Permaculture Design Diploma Program

Diploma of Permaculture Design, PD.

The Field Lies Open to the Intellect

“We already know “How To” build and inhabit Sustainable Systems.

Every essential problem is solved, but in the everyday lives of people, this is hardly apparent.

The wage-slave, peasant, landlord and industrialist alike are deprived of the leisure and the life spirit that is possible in a cooperative society which applies its knowledge.

Both wardens and prisoners are equally captive in the society in which we live”

 – Bill Mollison, Founder of Permaculture as a Design Science


Founded on the Principles and Ethics


Design Science

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Open Universities and Permaculture Design Science Diploma Program

From the beginning, the determination of Permaculture Institutes has been to concentrate on going to the people, not locking themselves away in fixed Institutions, unavailable to people who live in remote locations, in poverty, or who are now “illiterate” in terms of major languages (although very literate verbally, and a mine of knowledge).

Thus, teachers have given courses in very remote and sometimes dangerous areas, and will always continue to do so. These certificated courses allow students to achieve Applied Diplomas of Permaculture Design following on two or more years of activity.

The Sustainable Agriculture Institute, in partnership with the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute, set up the Institute as an open ‘University’, and gives these certificate courses and accredited Permaculture Design Diploma in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, IWA 2, Quality Management Systems, as pertaining to Higher Education Requirements.

Here, you may look over the Standard which all S.A.I. Institutes operate in accordance with:

The International Standards Organization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.

Our wish is for every person to have access to a Certificated Permaculture Design Course, to know how to design sustainable houses, villages, economies, and land use systems.

To eventually achieve a widespread education in Permaculture, we must always concentrate on “letting teachers loose” in their own cultures, using their own languages, and teaching their own people.

However, while this work continues, the Sustainable Agriculture Institute operates as an Open University delivering knowledge of Permaculture Design and Sustainable Living to as wide an audience as possible with Permaculture Design Courses, Natural Building Courses, and Higher Level Permaculture Design Diplomas.

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Educational Quality Assurance of Permaculture Diploma Programs

Rak Tamachat Permaculture Research and Education Institute (Rak Tamachat) has partnered with the Sustainable Education Institute (S.A.I.) to allow for the distribution of the Permaculture Design Curriculum through the S.A.I. Learning Managment Systems (LMS).

The LMS assures that the Permaculture Design Curriculum is delivered in accordance with all International Standards for Quality Management Systems, as pertaining to Higher Education Requirements.


The S.A.I. LMS controls the Permaculture Design Learning Journey through rigorous adherence to the following:

1. Pedagogical Plan – seeks to embody a learning design, articulating it in a hierarchical structure that incorporates degrees of abstraction suitable for supporting reflection, communication, and reuse.

2. Taxonomy Plan – sets a specific organizational structure for the delivery of online Permaculture Design Curriculum; in short, it controls the curriculum management through the use of the Learning Managment Systems, LMS.

3. Curriculum Management Plan – S.A.I. provides support in the development of curriculum guides that are of high quality, well aligned, provide an adequate cognitive challenge, and articulated vertically with antecedent and subsequent learnings.

4. Quality Assurance Certification – The Quality Assurance Management Systems for application of Higher Education Requirements, as adopted and implemented by e-campus Education LMS, meets the requirements as outlined by ISO for the Standardization of Educational practices across international borders.

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Permaculture Diploma Programs and Sustainability

What is the traditional definition of “Sustainability?”

Sustainability is most often defined as:

meeting the legitimate needs of the present generation without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet their needs as well.”

This “shallow” sustainability usually focuses on making our current systems more sustainable; that is, reforming our agricultural, transportation, and energy systems by increasing efficiency and substituting non-sustainable materials and energy with more sustainable alternatives.

Permaculture Design goes beyond this simple definition by focusing on the root problem, not a quick fix solution. In Permaculture Design “The Problem is the Solution“.

For example, this type of sustainability would aim to correct our transportation crisis by creating more efficient cars which use alternative fuels.

Permaculture Design recognizes that there is a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Basic sustainability focuses on doing things right, on the means we use to accomplish an end.

Permaculture Design addresses the ends themselves.

The Permaculture Design Diploma Curriculum teaches that the correct approach to say the “Transportation Problem” would focus on the creation of higher quality of life. This would put the focus on the solution of creating lifestyles where people are able to meet their needs close to where they live so that the need for automobile transportation is greatly reduced.

