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. The physics of time
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 28 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore the various different conceptions of time within modern physics. The absolute time of Newtonian mechanics is contrasted with the relativistic time of Einsteinian gravity. The possibility that time is quantized, made up of discrete moments, is seen to emerge in some of the most cutting edge theories of physics, such as loop quantum gravity and string theory. The emergence of time in the big bang, the direction of time, and the possibility of time travel are all explored.

    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
  2. The geology beneath British landscapes
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 18 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Britain encompasses a fascinating variety of beautiful landscapes, from the lakes and hills of the north-west to the flatlands of East Anglia. This course gives you a practical introduction to the unique geology beneath these areas, covering main rock types and geological periods.

    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:
    93% of 100
  3. Astrophysics: a brief introduction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 18 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A one-day introduction 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.

    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
  4. A brief introduction to climate change
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 19 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We hear and read about climate change every day. Combining lecture and seminar elements, this short introductory course will explore the history and basics of the climate changes most climate scientists agree are taking place (session 1) as well as engage in a discussion about how these manifest themselves in global challenges and humanity’s responses to these against the backdrop of global politics (session 2).

    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
  5. Astronomy: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 19 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  6. Introduction to geology
    Weekend
    Course 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
  7. Trees in winter
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 17 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to know your ash from your elm, your plane from your maple? Learn key clues for identification in class, focusing on bark, twigs,leaves, outline, seeds and fruits to give you confidence to get to know your local trees better. A must for all tree lovers.

    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
  8. Neandertals: an evaluation of the latest research
    Weekend
    Course 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
  9. Winter walks in London
    Weekend
    Course 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
  10. Botany of the Christmas cake
    Weekend
    Course 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

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