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Essential Information

Please read carefully before applying for the Practical Sustainability Course

Course dates from September 2019

The course dates match Bristol school term times including all holidays.

Term 1 Tuesday 10 September to Thursday 24 October 2019

Term 2 Tuesday 5 November to Thursday 19 December 2019

Term 3 Tuesday 7 January to Thursday 13 February 2019

Term 4 Tuesday 25 February to Thursday 2 April 2019

Term 5 Tuesday 21 April to Thursday 21 May 2019

Term 6 Tuesday 2 June to Thursday 16 July 2019

Course Hours

Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am to 5.30pm and Thursday 9.30am to 1.00pm. The total teaching hours are 15.5 per week (not including break times). You need to be able to commit to attending regularly over the year.


Full fee is £2,895 with a limited number of concessionary places at £2,295.

If you would like a concessionary place please request this in your application after reading guidelines on who can apply. Concession places are limited so please only ask if you have no other option. We are happy to discuss your situation if you are unsure if you qualify.

To confirm your place pay a non-refundable £550 deposit. You can then pay in two ways. Either…

• Pay the remaining amount in full by 31st August by bank transfer.

• Or agree to pay the remainder by instalments. Details of instalment plans here.

The fee covers all tuition and field trip accommodation. The only extra cost is shared petrol costs on field trips.


Aspects of the course are physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. Please let us know on application about any issue that may affect your ability to do the course. We strive to be inclusive and are happy to discuss any support we can offer to enable you to participate. We will offer you a place if we can reasonably provide for your needs whilst making sure you are safe and getting value from the course.


We welcome people from all backgrounds and value diversity.

Course Structure

Modules are taught as a mix of classroom and outdoor practical learning and field visits. Classroom sessions will be a mix of lectures, participatory workshops, film, slides, discussions and practical activities. During the winter months we spend more time in the classroom and in spring and summer we are out on field trips, in the garden and building.

See the full Course Curriculum and Tutors Biographies for more details

Design Assignments

At the end of each module there will be a design assignment. You will 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, Simms Hill Harvest, Solar Sense and many more.

Field Trips

There will be a range of field trips in Bristol and further afield for example in Devon, Wales, Dorset and Gloucestershire. Travel arrangements for these trips will be made at the start of each term. You will be given full details of all these at the start of the year. We travel by car-share and share petrol costs.

In previous years field 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 indoor classroom sessions will take place at the beautiful Gasworks studio in St Werburghs. The venue is easily accessible by bike, walking and bus and train routes. The venue has on street parking and bike racks in the garden. We use other local venues for some classes, detailed on the timetable at the start of the year.


We regularly update our library of over 350 of the most relevant books on all aspects of Practical Sustainability. Books are available to borrow.


The course is deliberately not accredited. We choose to teach for the love of learning, enabling students to approach the curriculum from all angles and develop diverse skills within a collaborative culture. We provide a high quality education experience and our tutors have extensive teaching and practical experience. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this.

Permaculture is in the doing. Past students have appreciated the non-pressured learning environment and the opportunities this provides for them to discover and explore their passion.

We have a great reputation and students make connections within our extensive network of practitioners, projects and organisations. Our students have been successful in finding employment, further education, and other opportunities. We are confident that the knowledge and skills gained on this course will be valuable 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 your Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design portfolio.

Student contact

We will invite all prospective students to an open evening with us and previous and current students in July. We will give a short presentation and answer questions about the course and allow plenty of time for informal discussion.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Shift-Plus – Over the last 3 year PSC students have organised their own Shift-Plus events and workshops. These have included everything from Welding to Food Fermentation. It is an opportunity for you to share and learn from the group and past PSC students. Many extra-curricular activities spring up on the course. Year 2 students formed a course choir called the ‘Shifty-Singers’.


If you have interest and time we can help you find a placement with one of the many projects in Bristol either during or after the course.