There are many different courses you can take, with a range of different teachers who have specialized in different areas and have been teaching for different lengths of time. You can learn online, face to face or a combination of both, for whichever course you are interested in, you can click through to find out more about them and search our course listings for courses in your area.

Choosing a teacher from our Certified Teachers Register can support you in finding a quality course.

Scroll down this page to read some frequently asked questions around how to choose the right course for you.

“I was hooked for life: permaculture has been a major influence guiding my life and work ever since.”
Survey to track the Impact of learning permaculture

Tell us about the impact of learning permaculture

What impact has learning permaculture had on your life, your career or your community?

You can answer this survey for each time you take a course or learn at a project.

You can give feedback on specific teachers or projects and tell us about your experiences.

With quality data on the impact of permaculture design, we can begin funding research, greater impact developments and provide more support to our members.

Leaf stem

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Courses are a popular part of learning journeys and are often transformative. But with so many courses to choose from, it can be hard to decide which is best. Some of the important questions people ask are:


Q: What stage of my learning journey am I on? What's my current permaculture knowledge?


Q: Should I learn with a teacher? What are the benefits of self-study vs teacher-led.


Q: What aspects of permaculture do I most need for my life/projects/designs?


Q: How do I choose between courses on offer?


We'll try to answer these questions here...


A: What stage of my learning journey am I on?

There are many learning pathways with permaculture but traditionally many practitioners initially start with these 3 key learning levels.

1. Introduction

You want to learn the basics of how you can apply it to your life, you could focus in on the growing food or community action or climate change, or take a traditional Introduction course over a few days or evenings.

2. Deeper Learning

PDC modules: design + practice see you ready to:

  • Core level course or deep-dive experience
  • might range from a 1 to 2 weeks, either as single immersion or in blocks over time

3. Practitioner

You're ready to enrich your design experience with the 10 design applied diploma in permaculture, fully embodying design.

You want to reach others with your learning using the ToT (Training of Teachers) 

There are lots of ways to begin and continue your learning:

As well as being a place to connect with other permaculture-people, our Permaculture Community Hub is also an advanced online learning platform. It's where all online courses developed by us and our partners are available.

Learner reading book

A: Should I learn with a teacher? 

Where possible, we always recommended learning with experienced teachers, but sometimes for some people this is not feasible.

Benefits of teacher-led education

  • All teachers have their own unique backgrounds and experience so you can choose a teacher that has skills in the areas you want to learn most.
  • Transformative learning often comes about through small learning groups, a competent teacher and hands on learning.
  • Seeing and understanding permaculture up close in person.
  • Deadlines, such as live sessions can be a great motivator to get work done.

Benefits of self-study education

  • Flexibility: you can learn at your own pace, in your own time.
  • You can learn remotely from wherever you are, with no need to travel.
  • Accessibility - you may need more breaks, have children at home, work several jobs and need to fit things in around your busy schedule. 
  • It's often a lot more affordable than residential teacher led courses.
  • You can begin right away!
Certified Educator logo tight crop

Why take a Permaculture Association certified course ?

  • Only certified teachers are able to issue Permaculture Association certificates, which means you can have confidence that the course will be run by an experienced, qualified educator.
  • You will have quality assurance, meaning that educators are following our agreed core curriculum.
  • The Permaculture Association ensures that all aspects of the core curriculum are met and then issues Introduction and Permaculture Design Course certificates. These certificates are recognised internationally.
Certified Teachers with Certificates

Our register

The Certifying Teachers Register is a list of teachers who are able to certify their courses with the Permaculture Association’s Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC).

All the teachers on the register have applied using the same transparent process, giving examples of their teaching timetable, how their course meets the core curriculum and their qualifications to teach.

Festival multi image

A: What aspects of permaculture do I need for my life/projects/designs?

All aspects of permaculture are valuable, and as such we'd always recommend aiming to complete a PDC. But the reality is that many people struggle to make time for a longer course such as a PDC which are often two week long residential courses.

An introduction level course can give you the background knowledge to begin implementing permaculture in your life. Our teacher-led Introduction to Permaculture online course is unique as we do support you with your first design process as part of the course, so it's more of a intro 'plus' course.

But consider carefully what your interests are, if you work in schools you may be best taking a specific children in permaculture course or learning under a children education specialist like with Nim Robins or Lusi Alderslowe, who also teach our Introduction online.

A: How do I choose between courses on offer?

The best way to choose between the courses on offer is to read our course prospectus and visit our course listings page to search for the course you are most interested in. You can search by location, specialism, teacher and dates. Make sure you look out for the certified teachers logo. The entire network can post courses on our course listings page, but we can only assure the quality of certified courses.

You can browse all online courses made by us and our partners at the Permaculture Community Hub online platform.

Maybe you are looking for a more holistic approach with permaculture learning - Take Sarah Spencer's Think like a Tree course and unlock nature’s secrets for happiness, health, wellbeing and living a simpler, regenerative life.

Or if you are at a higher learning level you may be better placed to study the EcoSocial Design course on our platform, from Andy Langford and Gaia U. This University level course will offer you the chance to un-learn and become a permaculture expert.

What are the differences between your online courses?

Growing Food trowel soil

Growing Food In Small Spaces is all about food. We touch upon design principles and ethics, but it is all in relation to growing high quality and often perennial food. It covers the issues that have led to food insecurity - climate change, inequities and systems and how important quality nutrition is to us all! Most importantly it teaches you how to make the most out of your growing spaces, with practical guidance and a full workbook to support you.

You can take this course as a self study course, or dive deeper with expert bonus live sessions in a small private group. Read more about this course's super experienced activist and teacher Abi Mordin below.


The Foundations of Permaculture covers the full Introduction Curriculum, offering you a certificate from certified teachers and giving you the resources to use permaculture in any area of your life, not just in food based systems - in your community, at home, at work - design your way to a more resilient life! We walk you through design and support you with hope, practical guidance and quality resources.

You can take this course as a self study courses too, or study with the support of Aline VaMo who can walk you though this content with the international context. Read about Aline below.