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Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) – Online


Our course is the official 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) as taught by the founders of Permaculture – Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

The full Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a 72- hour intensive program.  This course involves study modules supported by practical exercises, photos, fieldwork and videos.

The PDC course should supply you with enough information and feedback to:

  • Plan and implement a Permaculture system for yourself and others.
  • Assess systems and structures for sustainability and resilience.
  • Design sustainable human settlements.
  • Develop ecological food production systems.
  • Design water harvesting systems and earthworks.
  • Build healthy soil, sequester carbon, and increase fertility naturally.
  • Design natural, non-toxic homes and structures that heat and cool themselves without expensive systems or outside inputs.
  • Incorporate relevant Permaculture ideas and methods into existing systems (home, office, business, ecological restoration sites).
  • Develop your research into particular systems, technologies or strategies.
  • Develop personal interests in Permaculture subject areas.
  • Encourage community interest in activities that focus on real (and not just economic) growth and development.
  • Start-up sustainable income-streams and/or start a businesses related to Permaculture. (After getting your PDC, you will then be legally entitled to use the word “Permaculture” in your business and teaching activities).

The design course should provide you with a thorough understanding of Permaculture Design and enable you to begin teaching others.

On successful completion of the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course, graduates receive the official, internationally-recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.

We offer Group Discounts, and a Payment Plan Option for those who need it!

Product Description

Our course is the official 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) as taught by the founders of Permaculture – Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

The course covers a specific 72-hours of material that has remained the same since first being taught in the 1980s by Mollison and Holmgren.  It is the exact same material that is covered in any on-site PDC course, but is far less expensive ($550 for the full PDC course), because you can take our course online (instead of paying $1,500-$3,000 plus travel, lodging, and food expenses for an on-site residential PDC course, plus taking 2-3 weeks away from home and work).

Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) Outline:

1-1: Introduction – What is Permaculture?

1-2: Ethics

1-3: Natural Systems Design

1-4: Recycling

2-1: Soils

2-2: Water

2-3: Forests & Trees

2-4: Houses & Buildings

2-5: Aquaculture

2-6: Wildlife Management & Natural Pest Control

3-1: Permaculture Village Development

3-2: Patterns in Design

3-3: Design for Catastrophe & Preparedness

3-4: Seed Saving & Nurseries

3-5: Appropriate Technology & Energy Conserving Technology

3-6: How Permaculture Designers Operate

3-7: Classical Landscape Profiles

3-8: Ecological Economics & Invisible Structures of Settlements

3-9: Final Design Project


The course is over 1000 pages if printed out, and we include videos, one-on-one support, networking with other Permaculture professionals, and plenty of resources to back up the material.

Students can start the course at any time.  There is a 1-year time limit for completion – but most students finish the course within 2-3 months.  You can work at your own pace, and some enthusiastic students have finished the course in one month’s time.

The course is completed via email correspondence.  There are homework assignments for each section – questions related to the material covered in the course.  Some of the homework assignments include outdoor activities, observation and drawing exercises, as does the Final Design Project.  All of the homework materials and the Final Design Project can be submitted electronically.

There are no textbooks required, but the information follows directly from the Permaculture Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison.  This has always been the core textbook for all Permaculture Design Certificate Courses (PDCs).  Students are advised to purchase this book and to use it as a reference during the course.

Upon completion of the course, you will receive an internationally-recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.

Only those who have completed an official 72-hour PDC course are legally permitted to use the word “Permaculture” for business purposes.


Who Takes the Online PDC?

In 1994, Bill Mollison and the Permaculture Institute realized that there was a great need for an online PDC course.

“The fact is that not everyone can afford to take 15-20 days off from work, pay for travel, food and lodging, and then pay $1,500.00 or more for the typical on-site PDC course.”

In addition to the economic and time barriers to attending an on-site Permaculture course, the Permaculture community realizes also that different people learn in different ways.  Some would rather study from the comfort of home than travel, camp outdoors and listen to days of lectures.  Some learn better with the traditional teacher-student model (classroom, lectures, etc.), and some prefer the convenience of the online learning platform.

What kind of people take a Permaculture Design Certificate Course online?

University student teams, led by a professor.

Aid workers, Peace Corps Volunteers, and Emergency Management professionals.

Friends who want to take the PDC course together as a group.

People who want to learn at their own pace.

Those who work long hours or have young children at home.

Those who prefer the online learning format to sitting through days of lectures.

People who may already have a PDC, but want to learn new methods and techniques from different teachers.

People who are isolated in remote parts of the world.

People who don’t have the money or time required to attend an on-site PDC course.

Our online PDC course is designed for those who want to digest the material at their own pace, while receiving expert support and feedback from teachers experienced in Permaculture Design and other related disciplines.

We offer Couples Discounts, Group Discounts, and a Payment Plan Option for those who need it!