Permaculture design course

Building sustainable communities

Saturday 13 March – Sunday 6 June 2021

14 weekend sessions and home study

This Permaculture design course will be a mixture of online learning with outdoor visits and practical activities. The course is made up of lectures on key topics, video demonstrations and tours, facilitated design activities and a ticket to our event, Green Architecture Day. This course can be completed entirely online if the Covid-19 situation requires us to cancel/postpone the outdoor visits, or if you are unable to attend them.
This course looks at how we can design resilient, abundant human ‘ecosystems’; working collaboratively with one another to care for the planet, each other and ourselves.

Course details

This course builds on our Introduction to permaculture course, giving you the skills to get started in permaculture design It is certified by the Permaculture Association of Britain.

Permaculture gives you design tools for planning and implementing garden, home, work and community projects that look after the earth and people.
Our Permaculture design course (Building sustainable communities) is an interactive and practical course including sessions on:

  • Ethics and principles of permaculture
  • Design process and methodology
  • Soil management and conservation
  • Trees and woodland management
  • Cultivated ecology: gardens and farms
  • Effective group work and community living
  • Real wealth, money and sustainable exchange
  • Urban challenges and urban permaculture
  • Energy conservation and renewable energy

Course schedule

The March – June 2021 course will be held on the following days:

  • Saturday 13 March
  • Saturday 27 March
  • Saturday 3 April
  • Saturday 10 April
  • Saturday 17 April
  • Saturday 8 May
  • Saturday 15 May
  • Sunday 16 May (optional face-to-face)
  • Saturday 22 May
  • Saturday 29 May
  • Saturday 5 June (optional face-to-face)
  • Saturday 12 June
  • Sunday 13 June
  • Plus one more visit date TBC and free entry to Green Architecture Day – dates TBC.

The online sessions are from 1pm to 5pm using Zoom.

You receive learning materials and activities to complete in your own time at the beginning of the week before each course day.  You need between two and three hours to complete these activities. The online sessions with tutors review and build on the learning materials. These sessions are interactive including time for questions about the learning done before the session, discussions and design activities in small groups.

On this course we create a participatory and diverse learning environment. The emphasis is on ‘action learning’, learning by doing and reflecting on our activities. We will be working individually, in small and large groups, engaging in talks with experts and doing our own practice designs.

A key part of the course is an extended design project of your choice. This is an opportunity for you to apply permaculture to your own project and gain skills in using the design tools you have learned throughout the course. We integrate sessions on this during the course, providing support and feedback, both in groups and individually. You will need to work on this outside course time for at least four hours. The design project is a requirement for successful completion of the course.

Entrance requirements

Prior to attending our Permaculture design course (Building sustainable communities), you’ll need to have completed an Introduction to permaculture course, either Brighton Permaculture Trust’s Introduction to Permaculture course or an equivalent course elsewhere. Please do not reserve a place unless you have attended or have booked a place on an Introduction to permaculture course that runs before the start of the course. Our courses are open to anyone aged 16 or over.

Who is the course for?

The course is for anyone who is concerned with the environmental and social challenges around them and wants to develop positive solutions. Whereas some permaculture courses are intensive, this one is spread over several months to enable people to integrate permaculture design into many areas of their lives, including food growing, home renovation and livelihoods.

This is valuable for anyone wishing to add a permaculture perspective to their existing skills, and to community workers, teachers, architects, planners, landscapers, foresters, food growers, gardeners, designers, agriculturists and conservationists.


The course is accredited by the Permaculture Association of Britain. To be awarded the certificate, you must attend at least 10 days of the course and complete the design project, including attending the final two days of the course. Please don’t register if you cannot meet these requirements.

What can the Permaculture design course lead on to?

Once you’ve gained the Permaculture Design Certificate you’ll be able to start using permaculture design in your life and work. You will be invited to join Brighton Permaculture Trust’s network of volunteers and encouraged to get involved in Brighton Permaculture Trust activities and those of other related networks. Students often start their own projects and invite each other to get involved in those. To further your learning or professional development you could go on to work towards a Diploma in Permaculture Design, a largely self-directed action learning process of at least two years.

You could also choose to become an apprentice permaculture teacher, or to take any of the wide range of more specialist permaculture courses now being offered throughout the UK and beyond for people with a Permaculture Design Certificate.

Course tutors and speakers

Bryn ThomasDip Perm Des. Permaculture tutor and designer. Passions include growing fruit, forest gardening, green building and organisational design.

Chloe Anthony, Dip Perm Des. Permaculture tutor and practitioner. Passions include forest gardens, living in community.

Stephan Gehrels, Dip Perm Des. Permaculture tutor and designer specialising in school and community growing projects. Eco schools project manager.

Tracy Hind, Permaculture tutor and OCN Assessor. Interests include working in groups and community development.

Mischa Hewitt, Eco buildings courses tutor, director of Low Carbon Trust, project manager Earthship Brighton project and sustainability consultant.

Ben Law (TBC)


Fees include tuition, certification and refreshments.

  • £895 – Sponsored/organisation rate
  • £895 – Individual income more than 25k/yr
  • £745 – Individual income 18-25k/yr
  • £595 – Individual income less than 18k/yr
  • £356 – Individual, concessionary rate (only 6 places available: check your eligibility)*

* Concessionary places are limited. If places are not available check back two weeks before the course/event as more may be available then.

We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of these and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.

See the cancellations and refunds policy.

Booking the Permaculture design course

Advance booking is essential.

If you have completed the booking process but you haven’t received a confirmation email from us please contact us to check your booking has gone through.

If you are booking within two weeks of the event, or the event is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay by cheque or BACS. Instead, you will need to pay immediately using a credit/debit card or PayPal.

IMPORTANT: Please state where and when you did an Introduction to permaculture course on the booking form. We need this information, so please make sure you include it.

IMPORTANT: Payment for the course can be made in full, or a place can be secured by paying a 50% deposit. If a deposit is paid, the remainder is due by Friday 12 February 2021.


Book the Mar – Jun 2021 course


"I came to Permaculture and the PDC looking for hope. The Brighton Permaculture Trust team didn’t disappoint, in fact I came away with even more. Their enthusiasm for topics and their wealth of practical information and advice for the every day made for an incredibly rich experience and one I am able to implement way beyond completion of the course."


Brighton Permaculture Trust
"I came to Permaculture and the PDC looking for hope. The Brighton Permaculture Trust team didn’t disappoint, in fact I came away with even more. Their enthusiasm for topics and their wealth of practical information and advice for the every day made for an incredibly rich experience and one I am able to implement way beyond completion of the course." Sally
Brighton Permaculture Trust

For more information:  MAKE AN ENQUIRY