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.

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  1. Images via Wikimedia Commons

    Science lecture: Radmila Topalovic: Women who changed the world: the ten most influential female scientists

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 15 Nov 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In this talk we will explore the extraordinary careers of ten female scientists and their groundbreaking discoveries in a range of scientific fields. We will look at the various challenges they had to face and their determination to succeed in a competitive and demanding environment. These women should inspire us all.



    Radmila Topalovic holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry. She has taught physics, maths and astronomy for almost ten years, and is particularly passionate about quantum physics and astrobiology.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  2. Introduction to machine learning

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 15 Nov 2019 (and 3 other dates)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £249.00
    Senior fee: £249.00
    Concession: £152.00

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

    Introduction to geology

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 17 Nov 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  4. Introduction to cyber security essentials

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 23 Nov 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £99.00
    Concession: £60.00

  5. Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: the development of language

    Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: the development of language

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 28 Nov 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Psyched! - an insider’s look at how the brain works and how evolution affects the way you think, feel and behave.

    Why did human language take millions of years to emerge, yet babies are born ‘language ready’? Listen to our panel of science experts to learn about how primitive body language still sets the stage for language development. Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences.
    Full fee: £9.00
    Senior fee: £9.00
    Concession: £9.00

  6. Introduction to robotics

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 30 Nov 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Robots are starting to replace dogs as human’s best friends, and are infiltrating our lives in everything from healthcare to space exploration. Learn how they work and what the future will look like.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £99.00
    Concession: £99.00

  7. The physics of time

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 1 Dec 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    We'll explore the concept of time in everyday life, using the theories of special and general relativity. We'll investigate its nature in the quantum world zooming out to the large scale Universe.



    Radmila Topalovic holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry. She has written articles for The Guardian Starwatch column and The Mercury Night Sky column, and is a co-author of Stargazing: A beginner's guide to astronomy. Radmila was an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, she is currently Programme Leader for Science and Engineering at Kaplan International College.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  8. Physics: the fundamental science

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 15 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore fundamental aspects of physics such as the nature of light, matter and energy and the physical laws governing our universe. Learn about the revolutionary discoveries of the world around us.



    Radmila Topalovic holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry. She has taught physics, maths and astronomy for almost ten years, and is particularly passionate about quantum physics and astrobiology. She is a former astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich,.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £189.00
    Concession: £83.00

  9. Introduction to human evolution

    Introduction to human evolution

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 15 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    You will learn about how our hominin ancestors evolved and lived and how new evidence has fundamentally changed

    our understanding of this process. This concise exploration of the inter-disciplinary field of palaeoanthropology

    introduces extinct ancestor and cousin species, hybridisation and the latest hominin discoveries.
    Full fee: £149.00
    Senior fee: £149.00
    Concession: £66.00

  10. Astrophotography for eveyone

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 19 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Have you ever wanted to take your own beautiful photos of the night sky? Learn how to capture the cosmos with your DSLR and produce awe-inspiring images, carefully processed to squeeze every drop of starlight out of the sky, wherever you are.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £25.00

  11. Introduction to Cloud computing

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 22 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £49.00
    Concession: £49.00

  12. PC maintenance: an introduction

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 24 Jan 2020 (and 1 other date)
    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.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £199.00

  13. Science guest lecture: Where physics meets biology: an introduction to current research on the application of biophysics to embryology

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 30 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    It is an ongoing mystery how the complexity of an adult organism arises from a single fertilised egg cell. This problem has been studied extensively by biologists for centuries, and is now an active area of research for physicists as well. The field of biophysics aims to use the mathematical and computational tools of physics to understand how complex living creatures organise themselves. The key idea is that even something as complicated as a whole organism must still obey the laws of physics . In this talk, Max Kerr Winter will discuss various ways in which physics and biology come together. He will focus on his work studying how forces are distributed and organised in the early mouse embryo, in order for the embryo to grow into the correct shape. What insights can this research give us into the development of human embryos?



    Max Kerr Winter is a theoretical biophysicist. He researches at the Francis Crick Institute, London, in collaboration with experimental biologists at the University of Cambridge.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  14. Introduction to botany

    Introduction to botany

    Course Date: Sat 1 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A practical course ideal for those who are new to the science of botany. Learn about the fundamental structure of plants and identify the functions of different components; recognise some of the classification systems of the plant world and assess why these magnificent organisms are essential for our wellbeing. Four Saturday sessions, mornings in the classroom, afternoons short local walks to see specimens outdoors. One whole-day visit to Kew on Thurs 20 February, tour of the library in the morning, garden in the afternoon - extra costs apply, see below.
    Full fee: £219.00
    Senior fee: £175.00
    Concession: £96.00

  15. Introduction to artificial intelligence

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 9 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £99.00
    Concession: £99.00

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