Programs & Courses

Permaculture Design


About this Program

Earn a Certificate of Achievement in Permaculture Design.

Permaculture is an exciting, evolving field that integrates nature’s patterns when designing outdoor spaces.

Using permaculture is environmentally friendly and low maintenance. The design principles consider the natural ecosystem of an area, to understand the way that plants, animals and other organisms interact with weather and the environment, to ensure stability, resiliency and responsible use into the future. It can be applied to an individual’s backyard and municipal outdoor spaces.

This program is designed to cater to southern Alberta’s arid climate and unique growing conditions.

Graduates of this micro-credential will be able to:

  • Apply survey and mapping techniques.
  • Create designs that consider water needs, water harvesting, as well as the soil types in the region.
  • Plan permaculture designs for animal production systems, built environments, and sustainable economic systems.
  • Apply design principles to create natural patterns and plant communities taking climate and ecosystems into consideration and including interventions as part of the capstone project.

To earn a Certificate of Achievement in Permaculture Design all courses must be completed. For more information on micro-credentials, click here.




Canada-Alberta Job Grant

Canada-Alberta Job Grant
Click here
to learn about the Canada-Alberta Job Grant and how you can receive money to train existing or new employees.

Micro-credential: Permaculture Design Program Brochure

This micro-credential is delivered online. Once enrolled, students will be provided access to learning materials which can be completed on their own time by the designated completion date. An instructor will be available to answer questions and offer assistance.

This program is delivered online, with access to an instructor throughout the program. Each course takes approximately 24 hours. Students have 6 weeks to complete each course.

AGPD 100 Introduction to Permaculture serves as the first part of three courses required to complete a 72-hour micro-credential and Permaculture Design Certificate. This course covers the basics of Permaculture Design, including ethics and principles, systems theory and the local ecosystem, pattern application, climates and biogeography, design process, and the home system.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
  • Describe the depth of global problems and need for action
  • Explain the ethics and principles embedded in Permaculture
  • Demonstrate ecosystems and systems thinking
  • Use patterns found in nature and apply them in design
  • Describe the biogeographic and climate patterns of the world
  • Create basic designs using the Permaculture design process
$225 MHC online exam
AGPD 101 Permaculture Design Principles serves as the second of three courses required to complete a 72-hour micro-credential and Permaculture Design Certificate. This course covers more advanced principles of Permaculture design, including water, soils, forests, animals, aquaculture, the built environment, appropriate technology, mapping, and urban vs. rural Permaculture.

By the end of this course, student should be able to:
  •  Describe the water cycle, water movement, and conservation
  •  Explain applied ecology of natural and agroecosystems
  •  Identify soil characterization and soil building processes
  •  Describe how to use animals in Permaculture design
  •  Describe natural and cultivated aquatic systems
  •  Explain energy use and conservation in the built environment
  •  Identify what technology is appropriate for energy conservation
  •  Interpret basic maps in Permaculture design
  •  Apply Permaculture design strategies in the built environment
  •  Design and farm income challenges in the rural environment
$225 MHC online exam
AGPD 102 Permaculture Interventions and Industry Applications serves as the third, and final, course required to complete a 72-hour micro-credential and Permaculture Design Certificate. This course covers industrial applications of Permaculture design, along with more abstract design considerations including earthworks, waste and bioremediation, design for catastrophe, design for invisible structures, economic systems, ecovillages, talent show, and final design project.

By the end of this course, student should be able to:
  • Capture and store runoff by appropriate location and construction
  • Describe guidelines to closing waste loops
  • Assess personal and industry practices of resource consumption and waste
  • Identify risks, use risk evaluation, and risk mitigation
  • Identify and prevent site problems through design
  • Evaluate the consequences of legal and social environments on Permaculture design
  • Explain formal and informal economies
  • Describe the need for the triple bottom line
  • Design physical and invisible structures that support healthy communities
  • Understand Permaculture networks
  • Explain the individual’s important contributions to community
  • Demonstrate systems-based Permaculture design
$225 Capstone Project (Work-integrated learning)

Required textbook: Bill Mollison. 1988. Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual. ISBN 978-0908228010

Funding for the development of this program was provided by the Government of Alberta.