Essential Information

Please read this information carefully before applying to the Practical Sustainability Course.

Course dates

The course dates match Bristol school term times including all holidays.  Dates for the course commencing September 2016 are as follows.

Term 1 Tuesday 6 September to Thursday 20 October 2016

Term 2 Tuesday 1 November to Thursday 15 December 2016

Term 3 Tuesday 3 January to Thursday 9 February 2017

Term 4 Tuesday 21 February to Thursday 6 April 2017

Term 5 Tuesday 25 April to Thursday 25 May 2017

Term 6 Tuesday 6 June to Thursday 20 July 2017

Course Hours

Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am to 5.30pm and Thursday 9.30am to 1.30pm. 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.


• The Fee for the one year Practical Sustainability Course is £2,495.
• A non-refundable deposit of £550 is required to secure your place.
• The remainder of your fee is to be paid before the first day of term (8 September 2015)
• A limited number of concessionary places are available at £2,195. Please request on appliation.  
• In some circumstances you can arrange to pay by instalments. Please request this on application. Details of instalment payments 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 can be 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 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.

Field trips include; 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 and bus and train routes.  The venue also has  parking and bike racks. 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 300 of the most relevant books on all aspects Practical Sustainability. Books are available to borrow.


The course is not accredited. We provide a high quality education experience and our tutors have extensive teaching and practical experience. 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. Permaculture is in the doing. We have a great reputation and students make connections within our extensive network of practitioners, projects and organisations. Past students have appreciated the non-pressured learning environment.

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.

We are also in discussion with the Permaculture Association UK as to how our course can count towards the Permaculture Diploma.


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. We can put you in email contact with current or past students if you’d like to ask them questions about the course before you apply.

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 Chicken Plucking to Welding to Food Fermentation. It is an opportunity for you to share and learn from the group and past PSC students.

Volunteering  If you have passion and time we can help you find a placement with one of the many projects in Bristol.

Take it where you want to go. Many extra curricular activities spring up on the course. Year 2 students formed a course choir called the ‘Shifty-Singers’. Here is a video of their first ever performance of the ‘Roundhouse Song’, dedicated to Tony Wrench.

Contact us to request a booking form.