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Why do the diploma?

Completing the diploma in Applied Permaculture Design will make you a better designer, potentially open up new work opportunities, help you to live more sustainably, and is an opportunity to make new friends.

  • Creating and reflecting on your designs will improve your professional practice and provide an opportunity to explore areas that interest you.
  • During the diploma you will develop a portfolio of design work that can demonstrate your skills to future employers and potential clients.
  • The diploma is also a big step towards becoming a permaculture teacher; once you have the diploma and a teaching qualification you can award Permaculture Association's PDC Certificates.
  • After graduating from the diploma, you may also train to be a diploma tutor, and earn an income from guiding others on their diploma journeys.
  • Many graduates of the diploma note that it is a great way to examine your own lifestyle, and to help you to lead a more sustainable life.
  • You can attend the Diploma Gathering, usually held every March. This, plus local diploma support groups are great ways to meet new people and make friends.


About the course

The Diploma is a course of self-directed study that takes a minimum of two years (no pressure though - some people take a lot longer than this). During the course, you will prepare ten designs that demonstrate your ability to apply permaculture ethics and principles and show your competence at using a range of design methods, tools and skills.

Entry requirements

To register on the diploma, you need to hold a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) and be a member of the Permaculture Association for the duration of your study. The new diploma system, launched on 1st September 2020, has a monthly fee which includes membership.

Diploma Community

There is an active network of diploma apprentices, holders and tutors who meet at the Diploma Gathering to share design work, host workshops, hold tutorials and socialise.

There is also an active diploma facebook group.


There are tutors throughout the UK and overseas. Please check the diploma tutor register for their details. Many tutors are happy to conduct tutorials via Zoom/Skype so don't be put off if you can't find a tutor local to you. 

Fees as at 1st September 2020

Diploma Membership*
For £12/month** you are joining a thriving learning community of permaculture practitioners.

*Please note that Diploma membership does include all the benefits of standard membership of the Permaculture Association. Therefore if you wish to register for the Diploma and are already a member, please get in touch with the office. Diploma Membership does not include any costs for tutorials or assessments, which apprentices pay directly to tutors as they take place. These fees are detailed below.

**Annual payment option also available, please contact the office. 

Essential tutorial events
Induction Event   £60 
Interim Portfolio Assessment £180 
Final Portfolio Assessment Part 1  £180 
Final Portfolio Assessment Part 2  £150  
Final Presentation Event   £75 

Additional tutorial costs (highly recommended)
Personal Tutorials    £30 for 1 hour - flexible length (30 minutes to 2 hours)
Design Support Tutorials   £30 for 1 hour - recommended 2 hours

Changes to the Diploma finance system

Diploma fees were fixed in October 2013 when the Fees Guide was published and no review or increase has taken place in the seven years since then. Please take a moment to read more about the changes which will affect new registrations from Autumn 2020. All existing apprentices - so anyone who signed up before 31 August 2020 - will have until Autumn 2022 to complete their Diploma under their current scheme or they can switch to the new system at the end of the transition period. 


To register for the diploma, simply sign up online here

Useful Documents - please refer to the documents on the new Diploma website here if you registered after 1st September 2020 or if you are thinking about switching to the new system.