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Summer Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC)

January 8 - January 20


Limit of 12 participants only

For those that want the ultimate permaculture course experience, work abroad or pursue a profession or passion to live the ultimate sustainable lifestyle.

Registration and full payment to confirm your place in the course or workshop must be received min 7 days before the course commences. Please click here to read the full Terms and Conditions.  Students cannot join the course without paying the full fees in advance.

About our Permaculture Design Certificate Course
The Permaculture Design Certificate Course or PDC is the ultimate permaculture course experience. Covering the Permaculture Designers Manual it brings together ancient and modern wisdoms, science,  the arts and many practical design principles and techniques for living a totally sustainable lifestyle.

The Trainers: Permaculture Sydney Institute engages only highly experienced and professional trainers for our courses. All are practicing permaculturalists deriving an income from permaculture.

Course fees including all tuition, notes, morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch is exceptional value at: $1,895

  • PSI is committed to LETS trading, and half the course fee can be traded against LETS currency for one place in this course. Please contact Penny to arrange. Ph:(02) 4568 2036
  • Discounts of 5% of the course fee apply to pensioners and the unwaged.
  • The course fee includes all tuition, notes, morning tea, afternoon tea and lunches. It does not however include accommodation costs or meals for the days off during the 14 day period
  • A complete breakdown of accommodation options and pricing from camping to 4 star luxury can be found here.

Quality and Commitment
A Permaculture Design Certificate completed with the Permaculture Sydney Institute is more than just an education process, it is a high quality all encompassing experience.

Our PDC will;

  • Build on the Permaculture Sydney Institute Introduction to Permaculture Course. So whilst it’s not necessary to have completed the Introduction to Permaculture, when you do the two together you have a richer course experience, the intro provides the basic framework which allows you to really absorb the more detailed material and gain a much richer deeper from your PDC.
  • Ensure the Designers Manual is fully covered as the main curriculum
  • Provides an abundance of extra resources and topics to support the main curriculum and provide variable perspectives of the main topics
  • Provide a range of experienced quality trainers to cover topics of the Permaculture Design Certificate in which they have specialist expertise and knowledge (drawing on the strengths of trainers)
  • Include theory and practical sessions and provide a range of delivery styles and methods throughout the course including small group work, one to one work, lecture style sessions and whole group discussions
  • Take participants through the whole design process from interviewing the client, formulating the brief, gathering data for the site, developing a design and finally presenting the design
  • Includes specialist and specific design exercises as well as total design exercises
  • Are skills based and self or peer group assessed against a checklist of essential designers skills and knowledge

This is why our courses are a bit longer than others – so we can ensure we make it the best possible experience for you. PSI honours the two-week intensive Permaculture Design Certificate course format traditionally designed by Bill Mollison. We believe our format produces the best possible outcomes and learning experience for participants as it was designed to do.

Permaculture Sydney Institute aims to provide the participants with both the skills and the confidence to start “doing it” themselves. We guarantee participants will be able to go home and do what they have learned in the course. Permaculture Sydney Institute is committed to quality education, quality outcomes and quality of life for each participant. Follow up contact and support for graduates is also provided after the course.

Course Description

This course shows you how to design, construct and manage permaculture systems for small or large-scale properties across a range of climatic, environmental or cultural conditions.

The Permaculture Design Certificate is the basic requirement to: work professionally in permaculture as a designer or consultant; teach permaculture; or carry out permaculture work abroad. It is important for designing suburban homes, rural properties, farms, community gardens, school gardens, and highly  suitable for community development workers, farmers, teachers, local government workers; community aid abroad workers, landscapers, gardeners, horticulturalists, forestry workers, environment or natural resource managers and for those just wanting to learn how to design sustainable systems that are productive, eco-friendly, organic, healthy and low maintenance from a balcony garden through to an entire country, its all possible.

Learn about the detail of Permaculture design principles, systems, techniques and strategies and to create and enjoy your own Permaculture system – large or small, in any climate or conditions.

The Curriculum

The PSI Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum is the Permaculture Designers Manual by Bill Mollison plus additional material. Copies of the manual will be available for reading and available for purchase at discounted rates.

PSI students get 25% OFF “Permaculture: A designers Manual”. Use discount code PISYDNEY. Click here to get yours now.

Topics and content include:
The curriculum covers all major topics from the text Permaculture – A Designers Manual by Bill Mollison including:

  • Permaculture history, philosophy, ethics and principles
  • Applying ecological and natural laws and principles to design
  • Methods of design – including: design techniques, processes and drawing
  • The design process from the brief to completion and presentation
  • Small and broad scale site design
  • Pattern understanding in nature and design
  • Climate and micro climate effects on design
  • Trees and their energy transactions
  • Water – including: sustainable water management; storage; dams & ponds; water purification; grey water systems; swales and keyline systems; natural swimming pools and more.
  • Soils – including soil health & restoration; physical, biological and chemical aspects of soil; working in difficult soils and more;
  • Earthworks and earth resources – including: planning and design; types of earthworks like banks and terracing; levelling and earth moving & resources.
  • Design strategies for differing cultures and climates – The humid Tropics, the drylands and humid cool to cold climates, including: housing & other structures; the home garden; orchards, food forests and farm forestry; designing for disasters; animal systems and management; land, earthworks and soil rehabilitation for different climates and conditions; and more
  • Aquaculture and polyculture systems
  • Social Permaculture – Strategies for an alternate global nation.
  • Urban and community strategies including: school and community gardens, balcony and small scales systems; food security and production systems; farmers markets and Community supported Agriculture (CSA).
  • Working professionally in Permaculture including: employment opportunities; design, consultancy and construction business; Permaculture teaching; and working abroad.

Course Format

The Permaculture Sydney Institute Permaculture Design Certificate includes a variety of training styles and methods including theory and practical sessions on an individual, whole class or small group basis. Sessions involve both formal (lecture style) and informal (interactive) delivery methods involving discussion, teamwork, films, exercises, presentations, fieldwork and local field trips.

Course Outcomes

Once completed the Permaculture Design Certificate participants will

  1. Have a thorough understanding of Permaculture and its theory, ethics, principles and techniques and why it is critical in obtaining a truly sustainable society
  2. Know how to design and create a permaculture system in both town or country settings
  3. Have acquired the skills and confidence to proceed on their own garden design and construction (with some help of their Permaculture group and friends)
  4. Be familiar with the design process from client interview to presentation of design
  5. Have professional options for Permaculture including ones own Pc business
  6. Have acquired some practical design skills required for construction e.g.: map & landscape reading, marking contours and making swales and other criteria.

Permaculture Design Certificate participants as part of a group are expected to produce and present a design of a broad acre property. Individually they also need to be competent and knowledgeable on a range of skills and subject matter specified on a designer’s assessment checklist.

Upon completion of the course a certificate will be issued to participants from the Permaculture Sydney Institute. The Permaculture Design Certificate certificate is required for many professional employment opportunities and is internationally recognised.

Permaculture Sydney Institute is able to offer course participants a flexible fee scale depending what type of accommodation you choose and your personal situation. Remember, the venue is a beautiful country retreat so whatever accommodation type you choose you will be doing the most important course of your life in a fantastic setting. You couldn’t ask for more.

Where and when
Our top quality Permaculture Design Certificate Course is offered twice a year, summer and winter, at PSI’s education and demonstration centre, Bandusia Country Retreat, St Albans. Bandusia provides a luxurious, comfortable and nurturing place where you can learn in comfort and peace – very conducive to learning. Nestled in a scenic valley in the country, the centre provides a living and learning experience in a peaceful tranquil setting less than 2 hours from Sydney. Bandusia has excellent four-star facilities such as a swimming pool, free Internet access, spa baths, sauna, pool table, library, pianola and much more. So learning in luxury will make the experience a holiday as well.

Permaculture Sydney Institute trainers
Permaculture Sydney Institute engages only highly experienced and professional trainers for the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. All are practicing Permaculturalists deriving an income from Permaculture. Each has over 15 years experience in the movement, and vast experience in work and training. They also come highly skilled and qualified in a range of related professions and specialist areas.

Free airport pick up and return for international / interstate students

Permaculture Sydney Institute welcomes and values our international and interstate students. If you are coming from abroad or interstate to attend our courses we are happy to provide you with a free pick up and return to and from the airport or nearby station.

Free city shuttle service – for local and Sydney people

If you don’t have your own transport, PSI provides a free car pooling service with a Friday evening pick up at Epping Station or Macquarie University Station and a return Sunday evening. Buses and trains run from these points.

I hope you join us for what is often described as the most life changing and pertinent courses you could ever do for the future and enjoy our ultimate Permaculture course experience of a lifetime. Please don’t hesitate to ring me on (02) 4568 2036 to discuss further.

Penny Pyett – Director Permaculture Sydney Institute



“I took on the Introduction to Permaculture course at PSI and a few years later I did the full PDC course. The quality of the lessons and the knowledge of our teachers was excellent in my opinion. This has given me confidence and set me on a trajectory towards changing my career to make a living from Permaculture. Also, the Upper MacDonald Valley is a very inspiring and beautiful place that will steal your heart. I couldn’t expect a better mentor than Penny and would strongly recommend these courses, which are very reasonably priced.”

“I had the opportunity to do the PDC in January 2022 at Penny’s. I had learned so much in two weeks thanks to amazing teachers: Penny, April and Peter. They have rich knowledge and expertise and I am so thankful that I did my PDC with these legends. The course was well set up with a strong combination of theory and practice. In the two weeks of the course, we have developed a design for a client with the guidance of our teachers and this experience was truly amazing. It allowed me to consolidate all the theory and deliver my first project.
In summary, It has been an amazing experience and eye opening. Thanks to Penny for organising this amazing course and Geoff for these fabulous meals. I can’t recommend enough this course at Bandusia. I am looking forward to doing more PD project and teaching others about Permaculture. “

“The PDC at PSI was an amazing experience. The team was great, we learnt heaps and the group of students was a pleasure to be around for 2 weeks. I can’t recommend Penny and the team at PSI highly enough!
Jason Levett

“The PDC course is life changing. I went expecting to learn a lot but I came out transformed. I’m so excited to share my knowledge with my local community. I also left the two week course with a new tribe of people that I know will be life long friends. Thank you Penny, Geoffrey, Peter and April for an amazing course. I look forward to attending more events through PSI.”
Megan Nguyen

“Thankyou Penny, Geoffrey, Peter, Rob, April! It was amazing to learn so much and eat so well! It was amazing to be able to apply the content learned in the class directly to the ground and put the design steps into action. It was incredible to see how much we had learned and how much we all bonded!  Thank you again for such a great experience!”
Alex Bewley


Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
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(02) 4568 2036


Folder for notes and handouts, pen notebook, camera, suitable clothing for warm weather, suitable shoes, insect repellant, sun block, swimming costumes, hat, gardening gloves and your own favorite tea or coffee mug. Your own favorite snacks and alcoholic or other beverages.
Click here for special PDC pricing
Tuition, notes, morning tea, afternoon tea and lunches