Science and Nature courses online & in London

Spanning weekdays, evenings, and weekends, City Lit's Science and Nature programme offers a wide range of courses and lectures across the fields of astronomygeologyphysics, chemistry, 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.

Our courses are taught by experts in their fields.

All our courses are intellectually rigorous and stimulating. Our tutors come from a range of backgrounds, our tutors include academic experts, experienced educators, archaeologists, conservationists, horticultural experts, and renowned guides.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. The physics of time
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Jul 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    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.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Chemistry of food
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    In order to remain healthy, humans require a balanced diet of carbohydrates, lipids (which include but are not limited to fats), proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Join us to learn more about the chemistry of food.



    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 £26.00
  3. City of London gardens
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Letta Jones
    Discover the delights of some small gardens in London's Square Mile, where rich planting enhances historic sites.



    Special trees are a highlight. Practical plant identification will be provided at City Lit in the morning, with a guided



    walk in the afternoon.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  4. Astrophysics day
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Radmila Topalovic
    A short 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. The course is taught by Radmila Topalovic, who holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  5. A taste of chemistry
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  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. Join this course for a taster of the basic concepts of chemistry.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  6. Introduction to tree identification
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Letta Jones
    This practical course is ideal for those new to trees and provides a good introduction to the enthusiast. Get to know



    the clues to look for when identifying trees, plus which books and guide sheets are helpful.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  7. Trees in winter
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 9 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Letta Jones
    Do you want to get to know some of the fabulous trees in Regent’s Park? These two guided Tree Walks in Regent’s Park are ideal for the tree enthusiast with an introduction to this absorbing activity.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. Astronomy: a gentle introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 9 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  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.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  9. The periodic table
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    The periodic table is one of the most profound testaments to the advancement of human understanding of the physical world. In this two session course we will examine the periodic table in detail, uncovering the wealth of information stored within it.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. Introduction to geology
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 16 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Charles Clarke
    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.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Quantum physics: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 4 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  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.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  12. Introducing plants
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Letta Jones
    We will explore the theme 'All life depends on plants' looking at examples of food, medicine, ornamental and economic plants with everyday named examples of why plants matter.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  13. Geology and London
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  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.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Introduction to botany
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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 at City lit in the morning and a local botany walk in the afternoon.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  15. Astrophysics: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Radmila Topalovic
    A short 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. The course is taught by Radmila Topalovic, who holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

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