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. London heaths and commons
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to learn more about the wildlife, habitats and environmental history of London’s heaths and commons? Join us on for this online course to build your knowledge and inspire your autumn walks.

    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 £22.00
  2. Introducing plants
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 18 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.

    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 £29.00 Concession £13.00
  3. A taste of chemistry
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 18 Sep 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 on distant planets. Join this course for a taster if the basic concepts of chemistry.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  4. Stargazing at home: From your window to the Universe (October)
    Course Date:  Wed 13 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Two urban astronomers – Rad and Tom, formerly of the Royal Observatory Greenwich – will take you on a topical tour of the seasonal night sky, going beyond the veil of light pollution to explore the cosmic sights that we can find from home. You will learn how to plan your stargazing session from maps to apps, and find and capture the stars with the cameras you already own.

    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
  5. Pioneers of zoology
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Expeditions across the seas, perilous adventures in unknown lands and discoveries that shook the scientific world. Join zoologist Brenna Boyle and discover some of the brave characters and bold thinkers who shaped our knowledge of the natural world.

    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 £49.00 Concession £22.00
  6. 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
  7. Birdwatching in winter
    Course Date:  Fri 5 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Add new depth and enjoyment to your winter walks this year; learn to identify and better understand London’s birdlife through this online course. Pick up tips on viewing winter migrants, discover some great sites to visit and also enjoy the birdlife on your doorstep.

    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 £22.00
  8. A taste of physics
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 12 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Get a taste of the fundamental aspects of physics such as the nature of light, matter and energy and the physical laws governing the world around us and our universe.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  9. Science guest lecture with Dr. Ximena Schmidt: The science of food: 'Eating in the future’
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 19 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This talk will discuss how food contribute by around 25% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to affect biodiversity and resources. We will explore how every activity and actor of the food supply chain is influencing the impacts of food, from food production, agriculture and farming, food manufacturing, retailing, transport, and consumption. We will finally share ideas of what we can do to reduce our food-related impacts.

    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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Stargazing at home: From your window to the Universe (December)
    Course Date:  Thu 9 Dec 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Two urban astronomers – Rad and Tom, formerly of the Royal Observatory Greenwich – will take you on a topical tour of the seasonal night sky, going beyond the veil of light pollution to explore the cosmic sights that we can all find from home. We will show you how to plan your stargazing session from maps to apps, and find the things that most people miss. We’ll also teach you how to capture the stars with the cameras you already own.

    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

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