculture, March 14th-15th, 2015, Byron Bay, The Farm. Permaculture Design Course, April 21st - May 4th, 2015, Kangaroo Valley, Broger's End. Intro To Permaculture, May 23rd-24th, 2015, Sydney, 107 Rooftop Garden. Intro To Permaculture, October 10th-11th, 2015, Byron Bay, The Farm. They are a large, well established, and highly respected institute, and also offer other opportunities such as internships and WWOOFing.

Permaculture Sydney Institute are running a PDC in July 1-14 2013 at St Albans in the outer North West of Sydney (not far from Wisemans Ferry).

Katoomba Street Permaculture are most likely going to be running a PDC sometime this spring. The location would be mainly in Katoomba (in the Blue Mountains) plus site tours of some other local permaculture properties. It will probably be run in part-time format, 2 days a week for 6 weeks. This is where I did my PDC last year and I can highly recommend this course! The teachers are Sue Girard and Kat Szuminska plus other guest teachers such as Nick Ritar from Milkwood and Michelle Maher. I will be writing up more about their courses in future as time permits... Check back here or on the Katoomba Street Permaculture website for updates and more info.

Permaculture Research Institute have a long list of courses (some of them are PDCs) that you can view here. Most are located at Zaytuna Farm, The Channon (north of Lismore and west of Byron Bay)

Permaculture College Australia are running a PDC at Nimbin (Djanbung Gardens) on 12-26 July 2013.

Possum Creek Education are running a PDC at Bangalow (near Byron Bay) from 18 to 31 August 2013.

Brogo Permaculture Gardens are running a PDC in Bermagui (near Bega on the south coast of NSW), in April 2014.

PDC Courses in the Canberra and the ACT

Permaculture Exchange are running a winter part time (I think its already started though) and a spring (20 Oct to 2 Nov) full time PDC course. Both at Lanyon Homestead in Tharwa, Canberra. Here is more information. More info also here. They are also offering Permaculture Internships in the Canberra region in 2014/2015. Details are here.

PDC and other Permaculture Courses in Melbourne and Victoria

David Holmgren runs PDC courses from time to time, you can check his website for more info. See here for more. The next one is in Feb 2015.

Very Edible Gardens are running a PDC from Sep 20 to Nov 20 2013. It will be hosted at several locations in Melbourne.

Ballarat Permaculture Guild offer an "All Seasons Permaculture Design Course", which runs all year for a weekend every month (which gives twice the number of contact hours as a standard PDC). The next one starts in 2014.

CERES in Brunswick runs PDC courses each year, usually early in the year, part time from Feb to June.

Also in 2014, Tuesday 5th August to Sunday 7th December 2014, Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 9.30pm (17 sessions in total), plus 8 Sundays from 9:30am to 5pm.

Wednesday 13th August to Sunday 14th December 2014 Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm to 9.30pm (17 sessions in total) plus 8 Sundays from 9.30am to 5p

Telopea Mountain Permaculture has a PDC starting in Feb 2014, taught by "Pete the Permie". I think its on tuesdays. It's quite cheap (because of government funding) and longer than a standard PDC. I think they run this course every year on about the same dates. The location is Monbulk/Olinda on the East of the hills above Melbourne.

PDC Courses in Brisbane and Queensland

NEW: Noosa Forest Retreat are Offering residential courses in Queensland: http://permaculturecoursequeensland.com.au. And now also a full Online PDC course with support and certification: http://permaculturecourseonline.com.au.

Hill Top Farm - working with nature: At Hill Top Farm, Cooktown QLD, we run courses focused on working with nature. Practical, hands-on courses, together with courses designed specifically to challenge our thinking. Course participants are part of a learning community, translating ecology and exploring Permaculture design and other innovative tools to create resilient futures. Getting to the heart of Permaculture design October 17 - 21 2014. Together we will translate ecological science into practical Permaculture design tools. Learning how to use these tools will give you the confidence and skills to work with nature. Your project maybe a city or rural environment, temperate, tropical or desert climate, your goal maybe to design sustainable houses, food gardens, farms or communities. In this course, you will be given the skills and a Permaculture tool kit to assist you in achieving your goal of designing sustainable environments. Click here to visit www.hilltopfarm.wix.com/beyondsustainability

Ghost Gum Farm and Sustainability Alliance Far North Queensland are running a 2 week camping/retreat style course taught by Rick Coleman of Southern Cross Permaculture Institute. Dates are Sep 30 to Oct 13 2013. Click here for more information about the Ghost Gum Farm PDC (Opens as a PDF Document).

