Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma
The Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma is a 9-month program that provides training for participants who are interested in creating resilient and regenerative systems and lifestyles within the context of Permaculture design processes, tools, methods and strategies.
Providing an immersive curriculum in permaculture design, this training goes above and beyond basic training and includes courses in:
- Foundational Permaculture concepts including:
- Ethics and principles and Indigenous perspectives
- Pattern literacy including:
- Mapping and design methods
- Ecological literacy including:
- Mushrooms, plants & animals, soils, water, ecological restoration, bioremediation and herbalism
- Design literacy including:
- Organizational planning, governance, economy, community building & development, facilitation, natural building and applied design.
Length: 9 months
Offered: yearly beginning in February
Hours: 720 total
Program Enrolment: Maximum 18
My experience in the Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma has been life altering in all of the best ways. The way I look at the world, at our ecosystems and at our history as individuals and a society has forever been changed. The value of understanding regenerative farming, sustainable practices and how to thrive while practicing permaculture principles are priceless. I am grateful for all of the instructors that shared their passions with us and continue to plant seeds of inspiration and knowledge for a brighter future.
– Nikki Wilkinson, Alumnus
Why Pacific Rim College?
What You’ll Learn:
Key Learning Outcome #1
To strategically design, implement and steward abundant, resilient and regenerative systems through the application of appropriate permaculture principles, techniques, design methods and processes.
Key Learning Outcome #2
Earth Care: To understand and care for the natural ecology by developing proficiency in building soil, performing animal, mushroom, plant and tree care, sustainable water and energy management, bioremediation and natural building.
Key Learning Outcome #3
People Care: To understand and care for the social ecology via knowing the history of Traditional People and practices and to build healthy communities through placemaking, participatory and inclusive practices and herbalism.
Key Learning Outcome #4
Future Care: To become aware of and engage in local restoration work, ethical wildcrafting, perennial gardening, traditional skill building, employment and life planning.
Key Learning Outcome #5
Transition: Be able to effectively integrate, apply and share new understandings and experiences of Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems into your personal life, land, livelihood and community.
To me, the PDRE program embodies holism in every sense of the word. It is a re-remembrance of what it means to be a human on this earth, and reminds us how to co-create with the land and its people in an inventive, harmonious way that celebrates the unique gifts and contributions of all. When I think back to all that I have experienced through this program, I recall how it felt to make a hawthorn tincture, or learn how to sheet mulch, or taste a medlar for the first time. It has taught me a deeper, more grounded way of interacting with the past and the future in this pivotal time on earth – honouring where we come from, learning how to be a good ancestor.
– Dominique Argan, Alumnus
Core Program Instructors
Mark is a co-founder of the City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon, and founder and principal of Communitecture, Inc.
Christina has 15 years teaching experience in organic horticulture, landscape design, and plant ID.
Kym is a dynamic woman who homesteads, Teaches Permaculture, Runs a Holistic Healing Practice, Mentors others, and is the Dean of the School of Permaculture Design at Pacific Rim College.
Shima Hashemian is a Medical Herbalist and the co-founder of Heartsease Herbs.
Delvin is a community gardener and permaculture design educator with 20 years experience.
Ian Browning has 20+ years experience as an educator in the fields of technology and environment.
Leila Darwish is a community organizer, bioremediation educator, author, and disaster response and recovery worker.
Judith is an ethnoecologist of British ancestry raised here in W̱SÁNEĆ territory.
Milo has been managing farms and installing water harvesting earthworks in various climates for nearly a decade.
Lindsay practices herbalism in her home community of Fernwood, Victoria and is a happy gardener, yogi, and mother.
This program was a pivotal event in my life. It allowed me to integrate previous schooling in the environmental field and opened me up to a new way of learning. Every day was an engaging adventure; I was passionate about almost all the subjects covered. Besides the absolute thrill of learning how to grow your own food and medicine, I also got to develop my mapping, design, and presentation skills. Learning in such a close-knit community was also very beneficial for me, it softened and changed many of my oh-so-tightly held perspectives. I feel renewed confidence to re-enter the environmental workforce with a much more nuanced worldview, stronger skills as well as a variety of new hands-on skills, eventually starting my own business/farm in the near future.”
Below is a list of all courses included in the Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma program. Please click on course links below to see more course information including descriptions and prerequisites.
Permaculture Design Literacy
Permaculture Ecological Literacy
Permaculture Foundational Concepts
Permaculture Pattern Literacy
This program is offered primarily at the college’s partner farm, Tiny Tree Herb Farm. Some classes may take place off-site or online including other farms and our main downtown campus location in Market Square.
Tiny Tree Herb Farm is located near the coastal community of Brentwood Bay overlooking the Malahat on the beautiful and fertile Saanich peninsula, about 25 minutes north of our downtown campus.
Pacific Rim College is committed to educating the highest quality industry professionals, and we offer priority acceptance to applicants who demonstrate the highest potential for success. Admission into the Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma program at Pacific Rim College is on a competitive basis, and applicants will be evaluated based on academic achievement, humanitarian activities, community involvement, program-related experience, communication skills, professionalism, emotional maturity, independence, ambition, and passion.
Admission requires successfully meeting the following minimum criteria:
- A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. Applicants without a high school diploma or equivalent are welcome to apply and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for mature student status.
- A minimum grade of 60% in previous coursework. All grades will be taken into consideration with emphasis on related language and science-based courses, such as but not limited to general English, general science, creative and professional writing, biology, and chemistry.
- Written and spoken English language competency. Applicants may be required to submit an official score report from an English proficiency exam such as TOEFL or iELTS upon request.
To apply, please click on the link below.
The Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma program is a 9-month program offered from February through November. We do not have a set deadline for applications and will continue to accept students up until the start of classes provided there is space within the program, however, programs do fill prior to the semester start, so we recommend applying 6 months in advance.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees for the Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Program are broken down as follows:
– A $250 non-refundable registration fee and a signed student contract is required for acceptance into this program.
– Tuition for the first semester is $5725. The second and third semesters are $2862.50 each. Payment is due 15 days prior to the published start date of each semester.
– A $150 program supply fee is due with each semester’s tuition payment.
Please click here for a description of Academic Fees in PDF format.
This program is approved for Canada Student Loans. British Columbia residents can apply for student loans online through StudentAid BC. For non-British Columbia residents, please visit hrsdc.gc.ca for information about Canada Student Loans.
For a list of all financial aid programs available to PRC students, please visit our Financial Aid page.
Graduates of the Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma program will have the distinction of having completed an unprecedented program. They will be confident leaders in the field of Permaculture and can seek employment as Permaculture consultants and designers, greenhouse/nursery managers, horticulturists, sustainable farmers, natural building apprentices, and sustainable community developers.