Full Time Ecological Design Study Programme:

Our current plans are to run 2 BTEC Diplomas as to make up a full-time 2 year study programme. These are vocational qualifications, which are equivalent to 3 A levels. We aim to work with Pearson, the BTEC awarding body, to design a new qualification for Ecological Design & Communication, which will be the main qualification we offer.

This qualification will be primarily coursework based, rather than exam based. Maths, English will be embedded into activities and learning throughout the course. We may also offer additional Maths and English GCSE’s for our BTEC students. Art, Photography, Creative Writing and Video will also be incorporated throughout the course as the students record and reflect on their learning experience in their assessed learning journals. Students will also be encouraged and assisted to use these creative methods in their design project and assignment work submissions.

Additionally, we aim to offer smaller qualifications within the main course of study; specifically either the CPCAB Level 2 Award in Effective Listening, or the Level 2 Introduction to Counselling Skills Award. We may also incorporate a Permaculture Design Certificate and are looking into other short professionally orientated qualifications.

Start Date:

September 2021


It is still too early for formal applications, however you can register your interest via our online survey, or by completing an expression of interest form. We will keep you updated of developments, invite you to open evenings and events, and notify you when we are accepting applications.

Indicative Course Content:

We are in the process of designing our curricula. We will be consulting with potential students, parents and industry/employer contacts to help us in this design process. If you would like to have an input to this, please let us know your thoughts via our survey or expression of interest form. 

Year 1

Induction Programme

Building student confidence and friendships, focusing on aspirations and wellbeing strategies. Effective Listening and Communication skills. Activities may well be residential and adventurous eg. Trekking on Dartmoor, Camping, Bushcraft skills

Module 1

Living System Designs; 

Fundamental principles of permaculture design, ecological building techniques; How societies, communities and individuals can live with each other and the land in sustainable lifestyles. Activities include: Cob building practice, Horticultural practice, Permaculture design challenge. Visiting various horticultural & farming practices in South West.

Module 2

Sustainable Product Designs; 

Cradle to Cradle design & manufacturing initiatives, renewable energy solutions. The Circular Economy. Sustainable design solutions in industry. Ethical business. Social Action & Community Engagement. Activities include: A Sustainable product design & build challenge. Visiting manufacturers and designers.

Module 3

Outdoor Learning: 

Adventure Activities, Leadership Training & Teamwork, Nature Awareness, Bushcraft, Environmental Education, Preparation for term 4. There will be a strong emphasis on personal development and understanding, reviewing and setting new aspirations. Meeting the challenges of entering adulthood. Basic Counselling Skills.

Module 4 (year 2)

Work Placement:

Students will be enabled to participate in a work experience placement in an area of their choice. They will complete a research and reflective evaluation diary to maximise the learning potential of the experience and help them plan for their future. They will also be assisted in preparing for and researching employment, entrepreneurial or Higher Education opportunities.

Module 5 & 6

Extended Self Initiated Project:

With appropriate mentoring support, students will carry out an extended research, development and realisation project inspired by the work and learning they have done on the course so far. This project will be 'molded' around the students own interests and aspirations.

Embedded learning throughout the course:

Maths and English skills development. How to communicate and collaborate in groups. Social Skills.Health and Safety Awareness. Nature Connection. Empathic listening. Eco-literacy and Deep Ecology. Personal development, self awareness and reflection. Problem solving. Creative approaches to presenting research, design and documentation for coursework (including photography, illustration, moving image, digital design software). Social & Ethical responsibility. Maintaining personal wellbeing. Marketing and promotion, social media communication.