Science and nature courses in London

Look to the stars or stay closer to home with a wide range of topical and specialist short courses on subjects including astronomy, evolution, ecosystems and genetics that are ideal for anyone curious about our planet and what lies beyond it.

Read Build tutor Brenna Boyle's guide to London's diverse wildlife.

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  1. Credit: Little Toller Books (used with permission)

    British nature writing: its history and changing perspectives

    Course Date: Wed 19 Jun 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    This course focusses on non-fiction nature writing from British naturalists, taking its cue from Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne at the end of the eighteenth century through to Nan Shepherd, Richard Mabey, Roger Deakin and beyond into the twenty-first century. We will explore the changing purposes of nature writing and how scientific and technological developments have altered our relationship with the natural world. Looking at nature through others' eyes will also give us increased knowledge and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the British landscape.
    Full fee: £79.00
    Senior fee: £63.00
    Concession: £35.00

  2. Exploring rocks, minerals and fossils

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 30 Jun 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore agates, ammonites, granites and more. A hands-on introduction to the basics of the identification and classification of the common rocks, minerals and fossils. Students are invited to bring in speciments for discussion and identification. 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.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £20.00

  3. Introduction to cyber security essentials

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 30 Jun 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Learn how to protect your personal or business data from cyber security attacks in this short course. You will learn how to deploy basic technical controls into your personal or organisation data information systems to ensure that basic technical security measures are in place.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £50.00

  4. Stay safe online

    Course Date: Tue 16 Jul 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    What does identify theft entail? What risks do you run? Learn how to protect yourself from identify theft on this course.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £20.00

  5. The physics of time

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 20 Jul 2019 (and 2 other dates)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £25.00

  6. The geology beneath British landscapes

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 28 Jul 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £25.00

  7. Introduction to machine learning

    New Evening
    Course Date: Mon 16 Sep 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    One of the great advances in technology is that machines can learn without humans teaching them explicit rules – e.g. letting machines train on samples of speech allows Siri to recognise your commands. Machine learning is a large part of artificial intelligence, and a mystery to most of us. This practical course teaches you how to program learning algorithms in Python. We will cover fundamentals of classification, natural language processing, financial predictions and much more. You will learn elements of data mining, how to choose a learning algorithm, and how to tweak parameters of the algorithm. We will briefly cover the theory behind the algorithms, so some maths knowledge is useful, but not required. To enrol, you must have experience with Python or a similar programming language, e.g. have taken Build’s Introduction to Python or Introduction to R programming course.
    Full fee: £249.00
    Senior fee: £249.00
    Concession: £152.00

  8. Walking London's heaths and commons

    New Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover the wildlife, habitats and environmental history of London’s heaths and commons during this relaxed walking programme. First session at Build followed by three guided walks of approximately 2 hours within easy access of central London.



    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.
    Full fee: £79.00

  9. Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    Astronomy: a gentle introduction

    New Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019 (and 2 other dates)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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: £30.00

  10. Autumn wildlife walks

    New
    Course Date: Tue 24 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Glorious autumnal colours, fungi, migrating birds and the deer rut are just some of the natural history spectacles of autumn. Discover more through one introductory class at Build followed by four gentle, guided nature walks at a range of sites within London. Classroom session: 10.15-12.15; offsite walks: 11:00-13:00.



    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.
    Full fee: £99.00

  11. Cosmology

    Cosmology

    New Evening
    Course Date: Thu 3 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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!
    Full fee: £149.00
    Senior fee: £149.00
    Concession: £66.00

  12. Science guest lecture: Professor Hilary Downes: Lost planets of the solar system - the evidence from meteorites

    New Evening
    Course Date: Fri 4 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Hilary Downes, Professor of Geochemistry, Birkbeck, University of London, helps us to understand the history of the Solar System through the evidence from meteorites.



    The early Solar System was a violent place with many collisions between different asteroids and planetary embryos. The results of this chaos can be seen in meteorites which have fallen to Earth. Some meteorites can be linked with planets or asteroids that are still in the Solar System, such as the Moon, Mars and asteroid Vesta, but many meteorites contain small fragments of planets and asteroids which have been otherwise lost or destroyed.







    Prof Downes’s work in geological sciences has included research into volcanic deposits in Canada and France as well as studies of fragments of the Earth's mantle ("xenoliths") which are brought to the surface in volcanic eruptions. Now Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck, she also works in the study of meteorites in collaboration with colleagues at the Natural History Museum and NASA.
    Full fee: £15.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £15.00

  13. Trees of London

    Trees of London

    New Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 12 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Would you like to know your ash from your elm, your plane from your maple? Learn key clues for identification in class followed by a gentle stroll round local gardens and squares to enjoy the rich diversity of introduced and native trees. A must for all tree lovers.
    Full fee: £149.00

  14. Meet the Great Apes: orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans

    New Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 12 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Today's apes are few in number but, millions of years ago, apes ruled the primate world. Discover why they were so successful and why they disappeared. Explore key topics in their evolution and find out about great apes around the world today.



    Dr Kathleen Bryson received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from University College London, and has taught human evolution and primatology at UCL, and Westminster School. She specialises in studies of ambiguity tolerance in humans and other great apes, in particular evolutionary theory applied to ingroup/outgroup distinctions. .
    Full fee: £59.00

  15. Practising birdwatching in winter

    New
    Course Date: Wed 16 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Enjoy fresh air and varied scenery on this relaxed course spotting and identifying London’s birdlife. Learn about avian natural history and improve your wildlife watching skills. First session at Build 10.15 -12.15 followed by three guided fieldtrips in different London locations 11:00 - 13:00.



    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.
    Full fee: £79.00

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