Education in Permaculture

Over the years the international permaculture community has developed different types of educational courses, both formal and informal. 

There are three standardized course formats available: Introduction to permaculture (short intro course), Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC, also sometimes called permaculture design course), and the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design (the diploma).

Please be advised that due to a lack of Finnish speaking diploma holders in Finland, PDCs in Finland are usually taught in English, and even these are extremely rare at the moment. You can check with other European permaculture associations for availability on their PDC courses. 

Read below about the different courses:

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Events & courses

Current events & courses

Introduction to permaculture

The introduction to permaculture course is usually a two day course that follows more or less a standardized curriculum. It gives the opportunity to learn about the history of permaculture, ethics and principles, design, tools and often case studies. It’s a first taste into permaculture and often comes with some “hands on'' practice. The flavour of teaching differs from teacher to teacher. Check our event calendar to find courses. 

Since there is no prerequisite on the education of the teacher, intro courses can be taught by anyone. 

Most of the intro courses in Finland are taught in Finnish. 

Permaculture design course (PDC)

During permaculture events there is often the question “Who has a PDC?”. A PDC is an internationally standardized course that runs for 72 hours over a time period of about 10 days, and is the next step after the introduction course. The basis for the PDC is Bill Mollison’s book “Permaculture - A Designer’s Manual”. The UK Permaculture Association has published a core curriculum that gives teachers guidance and students an overview of what they will learn. 

There is currently no core curriculum available for a PDC in Finnish that has been authorized by any association.

For teaching a PDC, the teacher must hold a diploma in applied permaculture design. It is highly recommended to have done a teacher training as well. 

PDC at Beyond Buckthorns
first PDC at Beyond Buckthorns
Dominik Jais during his diploma presentation
Dominik Jais during his diploma presentation

Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design (the Diploma)

The Diploma is the next step after the PDC and is a self-directed learning course. A prerequisite for a diploma is a PDC. The diploma consists of various designs that will showcase your development and knowledge as a permaculture designer. For how many designs a diploma consists of depends on the issuing institute. While one institute demands 10, others offer more flexibility, while others demand one big site design. The 10 designs are becoming more and more a standard across the world though. Your designs become part of your professional portfolio once you graduate. 

A diploma can be obtained from most of the permaculture associations in Europe that have diploma holders. Many students use the UK Permaculture Association’s diploma path, which is the furthest developed diploma path available in Europe and includes many tutors. 

Learn about the Diplom in Applied Permacultuare Design

Teaching Permaculture Teachers (TPT)

This course is based on the work of Rosemary Morrow - a long time teacher and refugee worker. The course is for those wanting to teach permaculture and provides tools and methods for teaching. 

Specialized courses / workshops

In Finland there are many specialized courses available:

Local groups / Study circles

A study circle is a good method to learn about permaculture. Study circles come in different set ups, some of them are open for new participants and others are not. 

If you want your study circle listed here please follow the rules below by sending a mail:

  • let us know details of the circle and who runs it
  • is it open or closed for new participants
  • where to find information about the circle
  • send a small article every six months about the topics that were discussed and how many people took part