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Politics, geography, geology, psychology and sociology are all part of our offer alongside science, nature and ecology. Come along and find out more about a subject that may be new to you and take the opportunity to see how you can apply your learning in your local community. Many of our natural and social science courses offer opportunities to get involved in practical activities too.

Adventures in Astronomy View details

An introduction to Astronomy, to cover the basics of: what is visible in the night sky with the naked eye: the constellations, the moon and the planets, with a little more in-depth study of some topics

Anarchy in the UK? Civil Unrest in Modern Britain View details

This seven week course will examine civil unrest in Britain from the Georgian period onwards. Beginning with the Gordon Riots and then looking at Victorian strike action, Edwardian suffragette protests, anti-fascism, and the police-public violence of the 1970s and 1980s, concluding with protest in the early twenty-first century, this will challenge the notion that British politics was fundamentally and intrinsically ‘peaceful’. Drawing on original archival material that forms part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council project on collective violence, it will provide fresh insights into what motivates people to take to the streets. There will be a particular focus on how these periods of upheaval and confrontation have played out in Berkshire. Students will consider oral history first-hand accounts, film, poetry, music and social media surrounding the phenomenon of the ‘riot’, to arrive at a greater understanding of the violent subtexts of modern British history.

Astronomy Day School: The Latest Developments 2020 View details

In this day-school we will firstly give a brief update on space craft explorations of the solar system including the Mars rover Curiosity, the Juno mission to Jupiter and the ongoing missions to small worlds in the asteroid belt. In April 2019 a revolutionary image was obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope (a worldwide array of radio telescopes) of a so-called super-massive black-hole in a galaxy 55 million light years away – the very first time a black hole has been ‘seen’ directly. We will discuss the significance of this observation for astronomy. In doing this we will review what was previously known about black-holes – these most exotic of cosmic denizens, as well as the galaxies within which these most ‘super-massive’ type reside. We will continue the cosmological theme with a discussion of the recent detection of Gravitational Waves – another revolutionary set of observations which has opened up a whole new way of observing the cosmos.

Astronomy for beginners View details

This course introduces you to the composition and structure of the universe. Astronomy is the scientific study of the contents of the entire Universe. This course will provide you with a study of the universe and the conditions, properties, and motions of bodies in space.

Astronomy, space research and society View details

Astronomy and space might seem to some people to be remote, distant topics with very little use to our everyday lives. However, this is certainly not the case. We will explore some of these applications - from civilizations thousand of years ago using the heavens as a basis for calendars to the new materials developed for space travel that find applications that benefit us all. Learners will be encouraged to carry out small-group research into such materials and, if possible, bring along examples to class. The stars and planets on view in the summer night sky will be discussed as well as the latest astronomy and space stories.

Birding Through the Seasons View details

Field visits involving fairly easy walks to learn about birds and their habitats. Meeting at different venues, 10am on a Tuesday of each month, from February through to June, you will witness how the birds change through the seasons. Please bring appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear and binoculars to each session. We begin on 25th February in the Visitor Centre cafe at Carsington Water (Post code DE6 1ST), where you will be briefed on how to find the other venues, before we go outdoors to explore the area until 3pm, with lunch in the Visitor Centre. Subsequent meetings will be as follows; 31st March, 10am – 3pm at Rutland Water (Post code LE15 8QL), 14th April, 10am – 3pm at Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve (Post code PE20 1AY), 12th May, 10am – 3pm at Cannock Chase (Post code WS15 2UQ) and 16th June, 10am – 3pm at North Cave Wetlands (Post code HU15 2LY). All the field visits involve easy walks of about 3 miles.

Branch Event: America and the World 1941-2020 View details

Forced out of Isolationism by the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, the United States emerged from World War II as the world's pre-eminent power. With some reluctance it then assumed the role of 'world policeman' and fought both the Cold War and hot wars against Communist enemies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, America anticipated a more peaceful world and a reduced role for its own forced. Yet for many, the US remains the 'indispensable nation': the only country powerful enough to underpin world order in an anarchic international system. This study day examines the relationship of the United States with rest of the World in the modern era.

Branch Event: Parties and Polls: Navigating Change View details

In marked contrast to the 1950s and 1060s, in the last thirty years Britain's electoral politics have seen a great deal of change, affecting the number and size of political parties, the basis of their support and their varying electoral successes. We shall look at possible reasons for this volatility, as well as examining our changing electoral and governmental systems. We shall then gaze into our crystal ball and seek to see what the future holds for our democracy.

British Politics since WWII View details

It removes the common fear of controversial topics and arms the student with the knowledge to make politics both interesting and even enjoyable. There will be a special focus on matters of recurring significance such as industrial relations, public v private, Northern Ireland and, of course, Brexit, plus a look back at other major political events from the last seventy-five years, and the politicians and governments involved in them.

Current Affairs and International Relations View details

In a rapidly changing world there is need to keep informed on key domestic and international developments. The course addresses these.