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About the PSC

Bookings for the Practical Sustainability Course 2024-2025 now OPEN!

Don't worry if you missed our OPEN Days - you can watch a recording of the PSC presentation HERE.


Please read the Essential Information carefully, for all the nuts and bolts of how to apply and what to expect.


Immerse yourself in an in-depth, hands-on and dynamic learning experience. 

The course covers a wide variety of modules including Permaculture Design, Soil and Ecology, Organic Horticulture, Green Energy, Group Dynamics, Resilience Toolkit, Woodland Management, Green Building, Re-localisation and Community Engagement.

The year is packed with information, challenging questions, innovative solutions, bold ideas and collaborative experiences. The curriculum is taught through workshops, talks, activities, field trips, design projects, discussions and group work by tutors actively engaged with their subject. 

The Course Curriculum outlines the modules and activities and the Tutor Biographies tell you all about our tutors’ experience and approach.

Check out the Gallery for pictures of course activities. 

Please contact us with any questions about the course. We’re very happy to talk via phone or email about your application.

Roundhouse Build 2023

It is our absolute joy to share this wonderful film from last year's roundhouse build on the Practical Sustainability Course. Video creator and Shifty PSC student Esther Cacace-Soret (instagram @strbluk) has done an amazing job of capturing the collaborative essence of the build, with the student group at the height of its harmony. What a gift for us Esther, thank you!

The roundhouse build is part of our 'Place & Ownership' module, where we explore buildings, homes and our need for security, shelter and comfort. Also in this module we look at a range of solutions to alternative technology and energy production, from local community owned, to national networks, as well as looking at how to build our own small-scale 12V systems. We explore the changes we can make as individuals and communities to reduce fossil fuel usage within our homes, including solutions to overcome the limitations to retrofitting in rental properties; and alternative models to housing production such as self-builds and co-ops.

Blog Posts on the PSC

Would you like to know more about the story of Shift Bristol and the Practical Sustainability Course? Head over to the Permaculture Association website - we're in the spotlight .

'Picture the Future: The Shift' - By Anita Roy.

This is the third of a series of blogs for Rapid Transition focusing on evidence-based hope from volunteer-led groups who are taking action to restore nature and tackle the climate emergency in practical ways.

Past Students

Shift Bristol has now trained almsot 400 Practical Sustainability Course students, affectionatly known as the Shifties. Over the years the student network has expanded and evolved into an autonomous, self-organising, self-celebrating being. They have organised their own socials, events, workshops and field trips; including everything from welding, to study groups, to hosting film showings, and forming a choir - the ‘Shifty Singers’.

It's impossible to move in the Sustainability cirlces in the Southwest and not bump into a Shifty. They can be found on smallholdings, farms, community gardens, energy co-ops, in schools, in the NHS working with green social prescribing and mental health services, in the Landworkers Alliance, in the Ecological Land Co-operative, in social centres, heading up children's gardening clubs, in political campaigning, as permaculture consultants, green building contractors, community composting groups, and much more besides!

> Ursula Billington PSC Graduate gets job as Bristol 24/7's new Climate & Sustainability Editor

> Leila Meredith, a 2020-21 Practical Sustainability Course student, produced this podcast featuring interviews with previous students, as part of her Masters in Social Anthropology. It considers the role of the PSC in the wider movement towards a sustainable future and also the impact it has had on their personal lives.

[SIDE NB: These students attended the PSC during the Pandemic, as Shift Bristol navigated teaching a hands-on curriculum through lockdowns and physical distancing restrictions. As part of this unseasonal year students were able to attend the Oxford Real Farming Conference, inclusive of their course fees]