UCC ACE Short courses

Permaculture: Design for Sustainable and Healthy Living

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Permaculture: Design for Sustainable and Healthy Living

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Eight weeks, Monday 7-10pm, from 27 January to 16 March 2020 plus one full-day field trip with lunch

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €370 (includes one full-day field trip with lunch) See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 17 January 2020

  • Venue

    Western Gateway Building, Room G13, UCC

  • Start Date

    Monday 27 January 2020

Course Outline

This interactive course is for everyone who wishes to learn more about how eco-systems work and how this understanding can lead to a more sustainable way of life.  An important aspect of this course is enhancing your connections to yourself, to others and to nature. You will gain insights into many areas of life, from households to urban gardens, small holdings, woodlands, and how cities can be transformed into living landscapes.  The main focus is to get inspiration for your own lives whether you have a garden or own a house or not.

Each session will follow an experiential and interactive format where aspects of sustainable living are introduced and applications to participants’ lives are explored.

  1. Sustainability – taking care of the seventh generation after us.
  2. How Eco-Systems work. What is unsustainable about current lifestyles? Permaculture Principles and how they can help to make positive. Understanding Energy – Resources – Inputs – Outputs – Functions. On the level of a garden, of your household and of your town/community.   
  3. Everything gardens. Everywhere. Garden design for food and health.
  4. Ecology of a house. Gardening on window sills, back yards, small urban spaces. Food and medicine for free – Foraging in cities/ in the country. How a garden system can work with natural cycles. How thinking in garden systems can inform other areas of life. Retro-fitting a house for energy efficiency and health. Renewable energy. Personal energy use. How your personal choices influence your own life and society.
  5. Natural Building materials and techniques. Cob, Straw, Wood, Stone, Lime.
  6. Sustainable Woodland Management - Forest Gardens – Agro-Forestry. How ‘Green Building’ is different from ‘Natural Building’. Be your own architect – approaches to design that can benefit everyone.
  7. Community-based approaches to sustainable living.
  8. Re-designing your life, your business, your family using permaculture. - The Transition Movement - Community Gardens and Allotments - Community Supported Agriculture. What is happening in the world, in Ireland, in Cork? How to get involved?
  9. Whole Day field trip to The Hollies Centre for Sustainability near Enniskeane.  This day will include lunch (pizza from a wood-fired clay oven), tours of cob houses, organic gardens, woodlands and demonstrations of cob building, and food foraging. It will be on a Saturday or Sunday, date to be arranged with the group at the beginning of the course. Transport to The Hollies is either by Bus Eireann from Cork to Enniskeane with pick up from there or by private cars (and lift share).

Course Practicalities

This evening class (3 hours class for 8 weeks plus 1 fieldtrip c. 10am to 5 pm) is experiential, interactive and participatory. An extensive and relevant reading list and internet resource links are provided for optional further reading. These additional resources will enhance your learning but are not a requirement for benefiting from the course.

Who teaches this course:

Thomas Riedmuller Hns BA , originally from Germany, has been in Ireland since 1998. Thomas is a co-founder of The Hollies Centre of Practical Sustainability ttp://thehollies.ie  He teaches Permaculture Design and other modules at Kinsale College and works as a freelance Communication Trainer and Mediator.


Short courses are non-assessed

Why Choose This Course

This course is beneficial for everyone who is hoping to live more sustainably, whether or not they have access to a gardening space or own a house.  The course is very participatory. Lecturing is kept to a minimum. There is an element of personal development in this course. However, participants can choose to what degree they engage in this element, whether to volunteer for experiential exercises or to just watch them happen. The field trip to The Hollies Centre for Sustainability will clearly illustrate many aspects of the course.


Students must be minimum eighteen years at course commencement

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €370 (includes one full-day field trip with lunch).

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2020. Fees are listed in each course description. Students register and pay fees before course commencement as follows:

1. Register and pay online by clicking the Apply Now button below. Course commencement is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

2. Payment may also be made by credit or debit card, cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to UCC and these should be returned together with a completed application form to Short Courses, Adult Continuing Education, The Laurels, Western Road. Application forms are available from the office or they may be downloaded from the link below.

3. Students may also hand in completed application forms to the office at ACE between 9:15am and 5pm each day prior to the closing date. We regret we are unable to accept cash.

Application Form Jan 2020

Apply Now

Contact details for this course

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact