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

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

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 13 Feb 2020
    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.

    What is the evolutionary origin of lust and what is its place in the modern world? Come and prepare for Valentine's Day at Psyched!

    Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences.
    Full fee: £9.00
    Senior fee: £9.00
    Concession: £9.00

  2. Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 16 Feb 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.



    Roger O' Brien has taught astronomy for the Workers’ Educational Association, the OU, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  3. By H. Zell - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12426073

    Earth's six major mass extinctions: an introduction

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 16 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    An introductory course which gives a long-term perspective to extinction events throughout earth’s history, reminding us of the fragility of the planet's ecosystems. While we currently see the very real effects of climate change on the planet for humans, we may forget that many biological organisms have not survived in earlier extreme conditions. Looking back over the last 450 million years of earth’s history we will go beyond the extinction of the dinosaurs to mass extinctions that were even more devastating.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  4. Credit: ESO

    Astronomy: current developments and suggestions for clear nights

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 20 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    Astronomy and space science are dynamic, constantly changing: new telescopes, new detectors, new space-missions and lots of plans. We shall look at some of these things and bring students up to date, with a speculative glance into the future.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £39.00

  5. Science guest lecture Professor Ian Crawford - The new science of astrobiology and the search for life in the universe

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 21 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In this talk Professor Crawford will summarise the new interdisciplinary science of astrobiology -- the search for life in the universe. The talk will begin by describing the planetary and evolutionary context of life on Earth and its implications for finding life elsewhere. Building on this perspective, the talk will consider the prospects for finding life, or evidence for past life, elsewhere in our Solar System, for example on the planet Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system, before moving on to consider the potential habitability of planets recently discovered orbiting other stars.



    Ian Crawford is an astronomer and planetary scientist, and is currently Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is also a vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society. Ian's research focusses mainly on lunar geology, including the possibility of finding economically useful resources on the Moon, and on the search for past or present life on Mars.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  6. Credit: Little Toller Books (used with permission)

    British nature writing: its history and changing perspectives

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 25 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    This course focusses on non-fiction nature writing from British naturalists, taking its cue from Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne at the end of the eighteenth century through to Nan Shepherd, Richard Mabey, Roger Deakin and beyond into the twenty-first century. We will explore the changing purposes of nature writing and how scientific and technological developments have altered our relationship with the natural world. Looking at nature through others' eyes will also give us increased knowledge and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the British landscape.
    Full fee: £79.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £35.00

  7. Marine geology: The hidden geology beneath the oceans

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 1 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    We know more about the surface of the moon than what lies beneath our planet's oceans. On this course, we will explore the geological features within our oceans.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  8. Introduction to quantum physics

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 1 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Learn about the failure of classical mechanics (everyday laws of physics) to explain particle behaviour and the emergence of the quantum revolution. Consider interpretations of these unusual phenomena and the use of quantum physics in current technology.



    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: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  9. Tree talk and walk: Battersea Park

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 21 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A look at some magnificent trees and how to identify them. With a morning session at City Lit and an afternoon tree walk in Battersea Park.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  10. Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: sex differences

    Psyched! An interactive science evening in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences: sex differences

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 26 Mar 2020
    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.

    Let's talk about sex (differences) Slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails – or sugar and spice and everything nice? What are boys and girls made of?

    Delivered in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Pyschological Sciences.
    Full fee: £9.00
    Senior fee: £9.00
    Concession: £9.00

  11. Tree talk and walk: Regent's Park

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 4 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A look at some magnificent trees and how to identify them. With a morning session at City Lit and an afternoon tree walk in Regent’s Park.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  12. Astronomy at the UCL observatory, Mill Hill

    Course Date: Mon 20 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    An intensive course with unique access to the facilities of the UCL Observatory, including practical experiments and solar observations. Learn how stars live and die, the characteristics of the variety of planets that orbit them and discover the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Tutors: UCL staff including Dr Francisco Diego.
    Full fee: £259.00
    Senior fee: £207.00
    Concession: £158.00

  13. Exploring the quantum world

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 21 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Ever wondered what quantum theory is? Are you baffled by relativity? Learn about the interpretations of quantum physics and what it means for our conception of reality.



    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

  14. Tree talk and walk: the Square Mile

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 25 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A look at some magnificent trees and how to identify them. With a morning session at City Lit and an afternoon tree walk in The Square Mile.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

  15. Geology and London

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 26 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore how the geology below greater London has shaped its landscapes, infrastructure and built environment, making it such a fascinating and visually diverse city; look at stone types and their effects on the buildings around us.
    Full fee: £59.00
    Senior fee: £47.00
    Concession: £30.00

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