Designing for Resilience: The Foundations of Permaculture with PAUL PAINE, OCTOBER 2021

Online course led by a certified and experienced permaculture teacher

Learn the basics of permaculture design, supported by an experienced teacher, on the Foundations of Permaculture online course. You'll get a basis for how to apply permaculture in your life and make your own designs. 

More of an Intro +++ you'll cover much more than in a standard Introduction To Permaculture course. 

This online Foundations in Permaculture course is based on the official UK Introduction to permaculture curriculum. However it is much than an Intro to Permaculture, covering your first design process, including sharing this design with your peer group. You would normally only do this on a PDC, however this course aims to equip you in understanding and practising permaculture design right from the start - for greater resilience.

Some free places are available for black, Asian or minority ethnic people. Read more about these places or Request one now.

Interactive and transformative

  • With 4 additional Zoom lessons with Paul Paine, an experienced permaculture teacher, offering tailored support during your learning
  • More of an Intro +++
  • Apply permaculture design in your life
  • Small Learning group of fellow learners with private communication channel
  • Includes membership of the Permaculture Association
  • Learn how to connect with people and projects in your community
  • Share your design with your teacher and fellow learners

Price £190 non-members / £152 members


  • Introduction to Permaculture certificate awarded on completion of the course*
  • Discounted rate for our members
  • Discounts on 6 books from the
    Permaculture Magazine, chosen to complement this course
  • Free resources, videos, PDF handouts
  • Activities, quizzes and plenty of no screen time included!
  • Features and focuses on UK content, with a snap shot of international content
  • Share your first design, not usually included in an Introduction to permaculture certificate.

Only 20 places per course available on a first come first served basis

*70% of the online course and 3 zoom sessions must be completed within 4 months of starting the course. 

Session times

Session 1 - 1.5 hours 7pm Tuesday October 12th UTC+1 (getting to know each other, discussing module 1)
break allows a month to do 2, 3 and 4.

Session 2 - 1.5 hours 7pm Tuesday November 9th UTC+0
(reviewing modules 2-4)
break Allows 2 weeks to review module 5 on design

Session 3 - 1 hour 7pm Tuesday November 23rd UTC+0
(design support questions jam session)
break allows 2 weeks of prep time before sharing your design

Session 4 - 2 hours 7pm December 7th UTC+0
(sharing your design and next steps)

Terms and conditions apply. Please read our Refund and Cancellation policy and Privacy Policy before registering.


  • Very interesting and useful the perspective of applying the principles to several situations, including our own life design, rather than just to land based designs. Also, great practical examples!

    — JV
  • A huge amount of rich and interesting content to absorb but it all makes perfect sense! I have made a lot of notes and will come back and learn more... It is good to get a thorough grounding in permaculture principles at this stage so we can see how they are applied in practice.

    — JO

Foundation of Permaculture modules

The course has 6 modules, based upon the Introduction to Permaculture curriculum.

1. A nature based approach

  • Understand the importance of regenerative design
  • Discuss permaculture and its ethics
  • Discuss the benefits of permaculture design
  • Know where to go for more information

2. Principles of Permaculture

  • Understand that there are different sets of principles in permaculture design 
  • Understand the Holmgren principles 
  • Know how to apply the principles 
  • Understand the Holmgren flower

3. How to Apply Permaculture

  • Discover a few of the wide applications of permaculture design
  • Understand how permaculture can be applied in your community, at home and for your wellbeing.
  • Apply permaculture thinking to various areas of your life

4. Design Frameworks

  • Understand there are different design frameworks
  • Understand the value of using a permaculture design framework
  • Choose a design to apply SADIMET to
  • Understand the similarities between SADIMET and OBREDIMET
  • Understand the Design Web
  • Apply the SADIMET framework to a chosen design

5. Design Methods

  • To understand the importance of observation
  • To understand zones
  • To complete an input-output analysis
  • To present your design

6. Your next steps

  • Consolidate learning around 4 principles of permaculture
  • Understand the different areas of the Permaculture Association‘s work
  • Know where to go to find more about our teachers, their courses and how to learn more
  • Know how to connect with other learners and others that are studying and practising permaculture outside of this course
  • Understand some resilient next steps

Meet the teachers

We have a globally recognised certifying teachers register and an active community of permaculture teachers, many of whom have helped make this course.

Hear from some of our teachers on the importance of Designing for Resilience:

Paul Paine leads our next course

I completed my PDC in 1995 with Patrick Whitefield. I then returned to Nottingham where I've mainly been involved in community gardens and cooperatives. I started teaching ten years ago and currently co-teach on the annual Nottingham PDC's

Qualifications: Diploma in Permaculture Design

Skills, technical expertise and areas of interest: Interested in perennials and forest gardens

Areas of Permaculture Design Experience: Community gardens


Our Ethics - Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares

Key Elements to all Permaculture Association courses:

  • We are a permaculture charity - in using our platform you will be assured of fair prices, strongly held ethics and key principles.
  • Your course fee will give 10% to a Fair Shares pot, reinvesting a percentage of profits into improving education, managed by our educators.
  • All courses will showcase permaculture in practise, providing examples and places to engage, connect you to teacher profiles, events and your peers.
  • Support to use the ethics on your own purposeful design work.
  • Principles - helping you to design resiliently and regeneratively.
  • Purposeful Design - Our clients are both mother nature & future generations!
  • Action - your next steps, LAND demonstration centres, our globally recognised certified teachers network, our membership community - permaculture in practise.

More Testimonials

  • I found this reflection interesting… different threads of my life and a wealth of lived experiences in different places have woven together. The permaculture principles and approach resonate so much with where I am now and the direction I would like to go.

    — RA
  • As someone who is relatively new to permaculture, I am very much enthused by all aspects of permaculture. Much of this has to do with the fact that it is an approach that places emphasis on funding solutions to problems therefore I always find myself feeling inspired and hopeful when engaging with permaculture. This course certainly upheld those feelings of hopefulness and enthusiasm.

    — SA

Terms and conditions apply. Please read our Refund and Cancellation policy and Privacy Policy before registering.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the course last?

You should aim to complete it within 3 months.

You can study at your own pace. The group sessions arranged with your teacher are listed on this page above. Your teacher will advise you what modules to complete before the next session.

Do I get any qualifications from the course?

You will get an official Introduction to Permaculture certificate delivered to you from the Permaculture Association.

The information developed in this course was created with our teaching community, utilising hundreds of years of combined permaculture research and knowledge from our dedicated members.

Can anyone participate in the course?

No prior knowledge is required for this course. The course will be in English and there will be a glossary of terms included.

Limited hearing: Subtitles are used in videos and all videos have text scripts below.

We are dedicated to engaging a diverse audience with this course.

Can I do the course in person?

You may be able to start the course at one of our events, such as the convergence or diploma gathering as lockdown restrictions ease. Blended remote elements will be offered too - webinars, creating guilds with others and online communities to enable you to feel connected.


If you would prefer to study at your own pace without a teacher supporting your learning, have a look at our self-study course here.

Already studied beyond this level?

Then share this opportunity with others! Now is a great time to start a journey into permaculture.