Science and nature courses in London

Look to the stars or stay closer to home with a wide range of topical and specialist short courses on subjects including astronomy, evolution, ecosystems and genetics that are ideal for anyone curious about our planet and what lies beyond it.

Read City Lit tutor Brenna Boyle's guide to London's diverse wildlife.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Browse our science and nature courses below and enrol today!

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  1. Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 20 Sep 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    A leisurely walk through back garden astronomy. Learn how to find your way around the constellations, whether to buy a telescope, how to find planets and look safely at the sun. Find out why astronomy is good for you.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  2. Introduction to machine learning

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 21 Sep 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    One of the great advances in technology is that machines can learn without humans teaching them explicit rules – e.g. letting machines train on samples of speech allows Siri to recognise your commands. Machine learning is a large part of artificial intelligence, and a mystery to most of us. This practical course teaches you how to program learning algorithms in Python. We will cover fundamentals of classification, natural language processing, financial predictions and much more. You will learn elements of data mining, how to choose a learning algorithm, and how to tweak parameters of the algorithm. We will briefly cover the theory behind the algorithms, so some maths knowledge is useful, but not required. To enrol, you must have experience with Python or a similar programming language, e.g. have taken City Lit’s Introduction to Python or Introduction to R programming course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £279.00
    Senior fee: £279.00
    Concession: £170.00

  3. Stay safe online

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 22 Sep 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    What does identify theft entail? What risks do you run? Learn how to protect yourself from identify theft on this course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £30.00

  4. Cosmology

    Cosmology

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 1 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Do you want to know about the origin and future of the universe? Will the universe expand forever? Discuss the latest evidence. Examine the current theories. Repeat the most important cosmological observation ever made!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £149.00
    Senior fee: £149.00
    Concession: £66.00

  5. Photo by Brent Keane from Pexels

    Science guest lecture: Professor Hilary Downes on Volcanoes: How, when, where?

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 2 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Hilary Downes, Professor of Geochemistry, Birkbeck, University of London, helps us to understand why volcanic actvity occurs in different parts of the Earth.



    Prof Downes’s work in geological sciences has included research into volcanic deposits in Canada and France as well as studies of fragments of the Earth's mantle ("xenoliths") which are brought to the surface in volcanic eruptions. Now Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck, she also works in the study of meteorites in collaboration with colleagues at the Natural History Museum and NASA.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  6. Genes, genomes and genetic manipulation

    Genes, genomes and genetic manipulation

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 4 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Want to learn more about the biggest revolution in biomedical sciences? Genetics and DNA manipulation increasingly influence our lives. Learn about the basics of DNA technology, its uses and how it affects us.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  7. Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

    What secrets do your bones hold? - Introduction to forensic anthropology

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 10 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    In recent years, forensic anthropology has made it into popular culture with crime scene analyseis, bone analysis, DNA analyses, finger print analysis etc. Looking beyond these popular representations, this course introduces you to the some of the aspects of forensic anthropology with regard to skeletons. Join us, and learn more about the secrets bones hold.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  8. Introduction to Cloud computing

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 13 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Cloud computing uses the internet to provide shared computing resources on demand. Learn about the major operators in this business and how to avoid expensive hardware costs by renting what you need when you need it.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £30.00

  9. Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

    Stargazing at home: From your window to the Universe (October)

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 14 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Two urban astronomers – Rad and Tom, formerly of the Royal Observatory Greenwich – will take you on a topical tour of the seasonal night sky, going beyond the veil of light pollution to explore the cosmic sights that we can all find from home. We will show you how to plan your stargazing session from maps to apps, and find the things that most people miss. We’ll also teach you how to capture the stars with the cameras you already own.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  10. Image credit: "Geology Snow Turret Arch Sandstone Winter" via Max Pixel

    Introduction to geology

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 18 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Geology, the study of solid Earth, rocks and the processes by which they change, is a vast subject covering billions of years of history and offering insights into areas such as past climates and the history of life. Discover more about the underlying principles of this important science such as plate tectonics, how rocks are made and the evolution of life. Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from University College London) has a special interest in hominin evolutionary research and is also committed to introducing geology to a wider audience.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  11. Introduction to artificial intelligence

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 18 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk say it's humanity's biggest threat, but you use it every day. Learn what artificial intelligence is, what it will become, and how it works.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  12. PC maintenance: an introduction

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 21 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Learn how to troubleshoot and solve common computer hardware problems. Discover what is inside a computer, how it works and how to upgrade computer components.

    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £199.00

  13. Science reading group: The Bone Woman by Clea Koff

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 27 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Do you enjoy reading about science but sometimes want to discuss and confirm your understanding with other readers? Join our science reading group and benefit from the support of an expert in the field. In this reading group we discuss Clea Koff's well-receceived book 'The Bone Woman: A forensic anthropologists's search for truth in the mass graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo', focusing on the parts on the Rwandan Genocide and the role of forensic anthropology in the International Tribunal of Justice.



    Agata is both an archaeologist and a forensic anthropologist with experience in the UK and Europe. She has worked at major infrastructure projects in the UK as an archaeologist, team leader and osteologist and regularly helps both prosecuters and archaeologists in other European countries where she helps the prosecution answer questions about deceased people’s identification, life and death and assists archaeologists examine the health and demography of past populations.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  14. Science guest lecture: Professor Catherine Loveday on Curating the self through memories, music and belongings

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 28 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Being able to relive moments from our past is crucial for knowing who we are and who/where/what we want to be. It is the social glue that binds us and it allows us to set goals and make decisions. In this talk I will use empirical evidence to demonstrate how autobiographical memories are distributed across our lifespan and the crucial role they play in shaping our sense of self. I will also explore the nature and relevance of the relationship between our autobiographical memories and music, pictures, clothes and tangible objects. Finally I will discuss the importance of this for people with memory loss, and those who have been displaced.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  15. Natural selection and evolution theory

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 2 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    How have scientists thought abouts how species changed over time from the 19the century onwards? This course will introduce you to natural selection and evolution theory, discussing key concepts and how they emerged in the context of Victorian intellectual and religious settings.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £69.00
    Senior fee: £69.00
    Concession: £30.00

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