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. Astronomy: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Roger O'Brien
    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
  2. Botany walks in Regent's Park
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Letta Jones
    A practical course ideal for those who are new to ‘in the field’ botany. Observation of the range of places plants grow and how they are categorised into groups will be our focus.



    Explore plant names and get to know more about the diversity and range from tiny ground hugging plants to huge trees. Three Saturday sessions, meeting in Regent’s Park.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £40.00
  3. Physics: the fundamental science
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Radmila Topalovic
    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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Introduction to quantum physics
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 27 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Radmila Topalovic
    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
  5. Science guest lecture with Professor Raman Prinja: The stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death
    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
  6. 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

    Tutors:  Charles Clarke
    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
  7. Physics of life
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Radmila Topalovic
    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
  8. Geology and London
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Charles Clarke
    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
  9. An introduction to ornithology with birdwatching
    Course start date:  Wed 11 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Brenna Boyle
    Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of birds. This short course has a broad scope; from evolution and global diversity to bird behaviour and song. Learn identification techniques in the classroom, then try out your skills during three guided fieldtrips to London locations.



    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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Astronomy for fun
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Roger O'Brien
    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
  11. Chemistry: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    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 on distant planets. This course explores the basics of chemistry to give a working knowledge of the most important areas.



    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
  12. The physics of time
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    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 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:
    98% of 100

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