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Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) 400 Hours Advanced Certificate Course
Learn About Permaculture
Permaculture Online Course
Study an ADL Advanced Certificate in Permaculture online course through our distance learning programme to help advance or begin a new career
A good way to describe permaculture is: humans and nature working together to maintain a sustainable way of living. Simply put, permaculture is permanent agriculture and it works in tandem with nature, not in opposition to it. Because it seeks to do this, it is at odds with modern agricultural methods and its extensive reliance on chemicals. The adoption of regarian farming techniques is very important as it increases biodiversity, whereas the modern petrochemical approach to treatment of the soil, diminishes it.
Another purpose of permaculture is to create enough food to successfully feed the whole of humanity, by producing everything that is required for life local to where people live. This is achieved through the ethical, scientific and syncronistic use of the natural features of the area created over millions of years of change and evolution.
This online Advanced Certificate in Permaculture incorporates our Permaculture I, II, III and IV distance learning programmes into one fully comprehensive course. If you agree with the goals of permanent agriculture and want to forge a career putting the in-depth knowledge and skills you will gain from completing our course into practice, then look no further.
Permaculture I will help you develop a basis for permaculture design by explaining the patterns which occur in nature, such as weather systems, water cycles, topography, soil-plant interactions and forest ecology, and how a knowledge of these patterns can be used to reproduce balanced and productive garden growing systems.
Permaculture II will help you to specialise in planting within permaculture designs. It is a natural progression from Permaculture I and concentrates on plants in a permaculture system, how they relate to each other and to the surrounding environment; and the selection and placement of different varieties within a permaculture design. It also deals with preparing plans for different types of permaculture gardens.
Permaculture III tackles learning about animals in permaculture gardens. It concentrates on the animals in a permaculture system and as in Permaculture II, how they relate to each other, how they relate to surrounding environments, and the selection and management of different types of animals in a permaculture design. The course covers the role of insects, animal husbandry of poultry, bees, pigs, goats and cattle, aquaculture systems, and how to integrate animals into a garden.
Permaculture IV will extend your permaculture design skills even further. You will learn to design and manage a comprehensive permaculture system. The course integrates all aspects of permaculture into the design and management of a comprehensive and balanced system. It covers an overview of permaculture, energy efficient building alternatives, waste disposal systems, recycling, natural watering and sustainable energy alternatives, and designing for natural disasters. You will also undertake a full scale major design project using the knowledge obtained from the course and utilising the techniques you have learned.
Lesson Structure: Advanced Certificate in Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture)
- The basic theory and ethics of Permaculture
2 The Environment
- Ecosystems, the web of life and interactions between living organisms
- Soil management, fertilisers, nitrogen, cultivation, gas and nutrient cycles
4 Climate and Water
- The hydrological cycle, infiltration, microclimates, the Greenhouse Effect, water and plants
5 Forest Systems
- Biomass, how natural systems relate to agricultural systems
1 Permaculture Gardens: Different Garden Systems
- Spiral gardens, no dig gardens, establishing plants (mulches, irrigation, tree guards) techniques for planting sloping and arid sites
2 Design: Planning techniques and skills
- The design process, pre planning information, drawing a design, selecting plants
3 Garden Zones
- Windbreaks, hedges, screens, the five Permaculture zones
4 Design for Natural Pest, Disease and Weed Control
- Biocontrol, natural pest controls
5 Companion Planting
- Repellant plants, attractant plants, plants that affect the soil, beneficial plant combinations, poor combinations, nitrogen and legumes in Permaculture, cover crops, grain crops
6 Appropriate Technology in Permaculture Design
- Using energy conserving technology, healty buildings
7 Water Gardens
- Wet and boggy garden areas, drainage, wet tolerant plants, small and large water gardens
8 Fruit, Nuts and Berries
- Suitable orchard plants for Permaculture, intercrop species, the Fukuoka system
9 Vegetables and Herbs
- Easy care vegetable gardens, planting, garden care, herb spirals, disease resistance, types of vegetables
10 Mandalla Garden
- Design and cost of a Mandalla garden, organic materials, mulches, keyhole garden beds.
