Science and nature courses - Online Courses

Spanning weekdays, evenings, and weekends, City Lit's science and nature programme offers a wide range of online courses and lectures across the fields of astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry, evolutionary and forensic anthropology, ecology, botany, horticulture, conservation, and climate change.


Our science and nature courses will help you understand how our planet, its ecosystems, and humanity has evolved up to the present day and the challenges we now face, whether looking at the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, or our own societies. Our courses, including lectures, day courses, and longer-term study over several weeks, aim to inform you of the issues that interest you.


Throughout 2021, our courses will run online to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community. This enables you to join your courses wherever you are. We will keep you updated as to when we will be back in our building in central London and on our walks across the capital. Whether online or in the classroom, we are here to welcome you.

Our courses are taught by experts in their fields.

Coming from a range of backgrounds, our tutors include academic experts, forensic anthropologists, experienced educators, archaeologists, conservationists, horticultural experts, and renowned guides. Whoever your tutor, all our courses are intellectually rigorous and stimulating.


Take a look at our programme below to find your next science or nature course.For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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  1. Introduction to cyber security essentials

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 27 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Learn how to protect your personal or business data from cyber security attacks in this short course. You will learn how to deploy basic technical controls into your personal or organisation data information systems to ensure that basic technical security measures are in place.

    This course is FREE if a) you live in London and your job is at risk of redundancy or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    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: £50.00

  2. The beauty of Mathematics

    The beauty of Mathematics

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 2 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Mathematics can sometimes seem abstract and remote, but some parts of mathematics offer fascinating insights into the language of nature, potentially revealing underlying truths about the reality we inhabit. In this course we look at some of the most important developments in mathematics.

    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: £49.00
    Concession: £22.00

  3. Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

    Science Guest lecture Sandile Mtetwa on Climate change: Beyond fossil fuels - is hydrogen the answer?

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 5 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    In this guest lecture PhD Fellow Sandile Mtetwa from the University of Cambridge discusses the different efforts with a special emphasis on hydrogen, which has seen its use expand dramatically since the mid-1970s, and her own research that aims at building solar-driven hydrogen energy resources.

    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

  4. Climate change canaries

    Climate change canaries

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This course explores the impacts of climate change on a range of UK wildlife and reveal those species which offer an early warning sign: the climate change canaries.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £15.00

  5. Two very Russian elements: the discovery of Moscovium and Oganesson

    Two very Russian elements: the discovery of Moscovium and Oganesson

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Moscovium and Oganesson are synthetic chemical elements created at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, near Moscow, Oganesson in 2002 and Moscovium in 2003. We will explore their creation in this course, look at the motivation for creating new elements, the means by which these new elements are created, and the importance of these elements in increasing our understanding of the physical universe.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £10.00

  6. Race science: from then to now

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This course will explore the shameful history of racial science and the role it played in justifying oppressive regimes and colonialism, turning racism into a structural component of societies in many countries, segregation and many other dark moments of the last few centuries.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £79.00
    Senior fee: £63.00
    Concession: £40.00

  7. Introduction to artificial intelligence

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 17 Mar 2021
    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 is FREE if a) you live in London and your job is at risk of redundancy or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    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: £50.00

  8. An introduction to the human immune system

    An introduction to the human immune system

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 17 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    In this course, we will explore various parts of the body’s defences: the innate (and always ready) immune system and the cell-based-immune system as well as also touch upon vaccinations and antibodies along with COVID and HIV as examples of immune system challenges.

    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

  9. Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

    Stargazing at home: from your window to the universe (March)

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 26 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Building on their popular book, Radmila and Tom will take you from London into space through a range of topics that brings astronomy to the public. Expect to be informed and entertained!

    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. Tree talk: Regent's Park

    Tree talk: Regent's Park

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 27 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    We will look at how to get to know trees better, using Regent’s Park as a case study. Exploring the key features for tree spotting in March, we’ll also get to grips with common and botanical names in addition to a background briefing on the history of Regents Park.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £15.00

  11. Physics unravelled? Navigating the maze of String Theory

    Physics unravelled? Navigating the maze of String Theory

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 27 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    With its promise of answering questions about black holes, gravity and dark matter/energy, string theory has captivated many physicists for the past 50 years. In this course, we will look at string theory in a non-technical way and consider what the prospects are for this remarkable theory.

    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

  12. Tree talk: Battersea Park

    Tree talk: Battersea Park

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 28 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    We will look at how to get to know trees better, using Battersea Park as a case study. Exploring the key features for tree spotting in March, we’ll also get to grips with common and botanical names.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £15.00

  13. Photo by Chris Marquardt on Unsplash

    A brief introduction to climate change

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 7 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This introductory course brings you up speed on the history and basics of climate change and how humankind has responded until now.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £17.00

  14. Skeletons talk: Secrets revealed by bones

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 10 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Forensic anthropologists have become central to closing criminal, historical and other cases by way of analysing bones. Join us for a session with a practitioning forensic specialist with experience in both forensic archeology and forensic anthropology.

    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: £25.00

  15. Introduction to machine learning

    New Evening
    Course Date: Mon 12 Apr 2021 (and 1 other date)
    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 is FREE if a) you live in London and your job is at risk of redundancy or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £249.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £125.00

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