Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
LEARN TO DESIGN MORE SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES
Permaculture emerged in the 1970's as an innovative idea with the aim of creating landscapes where natgure was in perfect balance. Like the "Garden of Eden", the idealistic permaculture system would be so perfectly designed that the plants, animals, soil and humans living there would be in perfect harmony, each taking what they need to live, and each giving back what the landscape requires for sustainability.
Of course, such a perfect situation is idealistic, and perhaps not attainable; but it is possible to get closer to that ideal than what farms, gardens ands other landscapes commonly achieve.
A permaculture system is made up of soil, land, water, plants, structures, etc.
The important criteria for permaculture are inputs of low energy and high diversity; and the landscape should be designed with the following 9 principles in mind.
1. Relative location – Everything in the landscape design should be interconnected. Good design involves placing each component in the best location so that it encourages desirable relationships with all other components.
2. Multiple functions – Good designs serve lots of different functions, providing for the needs of the people, animals and plants that inhabit that space. Every design function is considered individually so it supports of the whole.
3. Multiple elements – Biological diversity is critical. Arrangement of plants and structures affect environmental condsitions. Nature of topography affgects both living and non living components.
4. Elevation planning – landscapes are three dimensional. The ground surface has depressions and mounds, slopes and flat places. There are things happening below the ground that affect everything above. And there are things above the ground too (eg. tree tops, walls, roofs etc)
5. Biological resources – A good permaculture landscape only harvests renewable energy sources (ie. Things that can be regrown or replaced in some other way).
6. Energy recycling – Energy needs should be kept sustainable by collecting, storing, and efficiently using and recycling. Vegetation is made into compost, animal excrement/manures adds to soil fertility, etc. and plants (e.g. legumes) are used to store energy in the form of nutrients in the soil.
7. Natural succession is managed. - When old life fades, new life replaces it.
8. Edges are Maximized – Throughout any design there are edges to sectors (eg. the edge of a vegetable garden, or edge of a grazing paddock). Edges are sensitive areas that should be designed for greater diversity and need special attention.
9. Diversity is Good – Permaculture systems are always a polyculture, composed of many and varied components.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE THE PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE?
IF SO, THERE ARE THREE PATHWAYS TO ACHIEVE THE PDC WITH ACS DISTANCE EDUCATION BY COMPLETING EITHER –
PERMACULTURE SYSTEMS COURSE
CERTIFICATE IN HORTICULTURE (PERMACULTURE)
ACS Distance Education is a member of the Permaculture Association (UK) and The Alternative Technology Association (Australia)
Why Study the Course?
This is a great course to choose, if you want to not only learn about the subject now;
but keep learning after you finish studying. We believe a good course should not only
develop intelligence and knowledge; but also:
- Improve your ability to communicate with others within the discipline
- Develop problem solving skills relevant to this discipline
- Expand awareness and develop creativity
- Facilitate networking (develop contacts within an industry)
- Develop attributes that set you apart from others in your industry
- Motivate you, build confidence, and more
According to some authorities, success is actually only affected about 20% by your knowledge and intelligence.
Our school works at helping you in a holistic way, to develop all of the things
mentioned above, in a way that relates to the discipline you are studying; and
in this way, giving you the capacity to apply yourself to unanticipated problems,
to understand new information as it emerges, to see and seize on new opportunities
as they reveal themselves, and to continue to grow your abilities within your discipline
as you progress through life after study.
In a world that is changing faster all the time; it is difficult to even be certain how this industry
might change between the start of your course, and the time you finish studying.
With this in mind; any course that is to have long term value in today's world, must develop
broad generic skills (as above). This approach to education is not unique to ACS, but it is
an approach tested, proven and adopted in our courses; and an approach that is also used
by some of the most successful, cutting edge universities and colleges around the world.
ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:
- Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
- An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
- Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
- A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
- Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
- The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
- No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
- No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
- Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
- The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.
How our Courses Differ
- Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
- Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
- Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
- Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
- We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.
These things cannot be always said of other colleges.
Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.
Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.
When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.
This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.
If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.