The development of Sustainable businesses, societies, and communities is dependent upon those entities being comprised of highly developed individuals.

Such development means doing more with less. It means creating a higher quality of life while consuming fewer resources. Sustainability is about creating a thriving world in which we lead rich, productive, and fulfilling lives — without depleting the environment or ourselves.

To fully meet our responsibility to current and future generations, we must connect with our own inner nature and take action.

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Permaculture Design Diploma & Environmental Science

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences (including ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, plant science, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, physical geography – geodesy – and atmospheric science) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.

Environmental studies also incorporate social sciences for a deeper understanding of human relationships, perceptions, and policies towards the environment. Environmental engineering focuses on design and technology in order to improve environmental quality in every aspect.


What can I do with a Permaculture Design Diploma in Environmental Science?

An environmental science degree equips you with essential skills and practical experience that could lead to a career in the environment sector or a range of other occupations.

Job Options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental education officer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental manager
  • Marine biologist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Recycling officer
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Waste management officer
  • Water quality scientist

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Environmental health practitioner
  • Landscape architect
  • Town planner
  • Toxicologist
  • Transport planner

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

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Who is the Permaculture Design Diploma Intended For?

Recent Permaculture Design Course Graduates

The Permaculture Diploma Program is perfect for Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Graduates who would like to take a “Deep Dive” into the world of Permaculture Design in order to help foster a possible career path in Environmental Science. You will learn what it takes to be a Professional Permaculture Consultant with Advanced Permaculture Design, including all the professional level documentation, and Permaculture Master Planning Techniques to support your Environmental Science career path.


Practicing Permaculturalists

You may have taken your Permaculture Design Course and headed straight into building your Permaculture Paradise. Now you are looking to expand your basic knowledge of Permaculture Design by learning more Advanced Permaculture Design. This could be just to make you a more well-rounded and Certified Professional Permaculturalist, or you may have aspirations to take your Permaculture Practice to the next level by trying your hand at Permaculture Consulting, teaching or working in the Environmental Science Field.


Permaculture Consultants

If you are a Practicing Permaculture Consultant, you can refresh your knowledge of Advanced Permaculture Design by learning the Permaculture Consulting Techniques as practiced by the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Design Consultancy. You will be able to compare your processes and pick up many new tips and tricks to help make your Permaculture Consultancy more profitable and better able to serve your clients and the environment at large.

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Curriculum – Permaculture Design Diploma

Requirements for the Diploma in Permaculture Design, Dip. Perm. Des.

To graduate with a Diploma in Permaculture Design, students must successfully complete:

  • All general requirements for the Permaculture Design Diploma including:
    • completion of all Coursework;
    • Master Plans;
    • Thesis;

Diploma Coursework

  1. Permaculture Design Course
  2. Natural Building Course
  3. Permaculture Design Consultancy Course
  4. Permaculture Teacher Training
  5. Permaculture Design Thesis

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Core Permaculture Diploma Curriculum

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Fields for Permaculture Master Plans and Permaculture Design Thesis

The following fields have been the basis of Diplomate Work, and form an indication of the areas that can be covered by Permaculture Diploma students for applied or theoretical degrees. Applied degrees are weighted to field projects; academic degrees are weighted towards research.

  • Required: 4 Master Plans submitted and approved by S.A.I. from the following topics.
  • Required: 1 Thesis submitted and approved by S.A.I. from the following topics.


1) Education: This includes special education, education via electronic media, or the development of educational aids.

2) Media: Many students are developing information systems based on a film, photo libraries, print or electronic systems, and some have succeeded as journalists. Authors producing a significant thesis or finding, in any area of research indicated here, may submit for a degree.

3) Site Development: This indicates work on a farm or village over a long period, working to develop Permaculture systems, community facilities or projects.

4) Site Design: People acting as consultants to a variety of projects, rural and urban, may submit for applied degrees. Planners and consultants for projects in Permaculture.

5) Community Services: For those devoting their time, often with great hardship, to populations in poverty, the fourth world (tribal peoples), disadvantaged or aged groups, and to people in urban and rural poverty.

6) Finance and Business: Developing and promoting local employment, non-monetary exchange, cash recycling in a community, cooperative endeavors, models of development, and cost-benefit analyses of real projects, accounted financially, socially, and environmentally.

7) Technical Development: People developing technical systems in transport, energy, processing systems, recycling, conservation systems or efficient appliances.

8) Resource Development: Making supporting resources available via land banks, plant or seed resources, livestock development, contract services, and other essential support systems.

