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.

  1. Introduction to machine learning

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 15 Nov 2019 (and 4 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

  2. Introduction to human evolution

    Introduction to human evolution

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 14 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Although humans are the only surviving hominin species, this was not always the case. Journey through evolution and discover the anatomy of our ancestors, where they lived and what they looked like. Find out how we became such peculiar apes.



    Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from University College London) has a special interest in hominin evolutionary research.
    Full fee: £149.00
    Senior fee: £149.00
    Concession: £66.00

  3. 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

  4. PC maintenance: an introduction

    New 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Astronomy at the UCL observatory, Mill Hill

    New
    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

  9. 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

  10. Further cosmology

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 30 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Do you know a bit about cosmology and want to know more? There are intriguing results from the Planck Mission. Many people and some theorists want to know what happened before the big bang. Do we need multi-verses, parallel universes, branes, superstrings? What news from CERN? A chance to delve more deeply into this fascinating subject.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £39.00

  11. Chemistry, from alpha carbon to zymurgy - a review of the fundamentals

    Course Date: Thu 28 May 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Inspired by science? Fascinated by the past? How did prehistoric societies perform brain surgery? Did the Cold War put a man on the moon? Discover the most influential scientific ideas from prehistory to the modern day.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £44.00

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