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. Summer trees
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 10 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Looking at trees is an absorbing activity, we will explore what to look for, special features in July and how to follow on your interest in your local area/further study.

    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 £35.00
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Discover Battersea Park: an illustrated talk
    Course Date:  Thu 29 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Battersea Park in South London is explored from its origins in the nineteenth century to today, looking at its designers, 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
  9. Healthy horticulture? The history of the Victorian Public Park
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The nineteenth century saw the creation of the first truly public parks up and down the country, heralding the golden age of fabulous municipal horticulture, architecture and sports facilities. In her talk Letta will trace the origins of these precious spaces with examples of surviving parks, assessing the contribution they make to our wellbeing and some of the management challenges ahead.

    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

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