9) Architecture and Building: Completion of projects demonstrating low-cost and energy-efficient housing, special purpose buildings, or the construction of villages and suburbs.

10) Research: A broad category, covering all Permaculture-related areas; a blend of the practical and theoretical is ideal.

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Academic Schedule – Permaculture Design Diploma

Note: Enrollment for the 2020 Diploma Course will open November 2019, if you have any questions please Contact Us.

The Permaculture Design Diploma Program is a continuously open-running enrolment program. There are two pathways to attaining your Certification as a Professional Permaculturalist.

1. Onsite (Rak Tamachat Campus) Learning Pathway – Practical Pathway

The On-campus pathway is an accelerated learning pathway designed to give the full Advanced Permaculture Design Diploma within a period of five months. The students will engage in full-time learning while living at the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute. The Program starts with the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Design Course – the Permaculture Design Course Schedules can be found here.

2. Distance Learning Pathway – Theoretical Pathway

The Distance Learning Pathway is a flexible learning schedule which allows the student to progress at their own pace (part-time). The program is run for a period of 2 Years, which allows ample time for the Students to complete the required coursework and final projects.

Schedule of Course Deliverables

Both the Practical and Theoretical Pathways end in the Permaculture Design Diploma Student receiving their Certification as a Professional Permaculturalist. The pathways have a set of specific Deliverables that must be completed in order for graduation to be achieved.

Course Deliverables

  1. Permaculture Design Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of Permaculture Master Plan
  2. Natural Building Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of Natural Building Master Plan
  3. Permaculture Design Consultancy Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of a Permaculture Consultant Master Plan
  4. Permaculture Teacher’s Training Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of 1 Lesson Plan Design as well as 1 Lecture Plan
  5. Permaculture Thesis – Acceptance of Permaculture Thesis.

Please Note: All Permaculture Master Plans and Permaculture Thesis subjects can be developed in relation to any of the Fields specified in the Permaculture Design Diploma Curriculum outlined in this page. The Natural Building Master Plan must be on item 9) Architecture and Building.

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Academic Rules – Permaculture Design Diploma

Calculating Credit Hours Earned for Associate Degree in Permaculture Design


Credit Hours – Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. An Associate in Science Degree requires a minimum of 60 credit hours which can be put towards a particular Bachelor of Science Degree. An Associate Degree (or associate’s degree) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study. In order to receive an Associate Degree in Permaculture Design, the student must complete 60 Credit Hours. 1 Credit Hour is equal to 15 Contact Hours at 50-minute intervals. 60 Credit Hours is equal to 900 Contact Hours.

Permaculture Diploma - Hours and Credits - Permaculture Thailand Asia

Colleges may Award Students a Credit for any of the Following Reasons:

1) Experiencing one hour of class attendance or faculty instruction per week, for 15 weeks, in a course that requires two hours of additional work for every one hour of class attendance and/or instruction.

2) Performing the equivalent amount of work over a different period of time.

3) Demonstrating evidence of achievement, represented in intended learning outcomes, that is equal to an amount of work that is equivalent to experiencing one hour of class attendance or faculty instruction per week, for 15 weeks, etc.

Item three above allows for Online Universities Award Accreditation in terms of evidence of achievement, learning outcomes, assessment of prior learning and student work, instead of time.

To learn more details about University Credit Programs, download from the New America Foundation and Education Sector.

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Fee Structure – Permaculture Design Diploma

The Permaculture Design Diploma can be taken in 5 Learning Pathways ways which have different Fee Structures.


Option 1 – Distance Learning  2 years Theoretical Learning Pathway

Course Fees: 1,500 USD Total Cost for Diploma of Permaculture Design

  1. oPDC – Permaculture Design Course – 500 USD
  2. oNBC – Natural Building Course – 300 USD
  3. oPCC – Permaculture Design Consultancy Course – 300 USD
  4. oPTT – Permaculture Teachers Training – 300 USD
  5. oPDT – Permaculture Design Thesis – 300 USD

Diploma of Permaculture Design

Total Cost = 1,700 USD


Option 2 – On-campus 5 Months Practical Learning Pathway

A + B – C – D = Total Cost 

(A) Course Fees: 1,950 USD (Total Educational Cost for Diploma of Permaculture Design)

  1. PDC – Permaculture Design Course – 700 USD
  2. NBC – Natural Building Course – 350 USD
  3. oPCC – Permaculture Consultancy Course – 300 USD
  4. oPTT – Permaculture Teachers Training – 300 USD
  5. oPDT – Permaculture Design Thesis – 300 USD

