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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. 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
  2. Science guest lecture with Dr. Ximena Schmidt: The science of food: 'Eating in the future’
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This talk will discuss how food is responsible for around 25% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, while also affecting biodiversity and resources. We will explore how every activity and actor of the food supply chain is influencing the impact of food, from food production, agriculture and farming, food manufacturing, retailing, transport to consumption. We will finally share ideas of what we can do to reduce our food-related impact.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £15.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £15.00
  3. Astronomy: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Jan 2022 (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.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  4. Marine geology: the hidden geology beneath the oceans
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Jan 2022

    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.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Introduction to quantum physics
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 27 Feb 2022

    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.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  6. Earth's six major mass extinctions: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 27 Feb 2022

    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.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  7. Science guest lecture with Professor Raman Prinja: The stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 18 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A highly illustrated survey lecture on the birth and death of stars by Raman Prinja, Professor of Astrophysics at University College London.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £15.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £15.00
  8. Introduction to tree identification
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    A practical introductory tree identification course looking at bark, twigs, leaves, outline, seeds and fruits.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £26.00
  9. Exploring the geology of the Lake District
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 27 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    The Lake District World Heritage Site is an incredibly beautiful landscape that hides a complex geological history. Here, we will explore the region, highlighting locations that tell its 500-million-year-old story, from the desert formation hundreds of millions of years ago to the glacial sculpting of the landscape over the last few hundred thousand years.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £26.00
  10. Physics of life
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Find out why physics is the science upon which everything depends. In this course we will use basic physics concepts to understand the biological processes in living organisms, including the relatively new field of quantum biology. 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. Radmila was an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, she is currently Programme Leader for Science and Engineering at Kaplan International College.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  11. Geology and London
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    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.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Astronomy for fun
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    If you have already enjoyed a gentle introduction to astronomy, here is the next step: what to



    look for and how to do and find out more. De-mystify some of the specialist software,.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. City of London gardens
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Discover the delights of some small gardens in London's Square Mile, where rich planting enhances historic sites.



    Special trees are a highlight. Practical plant identification will be provided at City Lit in the morning, with a guided



    walk in the afternoon.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  14. Astrophysics day
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A short introduction over 2 Sundays to the science of astrophysics which explores the physics of stars, galaxies, planets and black holes, as well as theoretical topics such as solar system formation. The course is taught by Radmila Topalovic, who holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00

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