The Practical Sustainability Course is now full
If you would like to join the waiting list please continue to apply
~Bookings for the 2023-2024 PSC will open January 2023~
Please read carefully before applying for the Practical Sustainability Course
Course dates from September 2022
The course dates match Bristol school term times, including all holidays.
Term 1: Tuesday 6 September to Thursday 20 October 2022
Term 2: Tuesday 1 November to Thursday 15 December 2022
Term 3: Tuesday 2 January to Thursday 19 February 2023
Term 4: Tuesday 21 February to Thursday 30 March 2023
Term 5: Tuesday 18 April to Thursday 25 May 2023
Term 6: Tuesday 6 June to Thursday 20 July 2023
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am to 3.30pm.
A small number of days will finish at 1pm or 5.30pm during certain course activities. There are also some overnight field trips. Notice of these will be given in advance.
It is a requirement that students commit to regular and ongoing attendance throughout the year.
Course Fees - these cover all tuition, materials and field trip accommodation.
- Full fee : £3,595
- Half concession* : £2,995
- Full concession* : £2,395
[All our concessionary places for the 2022-23 Practical Sustainability Course have been filled]
Visit here, for details on who can apply for a concessionary place.
You can apply for a concessionary place when filling out our your application form.
When your application is successful you will be asked to pay a non-refundable £550 deposit to confirm your place.
The remaining Course Fees - Two options
- Paid in full by September 1st 2022, by BAC transfer.
- Payment by instalments. Details of instalment plans here.
- Shared fuel costs travelling to field visits/overnight stays/roundhouse build site.
- Shared evening meal and breakfast costs when staying on overnight fieldtrips.
- Refundable library deposit of £20 for the year.
- Suitable clothing and footwear for participating in practical learning and outdoor activities.
- Optional purchase of kit e.g. compass, tape measure, pen knife, secateurs etc.
Aspects of the course are physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. See Terms and Conditions for more information. Please let us know on application about anything that may affect your ability to participate fully in the course. We strive to be inclusive and are happy to discuss support we can offer to enable participation. We will offer you a place if we can reasonably provide for your needs whilst making sure you are safe and gaining a valuable experience from the course.
We’re passionate about creating an inclusive course experience that promotes and values diversity. Groups that are diverse in; age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability and ethnicity etc, create a rich environment for shared perspective and personal growth. We actively seek to find a range of tutors and practitioners from different backgrounds and approaches. We value openness to new ideas, information, and viewpoints.
As the ongoing coronavirus situation remains unpredictable, we are remaining flexible in our vision of course delivery and experience. Presently we are planning a return to classroom teaching with occasional sessions delivered online. We are planning the timetable with a range of inspiring and hands-on practical sessions, including a roundhouse build, as well as some new material and tutors gained during our remote teaching adaption of the PSC 20-21. Whether in the classroom or via Zoom we ensure our teaching is interactive and participatory, confident we can maintain the incredibly high standard of life - and world- changing education.
The course covers a wide variety of modules including Permaculture Design, Soil and Ecology, Organic Horticulture, Green Energy, Group Dynamics, Creating Change, Woodland Management, Green Building, Re-localisation and Community Engagement.
As part of the PSC students participate in four design projects; beginners permaculture design, soil and ecology, garden design and finally permaculture design consultancy. Students work in small groups to produce designs for new or existing community and land projects, in line with the client’s aims. This is an opportunity to gain design skills in a real context. Past design clients have included; the National Trust, Avon Wildlife Trust, Edible Futures, Sims Hill Shared Harvest, Solar Sense and many more.
During the course we will visit many local projects to learn from and be inspired by what is happening in and around Bristol - often with the added bonus or reacquainting with previous students now leading their own ventures. In previous years further afield trips have included; Ben Law’s Prickly Nut Wood, Agroforestry Research Trust, Brithdir Mawr Community, Lammas Ecovillage, Fernhill Farm, Five Penny Farm, Ourganics, Ragmans Lane Farm, The Sustainability Centre and others.
The beautiful Gasworks studio in St Werburghs is our classroom, for most of our indoor sessions. It is easily accessible by bike, walking and bus and train routes. There is on street parking and bike racks in the garden. During our other practical sessions we use a variety of locations in Bristol; including our Shifty allotment in St Werburghs, Mike Feingold's permaculture allotment at Royate Hill, the gorgeous green spaces at Grow Wilder in Frenchay. Students receive notice of course logistics and venues via the student portal area of our website.
We have a library of over 350 of the most relevant books on all aspects of Practical Sustainability. Books are available to borrow throughout the year.
- Students receive a 25% discount to use in the Permanent Publications online bookshop - home of the excellent Permaculture Magazine.
- Students are eligible to purchase and use TOTUM cards. Offering a wide range of student discounts; including 16-25 railcards.
The course is deliberately not accredited. We choose to teach for the love of learning; enabling students to engage with the curriculum from all angles and develop diverse skills within a collaborative culture. Permaculture is in the doing. Past students have appreciated the non-pressured learning environment and the opportunities to discover and explore their own unique passions and pathways. We value the strengths and individuality of each student to manifest positive change in the world in their own style.
We provide a high quality education and our tutors have extensive teaching and practical experience. We have a great reputation and students make connections within our growing network of practitioners, projects and organisations. Our students have been successful in finding employment, taking further education and apprenticeships, starting ventures and enterprises and many more rewarding avenues. We are confident that the knowledge and skills gained on this course are of value to anyone wanting to work with sustainability either professionally or in their home or community.
Full attendance and participation in the course earns a Permaculture Design Certificate certified by the Permaculture Association UK. Work completed on the course can contribute to the Permaculture Association's 'Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design' portfolio.
Connecting with the Network
Over the last 11 years students have organised their own socials, events, workshops and field trips. These have included everything from welding, to study groups, to hosting film showings. It's an opportunity for students to bond, learn together, network and flex their budding skills and enthusiasm. One year even formed a choir - the ‘Shifty Singers’.
We have a group of students who are happy to welcome Newbies to Bristol. If you would like a tour of the neighbourhood just ask and we'll connect you.
Volunteering & Gaining Experience
Visit our Networking page, to explore who is in our wider Network.
We have several Telegram Groups that students join to receive news and opportunities of projects, businesses and events that they can get involved in.