1 Integrating Animals Into A Permaculture System/Garden
- Locating animals in the Permaculture system, birds, types of gardens, how to plan and prepare zones in relation to animals
2 Role Of Insects And Other Small Animals
- Ecosystems and their constituents, the web of life, the classification of animals, insect classification, lifecycles, feeding habits and control, companion planting
3 Poultry and Bees
- Ducks, poultry food, fowls, turkey, geese, bees
4 Grazing Animals: Sheep, Goats, Cattle, Horses, etc
- Animals as mobile tractors, types of pasture
5 Aquaculture Production Systems
- Biological filtration systems, clearing dam water, protecting fish, mariculture,
7 Aquaculture Species to Grow
- Australian native fish, yabbies, marron, spiny fresh water crayfish
1 Overview of Permaculture
- Definition of Permaculture, understanding plant names, environmentally safe pesticides, zones, sectors and cycles in Permaculture design
2 Buildings and Permaculture: The alternatives
- Indoor/outdoor buildings, storage facilities, building materials
3 Buildings and Permaculture : Integration into the Environment
- Essential elements for houses in different zones, energy conservation, alternative energy sources
4 Waste Disposal
- Liquid waste, grey water, blackwater, waste disposal and recycling, nitrogen in waste
- Composting, waste water recycling, conservation and recycling, council recycling
6 Designing for Natural Disasters
- Fire, flood, cyclone, tsunami, biotecture
7 Natural Watering
- Water efficient gardens, mosquitoes, windmills
8 Indigenous Plants and Animals
- Wildlife management, birds in the garden, suitable native plants
9 Preparing Management and Development Plans
- Planning and managing a garden, Permaculture design, work schedules
10 Major Design Project
- A in depth design project for both your own residence and another property
Learning Goals: Advanced Certificate in Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture)
- Discuss the nature and scope of Permaculture
- Apply an understanding of environmental systems to considerations given to how a Permaculture system is designed
- Describe soils and the impact their characteristics have upon natural and man made environments
- Explain the application of this knowledge to Permaculture
- Describe characteristics of climate and water, and the impact their characteristics have upon natural and man made environments
- Explain the application of this knowledge to Permaculture
- Describe forest systems and their relevance to Permaculture design
- Understand use and establishment of Permaculture gardens
- Understand basic principles of permaculture design
- Understand the role and function of zones in permaculture systems
- Develop knowledge of natural pest, disease, and weed control methods
- Understand the principles behind companion planting, and its function in permaculture gardens
- Understand the features of, and applications for appropriate technology in permaculture design
- Develop knowledge of the use of water gardens in permaculture design
- Develop knowledge of a range of plants suitable for permaculture systems
- Develop knowledge of a range of plants suitable for permaculture systems
- Design a Mandala garden
- Understand the principles behind integration of animals in permaculture systems
- Understand the role of insects and other small animals in permaculture systems
- Understand the role of poultry and bees in the permaculture system
- Develop knowledge of the role of grazing animals in permaculture systems
- Understand the role of aquaculture production systems in permaculture
- Develop knowledge of the range of aquaculture species available for permaculture systems
- Develop knowledge of the alternative materials and features available for buildings in permaculture systems
- Understand the role of buildings in the permaculture environment
- Develop knowledge of the range and function of waste disposal methods suitable for permaculture systems
- Understand the role of recycling in modern society
- Develop knowledge of how to design for natural disasters
- Develop knowledge of water efficient irrigation techniques
- Understand the role of indigenous plants and animals in permaculture systems.
- Develop skills in preparing management and development plans
- Perform a major design project
Practical (Set Tasks)
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What your tuition fees include
There are no hidden extras
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: [email protected]
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,