Science and nature courses online & in London

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, botany and horticulture, and ecology, 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. Chemistry: a gentle introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Chemistry is fundamental to life and the world around us. Natural chemical processes sustain biological organisms, shape the world as we experience it, and have been detected and observed on planets orbiting distant stars. This course explores the basic concepts of chemistry to give students a working knowledge of all the most important areas.



    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 geology
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 17 Oct 2021

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Birdwatching in winter
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 5 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Add new depth and enjoyment to your winter walks this year; learn to identify and better understand London’s birdlife through this online course. Pick up tips on viewing winter migrants, discover some great sites to visit and also enjoy the birdlife on your doorstep.



    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 £22.00
  4. Neandertals: an evaluation of the latest research
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 7 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Our perception of Neandertals has changed considerably over the past century. It will continue to change as we find more evidence. This lecture-based course will offer a clear summary of what the latest research is telling us about Neandertals and its implications. Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from University College London) has a special interest in hominin evolutionary research.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. A taste of physics
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 12 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Get a taste of the fundamental aspects of physics such as the nature of light, matter and energy and the physical laws governing the world around us and our universe.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  6. Astronomy: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 14 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    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
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  7. Winter walks in London
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 21 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to enjoy invigorating fresh air, winter scenery and seasonal wildlife in London? This online course will offer you guidance and insights into exploring woodland, wetland and parkland landscapes, allowing you to gain greater enjoyment when walking in your own local area.



    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
  8. The physics of time
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 28 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We'll explore the concept of time in everyday life, using the theories of special and general relativity, and also investigate its nature in the quantum world zooming out to the large scale Universe.



    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
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  9. Botany of the Christmas cake
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Dec 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Exploring the contents of a seasonal vegan cake, we will get to know better which plants provide the ingredients.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £34.00 Senior fee £28.00 Concession £20.00
  10. Stargazing at home: From your window to the Universe (December)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Dec 2021

    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
  11. Bird identification by sight and song
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Dec 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    An introduction to the natural history of birds with emphasis on species found in London in summer and winter, and their common songs, calls and behaviour.



    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

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