(B) Room and Board: 2,700 USD (All-Inclusive)

  1. Private Bungalow & Food, at 20 USD per day x’s 135 Days =  2,700 USD

(15 Days already included in PDC and NBC Programs’ Prices)

(C) Less Green Jobs Program: (525 USD)

  1. (1.50 USD/Hour) x’s 350 Hours = 525 USD

(D) Less Rak Tamachat Permaculture Diploma Rebate: (125 USD)

  1. Rak Tamachat Permaculture Diploma Rebate = 125 USD

Diploma of Permaculture Design

Total Cost: A + B – C – D = 4,000 USD (All-included)


Master’s Option – Combined On-Campus Permaculture Design Diploma + Master’s Degree

Total Cost = On-campus Diploma + On-campus Masters

4,000 USD – On-campus Diploma of Permaculture Design (5 months on-campus, all-inclusive)

4,000 USDOn-campus Permaculture Design Master Degree (5 months on-campus, all-inclusive)

Combined Diploma and Master Degree Program (10 Months On-campus, all-inclusive)

8,000 USD



Master’s Option – Half & Half: Combined On-Campus Permaculture Design Diploma + Online Master’s Degree

Total Cost = On-campus Diploma + Online Masters

4,000 USD – On-campus Diploma of Permaculture Design (5 months on-campus)

2,000 USD – Online Permaculture Masters’ Degree

Half & Half Combined Diploma and Master Degree Program

Total Cost = 6,000 USD 


Master’s Option – Combined Online Permaculture Design Diploma + Master’s Degree

Total Cost = Online Diploma + Masters

1,700 USD – Online Diploma of Permaculture Design

2,000 USD – Online Permaculture Masters’ Degree

Online Combined Diploma and Master Degree Program

Total Cost = 3,700 USD 

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Financial Aid – Permaculture Design Diploma

In order to make sure that Permaculture can be more acceptable to all, we have devised a Finacial Aid Scheme to allow for students to get financial discounts on their course by sharing the Permaculture Experience with their Friends.

In order to get the Finacial Aid discounts, you only need to click the below links and share with your friends about your Permaculture Design Diploma Learning Journey.

Once you share, you will receive a discount code by email which can be applied to the course cost, giving you a 10% Off of the total Diploma Course Price.

Share for Financial Aid  

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Scholarships – Permaculture Design Diploma

Beau here, founder of Rak Tamachat.

I just wanted to share with you my Passion for transmitting Permaculture Knowledge to the world. To that effect, I want to offer you an Amazing Opportunity to receive varying levels of Scholarships for the hard work that I hope you will do in your Local Community.

I want to share one of the fondest memories of my youth. I was made to perform community service by my Catholic High School. I chose to go to the local St Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen and Volunteer my time. While, at first, I did it to fulfill my quota of assigned hours, I soon learned that I liked helping others, and cooking too! I kept helping out the Food Bank for years and still deeply value what I learned there.

I now live full time in the Rak Tamachat Intentional Community and I still love when I can cook for others, especially when I can go into our Permaculture Garden and Harvest Nutritious foods.

But I now want to help by allowing you the opportunity to help others!  I truly hope, other than the Financial Aid it will afford you, that our scholarship will allow you to help your local Community and, hopefully, fulfill your lifelong passion for community aid.

I call the Scholarship the “World-Changers Scholarship“, as I want to Pay It Forward for the push that I had into helping and putting others’ needs before mine. I want to give this special gift to you. It is worth more then the monetary value the scholarship holds, as you will treasure these experiences for the rest of your life. I believe that Permaculture and Volunteerism have the power to change the World. Take the World-Changers Challenge!


How to receive the World-Changer Scholarship

You only need to volunteer your time in order to receive cash rebates on your Permaculture Diploma Course.


Cash Rebate Level

  1. 20 Hours Served – 10% off Course Fees
  2. 40 Hours Served – 20% off Course Fees


How to Claim Rebates

  • You will need to download the below PDF letter to your chosen volunteer organization and have it signed by the Volunteer Director of the Organization.
  • Once you have your hours signed-off, take a picture of you and the Director in the front of the Organization.
  • Submit the signed letter and your picture to S.A.I. for Review and Approval, and you will receive your discount code by email, which you can use to discount your Course Fees.

