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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.

A Story of Drifting Continents View details

Classic continental drift theory suggested that clues to the Earth's past lay on its ocean floors, a thought that has now been expanded and refined into our current global tectonic theories. We will highlight how these important continental movements controlled the early seas that once covered Herefordshire and were responsible for the formation of past mountain ranges all of which will act as a backdrop to the rocks, fossils and familiar landscapes of the Marches.

A Taste of Psychology View details

To gain some knowledge and understanding of this fascinating subject, each session will cover a particular issue or topic e.g. Personality – different traits and types, how they interact. Opportunity to discretely identify your own personality type. Group Behaviour – Why do many people behave differently in a group situation to how they would on their own? How vulnerable are we to suggestion and group pressure? Communication – ‘Transactional Analysis’ – what makes some communication confrontational? Attraction – Why are some people attracted to each other as friends or romantically, and others not? Is there subconscious logic at work? What factors have psychologists identified? We will discuss the relevance of psychology to everyday life – helping us to understand ourselves and others better. Depending on interest we may also look at child development, gender, prejudice and aggression.

A Taste of Sociology View details

This short one-term course probes beneath the surface of our everyday life and asks 'Why ?'. It looks at the pieces that make up our society, and at how and why they fit together. It compares and assesses different views on society and social problems. Sociology has been called ‘the Psychology of Society’, and the 2 subjects are closely linked. Topics to be looked at include the Family, Education system, Church, the Media, Work, Unemployment, Leisure, Crime, Prejudice, Social Class, Wealth, Poverty and Social benefits. We will look at each of these from the different classic sociological perspectives.

An Ageing Society: Burden or Blessing? View details

While the problematic aspects of population ageing are commonly stressed, many older individuals and the communities they live in have benefited greatly from it. Using students' personal experience, insights from social science, and empirical data, we will consider and critique how public policy, commercial services, and public attitudes are responding to population ageing. We will consider what international perspectives and innovative models have to offer older people and wider society. We will explore some practical things we can do to help ourselves and others experience later life in positive ways.

Astronomy View details

This course provides an introduction to all aspects of astronomy so that learners can understand recent developments in the field and also start observing the night sky, either with the naked eye or with a telescope. We will also consider how stars evolve and eventually die and study various cosmological 'hot' topics such as Gravitational waves and Dark Matter

Astronomy - The Modern Universe View details

We will look at the evolution of stars and the theories of the history and possible future of the universe. We will also examine the information coming back from space probes studying the planets.

Birding in our local patch View details

At our first meeting on 8th October, 10am – 1pm at The Joseph Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale (postcode DE4 2EQ) we will start indoors where you will be briefed on how to get to the other fieldwork venues, before we go outside to explore the park until 1pm. So, please bring appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear as well as your binoculars. All subsequent meetings will be outdoors on Monday mornings, meeting at field venues for a 10am start as follows; 19th November; Carr Vale Nature Reserve, 3rd December; Ogston Reservoir, 7th January; Rufford Country Park. All the field visits involve easy walks of about 3 miles or so and both beginners and experienced birdwatchers are equally welcome. These courses always have a nice social atmosphere and I hope that you will enjoy meeting other course members as well as appreciating the birds.

Birdwatching through the Seasons View details

Field visits involving fairly easy walks to learn about birds and their habitats. Meeting at different venues, on a Tuesday morning of each month, from October through to January, you will witness how the birds change through the seasons. Please bring appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear plus your binoculars to all sessions. Meeting points to be confirmed.

Birdwatching: Conservation Connections View details

A course of practical birdwatching trips in different locations. Learn to identify a range of species across key habitats, understanding how birds are adapted to the demands of their environment.

Branch Event:Space Probes exp our understanding of the Solar Sytem View details