Northey Street City Farm in Brisbane (Windsor) offer PDC courses on Thursdays in July to Oct 2013, and full time in late Sept to early Oct 2013.

Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast at Kin Kin offer PDC courses. Upcoming ones are 23 Jun to 5 Jul 2013 and 22 Sept to 4 Oct 2013.

PDC Courses in Adelaide and South Australia

The Food Forest in Gawler offer PDC courses. The next PDC is in 2014, though they often have other short courses running.

PDC Courses in Perth and Western Australia

Terra Perma are running a PDC in Perth, Western Australia. Full time 2 week PDC from 15th to 26th October 2014. People can find more info here, or visit www.terraperma.com.au .

Terra Perma are running a full time PDC at Innaloo, 9km from Perth's CBD. (72hr, 2 week) from 28th August to 8th September (I think that was 2013??). Wednesday to Sunday, so hopefully you can still work Monday and Tuesdays and it will allows us easier travel/traffic on weekends for tours.

Candlelight Farm Permaculture at Mundaring run Certificate I, II, III, IV, and Diploma level permaculture courses, and sometimes also PDC courses. There is a Certificate III in Permaculture beginning in July 2013.

There is a PDC being run at South Fremantle in August 2013. Contact Details: Tony Carruthers at tony@lifeaquatic.com.au and 0404 444023 or Sparkles at sparkles@permaculturewest.org.au and 0406 449 369. Click here for details.

Fair Harvest offer a PDC at Margaret River, in January 2014.

PDC Courses in Hobart and Tasmania

I couldn't find any PDC courses coming up in Tasmania. Milkwood ran one in Hobart in Apr-May 2013.

Permaculture Tasmania are running a two day Introduction to Permaculture course in Oct 2013. Plus some other short courses including Spring Garden Planning in July.

PDC Courses in the Darwin and the Northern Territory

I couldn't find much for the NT.

Lakeside Drive Community Garden in Darwin ran a PDC in 2012. Maybe they will have more in the future though I didnt see anything on their site or on Google.

Alice Springs Community Garden sometimes offer PDCs. The last one was in 2012.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course Syllabus

The PDC courses all follow a standard format that was originally developed by permaculture founders Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

The course covers the basics of the content in his classic book "Permaculture: A Designers' Manual" which is rightly regarded by most people as the "bible" of permaculture. Before doing a PDC myself, I had always thought of this thick and somewhat imposing looking book as purely a reference book — not a "reading" book that you could casually pick up and browse through for interest. I found that doing the PDC course really opened up the book and brought it to life, so that (much to my surprise) I could open it at any page and feel like I was at the level where I was understanding it. I have had this happen many times with longer courses, but I was quite surprised how much ground is covered in the 12 days of the PDC and how much more I felt like I knew.

  • Principles of Natural Systems
  • Sustainable Design Methodologies
  • Patterns in Nature, Culture and Society
  • Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes
  • Large Scale Land Restoration Techniques
  • Water Harvesting Techniques
  • Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements
  • Grey Water Recycling
  • Natural Building Strategies
  • Cultivated & Productive Ecologies
  • Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency
  • Energy Conservation Technologies
  • Appropriate Technologies and Renewable Energies
  • Urban Environment Permaculture
  • Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control
  • Land Arts and Community Activism
  • Invisible Structures: EcoVillages & Credit Unions
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • At the end of the course, students engage in a group or individual design project.

See Also

Permaculture, Self Sufficiency And Sustainable Living Books
What To Do About the Upcoming Economic Crash
Books About Survival in the Future Hard Times
Starting Your Own Box Garden

Starting a Vegetable Garden
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