Back to top

Permaculture Design 3: Practicum

  • Next course: March 2 to April 2, 2020
  • Prerequisite: You must have taken either the Permaculture Fundamentals or Permaculture: Ecosystem Mimicry Course (or both) to register for the Practicum.
  • Enrollment limited 
  • Cost: $325 
  • View full course syllabus
  • See FAQ for information about earning a Permaculture Design Certificate for completion of all three permaculture courses.
  • Questions about the course? Email
  • Refund policy

About the course

This course provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Permaculture gardens, farms, and backyards balance the provision of human needs with improvement of local ecosystem health. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing.

Writing and reflection are key elements of processing information and the instructor will take an active role by providing feedback on your assignments and journal entries. Students also have the opportunity to learn from one another through an open forum in which you can share your ideas with others.

The purpose of this final course in the permaculture series is to apply principles and ecosystem understanding to the permaculture design process. Students will engage in a personal design project of their choosing and walk through the steps to complete a meaningful landscape plan including design concepts, budget details, and strategies for implementation.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define permaculture and describe key elements of permaculture systems.
  • Describe the parts of a map and create a base map for your design site. 
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of current environmental characteristics. 
  • Set specific and detailed goals for designs. 
  • Develop design concepts and conduct necessary research. 
  • Create accurate project budgets and plans for implementation.
  • Compile design work and present as a whole system.

The prerequisite requirement for admission into this course is completion of either  Permaculture: Fundamentals of Ecological Design or Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry

Most of our participants take our distance courses for life enrichment or professional development. Students who complete all three classes with a finished portfolio that meets the standards of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute will receive an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.

Participants do not receive Cornell University credit for taking any of the courses. Rather, for each course you will receive a certificate of participation from our Office of Continuing Education and Continuing Education Units. If you are enrolled in a university undergraduate or graduate program and want to receive academic credit for a course, please ask your faculty advisor to consider approving your taking this as individual study. The Office of Continuing Education certificate will be evidence of your completion. 

To get the most out of the experience, expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per week on the lessons and assignments. The course is offered through the software Moodle, an easy-to-use online interface that you will view through your personal computer's web browser. Reliable, consistent access to a good Internet connection and a modern/current web browser are essential. You will need to have Javascript enabled and you should have common plugins installed such as Quicktime Player and Acrobat Reader. 

Course Schedule:

  • Introduction Week: Welcome & Introductions
  • Week 1: Goals Articulations
  • Week 2-3: Site Assessment 
  • Week 4: Schematic Design
  • Week 5-6: Final Design

View full course syllabus