Permaculture Design, PD.

The Field Lies Open to the Intellect


“Revitalizing Sustainable Living”


“We already know “How To” build and inhabit Sustainable Systems.

Every essential problem is solved, but in the everyday lives of people, this is hardly apparent.

The wage-slave, peasant, landlord and industrialist alike are deprived of the leisure and the life spirit that is possible in a cooperative society which applies its knowledge.

Both wardens and prisoners are equally captive in the society in which we live”

Bill Mollison

Permaculture’s Foundations as a Design Science

Open Universities

From the beginning, the determination of Permaculture Institutes has been to concentrate on going to the people, not locking themselves away in fixed Institutions, unavailable to people who live in remote locations, in poverty, or who are now “illiterate” in terms of major languages (although very literate verbally, and a mine of knowledge).

Thus, teachers have given courses in very remote and sometimes dangerous areas, and will always continue to do so. These certificated courses allow students to achieve Applied Diplomas of Permaculture Design following on two or more years of activity.

Rak Tamachat, in partnership with the Sustainable Agriculture Institute, set up the Institute as an open ‘University’, and gives these certificate courses and accredited Permaculture Design Diploma in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, IWA 2, Quality Management Systems, as pertaining to Higher Education Requirements.

Here, you may look over the Standard which all S.A.I. Institutes operate in accordance with:


The International Standards Organization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.


Our wish is for every person to have access to a Certificated Permaculture Design Course, to know how to design sustainable houses, villages, economies, and land use systems.

To eventually achieve a widespread education in Permaculture, we must always concentrate on “letting teachers loose” in their own cultures, using their own languages, and teaching their own people.

However, while this work continues, the Sustainable Agriculture Institute operates as an Open University delivering knowledge of Permaculture Design and Sustainable Living to as wide an audience as possible with Permaculture Design Courses, Natural Building Courses, and Higher Level Permaculture Design Diplomas.

Educational Quality Assurance


Rak Tamachat Permaculture Research and Education Institute (Rak Tamachat) has partnered with the Sustainable Education Institute (S.A.I.) to allow for the distribution of the Permaculture Design Curriculum through the S.A.I. Learning Managment Systems (LMS).

The LMS assures that the Permaculture Design Curriculum is delivered in accordance with all International Standards for Quality Management Systems, as pertaining to Higher Education Requirements.

The S.A.I. LMS controls the Permaculture Design Learning Journey through rigorous adherence to the following:


1. Pedagogical Plan – seeks to embody a learning design, articulating it in a hierarchical structure that incorporates degrees of abstraction suitable for supporting reflection, communication, and reuse.

2. Taxonomy Plan – sets a specific organizational structure for the delivery of online Permaculture Design Curriculum; in short, it controls the curriculum management through the use of the Learning Managment Systems, LMS.

3. Curriculum Management Plan – S.A.I. provides support in the development of curriculum guides that are of high quality, well aligned, provide an adequate cognitive challenge, and articulated vertically with antecedent and subsequent learnings.

4. Quality Assurance Certification – The Quality Assurance Management Systems for application of Higher Education Requirements, as adopted and implemented by e-campus Education LMS, meets the requirements as outlined by ISO for the Standardization of Educational practices across international borders.

Permaculture and Sustainability

What is the traditional definition of “Sustainability?”

Sustainability is most often defined as:

meeting the legitimate needs of the present generation without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet their needs as well.”

This “shallow” sustainability usually focuses on making our current systems more sustainable; that is, reforming our agricultural, transportation, and energy systems by increasing efficiency and substituting non-sustainable materials and energy with more sustainable alternatives.

Permaculture Design goes beyond this simple definition by focusing on the root problem, not a quick fix solution. In Permaculture Design “The Problem is the Solution“.

For example, this type of sustainability would aim to correct our transportation crisis by creating more efficient cars which use alternative fuels.

Permaculture Design recognizes that there is a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Basic sustainability focuses on doing things right, on the means we use to accomplish an end.

Permaculture Design addresses the ends themselves.

The Permaculture Design Diploma Curriculum teaches that the correct approach to say the “Transportation Problem” would focus on the creation of higher quality of life. This would put the focus on the solution of creating lifestyles where people are able to meet their needs close to where they live so that the need for automobile transportation is greatly reduced.

The development of Sustainable businesses, societies, and communities is dependent upon those entities being comprised of highly developed individuals.

Such development means doing more with less. It means creating a higher quality of life while consuming fewer resources. Sustainability is about creating a thriving world in which we lead rich, productive, and fulfilling lives — without depleting the environment or ourselves.

To fully meet our responsibility to current and future generations, we must connect with our own inner nature and take action.

Permaculture Design Diploma & Environmental Science

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences (including ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, plant science, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, physical geography – geodesy – and atmospheric science) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.

Environmental studies also incorporate social sciences for a deeper understanding of human relationships, perceptions, and policies towards the environment. Environmental engineering focuses on design and technology in order to improve environmental quality in every aspect.


What can I do with a Permaculture Design Diploma in Environmental Science?

An environmental science degree equips you with essential skills and practical experience that could lead to a career in the environment sector or a range of other occupations.

Job Options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental education officer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental manager
  • Marine biologist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Recycling officer
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Waste management officer
  • Water quality scientist

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Environmental health practitioner
  • Landscape architect
  • Town planner
  • Toxicologist
  • Transport planner

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Who is the Permaculture Design Diploma Intended For?

Recent Permaculture Design Course Graduates

The Permaculture Diploma Program is perfect for Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Graduates who would like to take a “Deep Dive” into the world of Permaculture Design in order to help foster a possible career path in Environmental Science. You will learn what it takes to be a Professional Permaculture Consultant with Advanced Permaculture Design, including all the professional level documentation, and Permaculture Master Planning Techniques to support your Environmental Science career path.


Practicing Permaculturalists

You may have taken your Permaculture Design Course and headed straight into building your Permaculture Paradise. Now you are looking to expand your basic knowledge of Permaculture Design by learning more Advanced Permaculture Design. This could be just to make you a more well-rounded and Certified Professional Permaculturalist, or you may have aspirations to take your Permaculture Practice to the next level by trying your hand at Permaculture Consulting, teaching or working in the Environmental Science Field.


Permaculture Consultants

If you are a Practicing Permaculture Consultant, you can refresh your knowledge of Advanced Permaculture Design by learning the Permaculture Consulting Techniques as practiced by the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Design Consultancy. You will be able to compare your processes and pick up many new tips and tricks to help make your Permaculture Consultancy more profitable and better able to serve your clients and the environment at large.

Curriculum – Permaculture Design Diploma 

Requirements for the Diploma in Permaculture Design, Dip. Perm. Des.

To graduate with a Diploma in Permaculture Design, students must successfully complete:

  • All general requirements for the Permaculture Design Diploma including completion of all Coursework, Master Plans, Thesis.

Diploma Coursework

  1. Permaculture Design Course
  2. Natural Building Course
  3. Permaculture Design Consultancy Course
  4. Permaculture Teacher Training
  5. Permaculture Design Thesis

Core Permaculture Diploma Curriculum

Fields for Master Plans and Thesis


The following fields have been the basis of Diplomate Work, and form an indication of the areas that can be covered by Permaculture Diploma students for applied or theoretical degrees. Applied degrees are weighted to field projects; academic degrees are weighted towards research.

  • Required: 4 Master Plans submitted and approved by S.A.I. from the following topics.
  • Required: 1 Thesis submitted and approved by S.A.I. from the following topics.


1) Education: This includes special education, education via electronic media, or the development of educational aids.

2) Media: Many students are developing information systems based on a film, photo libraries, print or electronic systems, and some have succeeded as journalists. Authors producing a significant thesis or finding, in any area of research indicated here, may submit for a degree.

3) Site Development: This indicates work on a farm or village over a long period, working to develop Permaculture systems, community facilities or projects.

4) Site Design: People acting as consultants to a variety of projects, rural and urban, may submit for applied degrees. Planners and consultants for projects in Permaculture.

5) Community Services: For those devoting their time, often with great hardship, to populations in poverty, the fourth world (tribal peoples), disadvantaged or aged groups, and to people in urban and rural poverty.

6) Finance and Business: Developing and promoting local employment, non-monetary exchange, cash recycling in a community, cooperative endeavors, models of development, and cost-benefit analyses of real projects, accounted financially, socially, and environmentally.

7) Technical Development: People developing technical systems in transport, energy, processing systems, recycling, conservation systems or efficient appliances.

8) Resource Development: Making supporting resources available via land banks, plant or seed resources, livestock development, contract services, and other essential support systems.

9) Architecture and Building: Completion of projects demonstrating low-cost and energy-efficient housing, special purpose buildings, or the construction of villages and suburbs.

10) Research: A broad category, covering all Permaculture-related areas; a blend of the practical and theoretical is ideal.

Academic Schedule – Permaculture Design Diploma 

Note: Enrollment for the 2020 Diploma Course will open November 2019, if you have any questions please Contact Us.

The Permaculture Design Diploma Program is a continuously open-running enrollment program. There are two pathways to attaining your Certification as a Professional Permaculturalist.

