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. Science in the time of Nero
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We examine the science of the Roman empire through the work of Seneca (c. 4 BCE – 65 CE) and Pliny

    (23/24 CE – 79 CE) who between them describe the Roman understanding of biology, chemistry and

    physics, touching upon subjects such as botany, meteors, mining, rainbows, the nature of air, forms of

    water, and “mock suns”.

    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 £7.00
  2. Discover Hill Garden and Pergola, Hampstead: an illustrated talk
    Course Date:  Tue 27 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Exploring the design of the gardens in the late 19th century by the architect Thomas Mawson, looking at its layout, planting and special features.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  3. Exploring the science of climate change before COP-26
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 5 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this course we will examine the science of climate change, what, in scientific terms, we mean by climate change, the evidence that such change is occurring, how we can assess the extent to which human activity is causing this change, and how science may help us both to mitigate and perhaps even reverse the effects of climate change.



    The course will be taught by Dr. Gary Retallick who teaches physics and mathematics at both Birkbeck College and the Open University, runs several courses at City Lit (incl. Cornish) and has previously also taught philosophy.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £30.00
  4. Science expeditions: past, present and future
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 16 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Scientific expeditions have played an important role in the advancement of scientific knowledge across a broad range of dicsiplines and remain important vehicles of building knowledge today, even if many scientific discoveries now take place in laboratories. Join this course to learn more of the role of scientific expeditions in the past, the present and the future.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £30.00

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