Biodynamic Work Based Learning
There is no better way of learning about biodynamic farming and gardening than out on a farm or in the garden alongside an experienced biodynamic practitioner.
For the last twenty-five years, the Biodynamic Agricultural Association has offered a practical two year work based learning diploma in biodynamic agriculture and horticulture. This takes place on well established biodynamic holdings around the country and is open to everyone aged 21 and over. (In exceptional circumstances younger candidates will also be considered). Learners usually live and work on the farm in exchange for board, lodging and training. Their practical tuition is supported by weekly tutorials and a programme of seminars and block courses. Learners undertake a project on a subject of their choice during their second year.
The objective of the course is to gain basic agricultural / horticultural skills, understand the principles and practice of biodynamic techniques and create a foundation for developing an independent understanding of the earth, life and human beings from a spiritual perspective.
A new milestone has now been reached in that from autumn 2010 students can work towards gaining internationally recognised Diploma in Biodynamic Agriculture. The diploma is awarded by the Crossfields Institute and is Pearson Assured.
The Biodynamc Association is a member of the Crossfields Institute which provides an umbrella structure for learning organisations, educators and researchers working within further and higher education. Its particular focus is with those organisations seeking to develop a transparent, spiritual approach to learning and education.
Biodynamic: Principles and Practice
The College Comes to You!
Our distance learning programme is for people who have a real interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of biodynamics in its anthroposophical context. Whether you are a farmer, grower or back yard gardener, if you want to learn about Biodynamics this course is for you!
The course consists of 10 modules which can be taken all at once or one-by-one. Each module costs £365. Every three months a module will be available on line– every module consists of a module reader, live online seminars, recorded short films and online tutorials with one of our teachers.
Students from all over the world can interact with each other through the online forum, forging a new network of biodynamic practitioners.
The Distance Learning course is aimed at people who are working in a land-based profession: farmers, growers, vineyard managers, smallholders, organic and biodynamic accreditation inspectors, as well as home and amateur gardeners.
Emerson College is offering a one or two year full time and additional short taster courses in
Sustainable Agricultural Management - New Level 5 Diploma
A new training with a focus on developing and deepening sustainable agricultural practice with an emphasis on biodynamic and organic practice and methods will begin at Emerson College, Sussex, UK in September’15.
This new Level 5 Diploma offers an opportunity to study sustainable agriculture and work intensively on biodynamic and organic principles and practice. It aims to help students deepen the theoretical, practical and social skills essential for effective work in this field.
This training has been developed by Emerson College in collaboration with organisations dedicated to the development of sustainable agriculture. It brings together faculty drawn from Emerson College, Crossfields Institute, the Biodynamic Association and Demeter Certification UK.
The programme integrates seminars delivered by subject specialists, guided land-based research projects and self-directed study. Collaborative work and inquiry is at the heart of the course. Students will engage practically with the gardens and grounds of Emerson College as well as with neighbouring farms and agricultural initiatives
An experienced faculty supports both the study, project design and practical aspects of the course while enabling students to develop their independent study and research skills. Social entrepreneurship and leadership skills are also an important part of the curriculum.
This training is open to those with previous experience in biodynamic, organic or sustainable agriculture, as well as to students who have practical experience on the land and a passion for a sustainable future.
“The future will be challenging for land entrepreneurs. New skills and insights need to be developed in the environmental, social and economic sphere. Therefor this new designed course is aimed to go beyond conventional farm/land management. I am exited to be part of this journey into a better future.”
Kai Lange, course leader.
Over two years, the course will cover:
Emerson has been running programmes in biodynamic agriculture over many years. Emerson College is a centre of education for adults that addresses the need for human approaches to today’s urgent questions. Theoretical study is combined with community participation and practical work to integrate learning through head, heart and hands.
For further information contact Deborah Watts
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, England RH18 5JX
Tel: +44 (0)1342 822238 email: registrar (at) emerson.orguk
A Level 3 qualification in agriculture or a related field is required for entry to this training, however it is also open to students who do not have such a qualification, but have relevant life experience and study skills. Evidence of such experience and skills will need to be provided.
Individual Learning Plan
For students interested in pursuing parts (or the whole) of this training for personal or professional development, rather than for an accredited diploma, an individual learning plan can be negotiated with a mentor. Please contact the college for more details.
What we mean under Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture
Biodynamic agriculture was the first organised holistic approach to sustainable farming practice. Biodynamics seeks to work with the soil, crops, and animals on a farm, garden, orchard or vineyard in such a way that they strengthen and support each other. Biodynamics focuses on increasing the vitality and resilience of the crops and livestock through the use of special herbal preparations. It was first articulated in a series of lectures in 1924 by Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner. It has been researched and developed ever since, and is now practiced widely around the world.
Organic agriculture also works to support the health and well-being of soil, plant, animal and human being as well as the environment. It was established in the late 1930’s and 1940’s by Sir Albert Howard, J.I. Rodale and Lady Eve Balfour. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) was founded in 1972 and articulated the four principles that form the foundation for organic agriculture around the world.
Sustainable agriculture has evolved over the past two decades to be a more inclusive term for all agriculture which is striving for environmental health, economic profitability and social equity. Again sustainable agriculture works towards health of the environment and all aspects of an agricultural system, seeing solutions that are least the toxic and least energy intensive, whatever those solutions may be. Sustainable agriculture includes and embraces both organic and biodynamic agriculture, as well as recognising that working towards sustainability is a process in which farmers engage with the aim of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
for detailed information: