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Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award

Learn more about permaculture studying this great online course.

It is a method of permanent agriculture. It is the development of agricultural systems that are self-sufficient and sustainable. Sustainability in agriculture is becoming increasing important worldwide and knowing more about permaculture can help you improve your job and career prospects and help others. 

This course consists of three 100 hour modules and 200 hours of work experience/research.

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Study permaculture by distance learning and gain a specialised qualification.  

Permaculture is a method of permanent agriculture. It is the development of agricultural systems that are self-sufficient and sustainable.

If you would like to learn more about permaculture and sustainable living as a new way of living or as a new way of working, this course is the one you are looking for. Sustainability is important as the world’s population grows and being an expert in permaculture could be a very useful skill.

This course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about permaculture as a way of life, as a passion.

This course provides you with the tools to develop your knowledge in the area of sustainable agriculture and permaculture.

Passing the Permaculture Systems module also qualifies you for the Permaculture Design Certificate.

To complete the course, you are required to complete two core modules, one elective module and a 200 hour industry placement.

Core Modules

Permaculture Systems BHT201

A permaculture system is a unique landscape where all the plants and animals live in a balanced and self-sustaining ecosystem.  Through 8 lessons, students will learn about the principles of permaculture.  Understanding natural systems and the elements of a permaculture system – animals, plants, environment – will enable students to develop plans for permaculture systems.  Included within the module is a lesson on relevant technologies, including solar and wind energy, bio fuels, water recycling, and more.

Students who successfully complete this module will also receive the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)

Advanced Permaculture

The Advanced Permaculture course is a useful follow on from the Permaculture Design Certificate. The course consists of ten lessons that cover Evaluating Design Strategies, Understanding Patterns, Water,  Earthworks, Humid Tropics, Dry climates, temperate and cold climates, planning work, costing and sustainable materials.

Elective Modules

Please choose one of the following modules -

Permaculture I

Permaculture I is an introduction to permaculture over five lessons, covering – permaculture concepts, the environment, soils, climate and water, and forest systems. This module is mentioned on the UNCCD (United Nations convention to Combat Desertification) website.  The UNCCD’s aim is to encourage partnerships to reverse and prevent desertification and land degradation, mitigate the effects of drought and reduce poverty.  The Marketplace provides access to direct solutions for identified needs towards sustainable land management, bringing together different parties to make available their knowledge and skills.

Permaculture II (Plants and Permaculture)

This course focusses on plants in a permaculture system. The course has ten lessons covering - Permaculture Gardens - Different Garden Systems, Design - Planning techniques and skills, Garden Zones, Design for Natural Pest, Disease and Weed Control, Companion Planting, Appropriate Technology in Permaculture Design, Water Gardens, Fruit Gardens and Herb and Vegetable Garden and Mandala Garden

Animals In Permaculture Systems (Permaculture III) VSS106

Animals are an important component of any permaculture system. They impact upon the stability of the landscape just as much as the plants.  They and can provide things to harvest and use, just as much as the plants.  This 8 lesson module looks at the impact and maintenance of animals in the permaculture system.

Self Sufficiency I

If you dream of living the good life, then this module is an excellent starting point. Over the course of ten lessons, you will learn more about Understanding the possibilities, Health, Nutrition and Clothing. Horticulture - Fruit and Vegetables, Horticulture – Herbs, Animal Husbandry - Poultry and Bees, Animal Husbandry - Grazing Animals & Pigs, Building - Earth & Mud Buildings, Appropriate Technology/Alternative energy, Craft & Country Skills, Making Decisions - Small Scale Production, How To Make Decisions.

There may also be other modules that interest you.  If so, please contact us on to discuss your choice with a tutor.

Workplace Project
To complete this qualification, you are also required to complete a workplace project lasting 200 hours.  

There are 4 options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  The options will be different dependent upon whether or not you currently work within the industry. The project can be work experience, voluntary experience, a project you carry out, other training you have already undertaken and there are other options. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to proceed at this stage, as your tutor will be there to discuss how to proceed and help you every step of the way.

How the Proficiency Award is Assessed

The Proficiency Award requires 500 hours of study. It is made up of three 100 hour modules and a workplace project.


To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the three 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass three examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete a Workplace Project.  The project should last around 200 hours.  There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way. This includes evidence of work experience or other studies or workshops, a research project or completion of Workshop I.



Studying permaculture offers you many options to improve your own quality of life or run your own business in relation to permaculture.

Permaculture is a growth area and there are more and more opportunities available.

Learn more about permaculture design, permaculture systems and much more.

Permaculture is not just a hobby, it often becomes a passion with the people who become involved in permaculture. A way of life.

If you would like to learn more about permaculture, why delay? Enrol today.

Or if you have any questions, please -





Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Meet some of our academics

Kara WightKara Wight - Animal Scientist, Photographer and Business woman. BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging) Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels. Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events. Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.
Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Animal Feed & NutritionThe Aniaml Feed and Nutrition ebook is a comprehensive guide to animal feed and the nutritional requirements of different animals.
Aquaponics eBookThe Aquaponics ebook will give you a great understanding of how to start your own aquaponics production. This 65 page ebook provides you with enough information to start your own home production and even manage issues as they arise. This is a great way to become more self-sufficient and produce a sustainable food source for your own household. Aquaponic farming allows individual families to grow a much wider range of produce, in a much smaller space. They can provide the protein needed for their diet (from fish), as well as the vegetables and fruit they need. Aquaponic systems can be as small as a few cubic meters; or as large as many acres. They are an ideal way of improving productivity on a hobby farm; can be used by restaurants to produce the freshest produce on site, or established inside buildings, in big cities, for urban farming.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.
Food PreservingA great supplement for students of nutrition, self sufficiency or even horticulture, the Food Preserving ebook is a great introduction into all things preserving.