Available courses

Introduction to UK Natural History is a five week online course which will introduce some of the fundamental principals and practices of modern amateur natural history. 

The four weeks have been divided thematically as follows:

Week 1: Introduction to Natural History

Week 2: Introduction to Botany

Week 3: Introduction to Entomology

Week 4: Introduction to Geology and Palaeontology

Week 5: Developing skills in Natural History. 

For the duration of the course you are required to keep a Naturalists Journal, a copy of which should be submitted electronically at the end of the course, along with details of biological records submitted to an appropriate national or local recording scheme. 

A short training course on the identification of the UK's amphibians and suitable survey techniques. 

Please note, this course is not associated with training towards a Great Crested Newt Licence (GCN-EPSL), and no status as such should be inferred from attendance, however advice on training towards this can be requested. 

Please do not share course materials outside of the course, these have been developed specifically for the Wildlife Garden volunteers and trainees and are the property of the Natural History Museum, London. 

A six-week Masterclass. Natural history collections describe more than biodiversity. They also reveal and confront the changing narratives between natural history, science and society. During this six-week short course, you will join Museum curators, scientists and archivists as they use the collection and its historical highlights to explore how natural history collections can elucidate societal changes, reveal hidden human narratives and how cutting-edge technologies are enabling a new era of digitisation.

A six-week Masterclass. Animals face significant dangers, not only from other species, such as predators, but also from trillions of lesser-noticed microscopic organisms. For humans, pathogens, including bacteria, multicellular parasites and other vectors of disease, contribute to worldwide suffering, yet the biological diversity of these organisms is varied and fascinating. During this week course, Museum experts will explore the vast diversity of organisms whose behaviours and life histories impact the health of humans and other animals. They will also look at how pandemics can be linked to human-animal zoonoses, and how our changing climate may be altering the diseases that we catch.

A six-week Masterclass. From describing the formation of the terrestrial planets to investigating the origin of water on our own planet, the Museum's scientific staff peer deeply both back in time and outwards into the universe. During this course your lecturers will guide you through the rocky bodies in our solar system, revealing how cutting-edge scientific techniques are demystifying comets, how Mars will be explored over the next decade, and how Museum scientists are poised to contribute to staggering scientific discoveries thanks to their involvement with upcoming missions to the Moon, the moons of our closest astronomical neighbours, and asteroids floating within our solar system.

A six-week Masterclass. Life on Earth has an intricate history of origins, adaptations, radiations and extinctions but with every new discovery our understanding of the evolution of life becomes clearer. During this masterclass you will join a team of Museum researchers and curators as they highlight six moments in the 500-million-year evolutionary history of complex life on Earth, from the beginnings of animal life itself, through the greening of the planet, all the way to the evolution of modern mammals and their subsequent diversification even back to the water whence all life arose.