1. Onsite (Rak Tamachat Campus) Learning Pathway – Practical Pathway

The On-campus pathway is an accelerated learning pathway designed to give the full Advanced Permaculture Design Diploma within a period of five months. The students will engage in full-time learning while living at the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute. The Program starts with the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Design Course – the Permaculture Design Course Schedules can be found here.

2. Distance Learning Pathway – Theoretical Pathway

The Distance Learning Pathway is a flexible learning schedule which allows the student to progress at their own pace (part-time). The program is run for a period of 2 Years, which allows ample time for the Students to complete the required coursework and final projects.

Schedule of Course Deliverables

Both the Practical and Theoretical Pathways end in the Permaculture Design Diploma Student receiving their Certification as a Professional Permaculturalist. The pathways have a set of specific Deliverables that must be completed in order for graduation to be achieved. 


Course Deliverables

  1. Permaculture Design Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of a Permaculture Master Plan
  2. Natural Building Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of a Natural Building Master Plan
  3. Permaculture Consultancy Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of a Permaculture Consultant Master Plan
  4. Permaculture Teacher Training Course – Completion of Course Works and Acceptance of 1 Lesson Plan Design as well as 1 Lecture Plan
  5. Permaculture Thesis – Acceptance of Permaculture Thesis.

Please Note: All Permaculture Master Plans and Permaculture Thesis subjects can be developed in relation to any of the Fields specified in the Permaculture Design Diploma Curriculum outlined in this page. The Natural Building Master Plan must be on item 9) Architecture and Building.

Academic Rules – Permaculture Design Diploma

Calculating Credit Hours Earned for Associate Degree in Permaculture Design


Credit Hours – Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. An Associate in Science Degree requires a minimum of 60 credit hours which can be put towards a particular Bachelor of Science Degrees. An Associate Degree (or associate’s degree) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study. In order to receive an Associate Degree in Permaculture Design, the student must complete 60 Credit Hours. 1 Credit Hour is equal to 15 Contact Hours at 50-minute intervals. 60 Credit Hours is equal to 900 Contact Hours.

Colleges may Award Students a Credit for any of the Following Reasons:

1) Experiencing one hour of class attendance or faculty instruction per week, for 15 weeks, in a course that requires two hours of additional work for every one hour of class attendance and/or instruction.

2) Performing the equivalent amount of work over a different period of time.

3) Demonstrating evidence of achievement, represented in intended learning outcomes, that is equal to an amount of work that is equivalent to experiencing one hour of class attendance or faculty instruction per week, for 15 weeks, etc.

Item three above allows for Online Universities Award Accreditation in terms of evidence of achievement, learning outcomes, assessment of prior learning and student work, instead of time.

To learn more details about University Credit Programs, download from the New America Foundation and Education Sector.

Fee Structure – Permaculture Design Diploma Program 

The Permaculture Design Diploma can be taken in 2 Learning Pathways which have different Fee Structures.


Option 1 – Distance Learning Theoretical Learning Pathway

Course Fees: 1,700 USD Total Cost for Online Diploma of Permaculture Design

  1. oPDC – Permaculture Design Course – 500 USD
  2. oNBC – Natural Building Course – 300 USD
  3. oPCC – Permaculture Consultancy Course – 300 USD
  4. oPTT – Permaculture Teachers Training – 300 USD
  5. oPDT – Permaculture Design Thesis – 300 USD

Online Diploma of Permaculture Design

Total Cost = 1,700 USD



Option 2 – On-campus 5 Months Practical Learning Pathway

A + B – C – D = Total Cost 

(A) Course Fees: 1,950 USD (Total Educational Cost for Diploma of Permaculture Design)

  1. PDC – Permaculture Design Course – 700 USD
  2. NBC – Natural Building Course – 350 USD
  3. oPCC – Permaculture Consultancy Course – 300 USD
  4. oPTT – Permaculture Teachers Training – 300 USD
  5. oPDT – Permaculture Design Thesis – 300 USD

(B) Room and Board: 2,700 USD (All-Inclusive)

  1. Private Bungalow & Food, at 20 USD per day x’s 135 Days =  2,700 USD

(15 Days already included in PDC and NBC Programs’ Prices)

(C) Less Green Jobs Program: (525 USD)

  1. (1.50 USD/Hour) x’s 350 Hours = 525 USD

(D) Less Rak Tamachat Permaculture Diploma Rebate: (125 USD)

  1. Rak Tamachat Permaculture Diploma Rebate = 125 USD

Diploma of Permaculture Design

Total Cost: A + B – C – D = 4,000 USD (All-included)

