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:  Sat 17 Jul 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. An introduction to London's woodlands
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A virtual exploration of London’s woodlands and their wildlife. Fire up your enthusiasm, hone your knowledge and sharpen your identification skills, then get out walking in your local woods.



    Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital; London's wildlife discovery service and also works for two urban environmental education charities.

    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 £15.00
  4. Understanding Einstein's theory of relativity - and why it matters
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Einstein’s theories of relativity, special and general, have profound, sometimes counter-intuitive, implications for our understanding of reality. We explore what the theories tell us and why they matter.

    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. Cosmology
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 30 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to know about the origin and future of the universe? Will the universe expand forever? Discuss the latest evidence. Examine the current theories. Repeat the most important cosmological observation ever made!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Chemistry: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 16 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Chemistry is fundamental to life and the world around us. Natural chemical processes sustain biological organisms, shape the world as we experience it, and have been detected and observed on planets orbiting distant stars. This course explores the basic concepts of chemistry to give students a working knowledge of all the most important areas.

    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. 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
  9. 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
  10. Science guest lecture with Professor Raman Prinja: The stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 22 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

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

    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
  11. 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

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