It’s that easy: give of yourself to your local community and save money on your studies. I wish we could give more but, since we operate as a non-profit, we cannot do more and cover our operating expenses.

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Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Student Grants

The cost of getting a Top Notch Education is becoming a setback to most of the middle to lower income classes. Those are exactly the people that represent the future of Sustainability. The Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute and the Sustainable Agriculture Institute both believe that the cost of an education should be tied more to the cost of the provision of such education, and not to the cost of fancy facilities.

One of the founders of S.A.I. has expressed his feelings, and that of the Institution, in a Manifesto entitled “The Future of Online Education“.

The Manifesto explores the realities of education, comparing the differences between an online education and one in a brick and mortar physical education.

While it will take the rich and upper classes a while to come around to the realization that the access to a good education is no longer tied to the ability to pay large sums of money, the online access to the information of Sustainability is being offered at affordable rates.

One does no longer need to worry about burdening oneself with student loans in order to receive a great education in Sustainability.

The Rak Tamachat Permaculture Foundation has been endowed by the Wickboldt Family to be able to assure the future of Sustainable Education through the award of grants.


Right Livelihood Grants – 10% Reduction of Program Costs

  • Service Profession Grants: These grants are offered to people working in a service profession supporting community development, such as NGO professions, agricultural professions, education, nursing, fire department, police department, public sanitation, military or national guard. Proof of active employment is needed to apply. In the case of ended military service, proof of honorable discharge is needed.
  • Special submissions: If you feel that your livelihood is worthy of a Right Livelihood Grant, please send a submission and it will be reviewed by the SAI Board of Governors.

Higher Needs Grants – 20% Reduction of Program Costs

  • Developing Countries Financial Aid Grants: These grants are awarded to people residing in countries with lower Human Development Index. We support grants for people coming from the least favored 149 countries of the developing world. You can inquire about your country’s HDI here. Citizens of the first 40 most developed countries are NOT eligible to those grants.
  • Disability Grants: These grants are based on the needs of certain individuals with limiting conditions. This type of aid is a key part of the Sustainable Agriculture Institutes Educational Vision and Mission. Valid proof of Disability required for acceptance.
  • Senior Citizen Grants: These grants are available to senior citizens aged 60 years old or more. Proof of age is needed (passport or national ID card).
  • Special submissions: If you feel that your livelihood is worthy of a Higher Needs Grant, please send a submission and it will be reviewed by the SAI Board of Governors.



The Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Agenda

People: End Poverty and Hunger in all forms, and Ensure Dignity and Equality.

Prosperity: Ensure Prosperous and Fulfilling Lives in Harmony with Nature.

Peace: Foster Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies.

Partnership: Implement the Agenda through a Solid Global Partnership.

Plant: Protect Our Planet’s Natural Resources and Climate for Future Generations.


How to Apply for one of the Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Grants

To apply to the Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Grants, you will need to contact us providing:

  • A presentation letter supporting your application for a grant
  • One of the required supporting documents listed below corresponding to the grant you wish to apply for

Required Documents

  • Service Profession Grants: Proof of active employment. In the case of ended military service, proof of honorable discharge is needed.
  • Developing Countries Financial Aid Grants: A copy of the first page of your passport.
  • Disability Grants: Official Proof of Disability.
  • Senior Citizen Grants: Proof of age – passport or national ID card.
  • Special submissions: Any official documentation that you feel could support your claim for a Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Grant.

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Open Admissions – Permaculture Design Diploma

The Sustainable Agriculture Institute, S.A.I. operates as an open university and has an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. S.A.I. employs specific teaching methods, such as Openly Supported Learning or Distance Education.

You can learn more about S.A.I.’s Open Educational Philosophies below:

  1. Future of Online Education Manifesto
  2. Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals
  3. Code of Ethics

How to Apply

You can apply for the Permaculture Design Diploma Program by clicking the link below, you will be taken to an online form which you may fill out and submit for review and acceptance by S.A.I.

Open Enrollment for the 2020 Diploma Course, if you have any questions please Contact Us.

Not Convinced? Why Not Take Our Free Permaculture Design Course Introduction!


We love being able to offer to the world something that is Truly Free!

The Sustainable Agriculture Institute and Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute have offered to the world two complete Chapters of the Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual – as taught on our Physical Permaculture Design Courses – for Free in the Online Permaculture Design Course Introduction.

Also feel free to share this amazing opportunity with those who may not be able to take a PDC due to poor circumstances. We think everyone has the right to know about Permaculture!