Ice Age to Iron Age

Ref: C3744598

Studying the Ice Age is much like being a crime detective. Clues are small and far between, but little clues build up into hard evidence for a tremendously exciting story. Climatic change is a hot subject and, if you excuse the pun, none can be hotter than the Ice Age. There has been much recent press attention and current research has completely changed our views on this intriguing period of Earth history. The last 2.6 million years have seen enormous changes in the world’s climate. As a result the UK has been thrust from freezing wastes (as ice sheets spread southwards) to hot and humid interglacials. These vast changes have shaped the landscape we know today as Britain. During this time ancient hunter-gatherers migrated into and out of the country. Each time they left their mark. We look for this evidence to consider where they went and what they were doing. We then look at the transition to settling down and farming, and onwards to the intriguing Iron Age - how Iron Age are you?

Course aim

To investigate how Britain has changed over a very important period of our past - from the shaping of our landscape by the Ice Age to the use of that landscape by the first hunter-gatherers until we settled down and became fully-fledged farmers.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain how Ice Ages start and what causes glacial to interglacial cycles
  • Assess the evidence for our hunter-gatherer ancestors throughout the Stone Age - the Palaeolithic-Neolithic
  • Assess the evidence for the transition from hunter-gatherer to setting down and farming
  • Investigate archaeology representing Bronze Age to Iron Age life
  • Locate some of these sites on local maps from a variety of information sources.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • If you have local OS maps or local artefacts that may be of interest to the group then please bring them

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Local opportunities will be indicated

Download full course information sheet

Ice Age to Iron Age

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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