– 800 USD/Month –

– 26.65 USD/Day –



Master’s Option – Combined Permaculture Design Diploma + Master’s Degree

Total Cost = On-campus Diploma + On-campus Masters

4,000 USD – On-campus Diploma of Permaculture Design (5 months on-campus, all-inclusive)

4,000 USDOn-campus Permaculture Design Master Degree (5 months on-campus, all-inclusive)

Combined Diploma and Master Degree Program (10 Months On-campus, all-inclusive)

8,000 USD

– 800 USD/Month –

– 26.65 USD/Day –

The Green Job Program: Your First Job Placement in Sustainability

Here at Rak Tamachat, we are all about our Communal Mission to spreading the word of Sustainability through Permaculture and Natural Building Education.

We know the value of our training and always want to be the first one to employ our Graduates in Permaculture Design.

To that effect, as we operate as a Non-profit, we have devised the below scheme for Offsetting your Course Fees by working with Rak Tamachat while you are on the Diploma Program.

We can offer to repay your help by returning some of your course fees through our Green Job Program.

As to be fair to our local employees, we calculate the green job rate based on the average Thai worker’s salary, which is 8 USD for 8-hours worked per day (1 USD per hour worked).

During your Permaculture Diploma, you will have the opportunity to perfect your permaculture skills in our gardens for 350 hours. Since these hours will be spent improving both your talents and our farm’s capacities, we will pay you back for those hours worked.

And since we train you as a Permaculturalist, we equate your work to be one of a more skilled worker, adding 50% value to the normal Green Job Program, at 1.50 USD per hour worked.

350 hours x’s 1.50 USD = 525 USD

Also, upon Graduation, Rak Tamachat will also extend to you a Reference Letter to aid in your future employment. A win-win for both you and Rak Tamachat: you gain real-world experience and, through your first job, we gain your help!

Financial Aid – Permaculture Design Diploma 

In order to make sure that Permaculture can be more acceptable to all, we have devised a Finacial Aid Scheme to allow for students to get financial discounts on their course by sharing the Permaculture Experience with their Friends.

In order to get the Finacial Aid discounts, you only need to click the below links and share with your friends about your Permaculture Design Diploma Learning Journey.

Once you share, you will receive a discount code by email which can be applied to the course cost, giving you a 10% Off of the total Diploma Course Price.


Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation’s Student Grants

Thanks to the Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation, one does no longer need to worry about burdening oneself with student loans in order to receive a great education in Sustainability.

Endowed by the Wickboldt Family, The Rak Tamachat Sustainable Development Foundation means to assure the future of Sustainable Education through the award of grants.

Click below to learn more about The Rak Tamachat Permaculture Foundation’s Grants program:

Scholarships – Permaculture Design Diploma

Rak Tamachat believes that Permaculture and Volunteerism have the power to change the World.

Through the World-Changer Scholarship, Rak Tamachat aims to help by allowing you the opportunity to help others! Other than the Financial Aid it will afford you, we truly hope that our scholarship will allow you to help your local Community and, hopefully, fulfill your lifelong passion for community aid.

It’s that easy: give of yourself to your local community and save money on your studies!

Learn more about the World-Changer Challenge below:

Open Admissions – Permaculture Design Diploma

The Sustainable Agriculture Institute, S.A.I. operates as an open university and has an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. S.A.I. employs specific teaching methods, such as openly supported learning or distance education.

You can learn more about S.A.I.’s Open Educational Philosophies below:

  1. Future of Online Education Manifesto
  2. Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals
  3. Code of Ethics


How to Apply

Early enrollment for the 2020 onsite Diploma Courses is now opened!!

You can apply for the Permaculture Design Diploma Program by clicking the link below. Make a reservation for the date at which you desire to start your Permaculture Diploma journey. 

You can make a deposit to reserve your place in the Diploma Program, as spaces are limited.

Regular enrollment for the 2020 online Diploma Courses will open on January 1st, 2020. From that date forth, you may enroll and start your Diploma Program at any time.

If you have any questions, or if you experience any kind of problem during the reservation process, please Contact Us.

Not Convinced? Why Not Take Our Free Permaculture Design Course Introduction!


We love being able to offer to the world something that is Truly Free!

The Sustainable Agriculture Institute and Rak Tamachat Permaculture Institute have offered to the world two complete Chapters of the Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual – as taught on our Physical Permaculture Design Courses – for Free in the Online Permaculture Design Course Introduction.

Also feel free to share this amazing opportunity with those who may not be able to take a PDC due to poor circumstances. We think everyone has the right to know about Permaculture!