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Education courses

Learn more about the natural world from local experts in an informal and friendly atmosphere and meet other people who share similar interests.

Northumbrian Botany class field trip, Long Byres, Shaftoe Crags © Janet Simkin

Courses cover a range of topics including geology, botany, astronomy and ornithology. Courses vary in length from 4-20 weeks, with many consisting of indoor classroom sessions and outdoor field trips. NHSN is fortunate to have experienced and knowledgeable course tutors. Student feedback has consistently rated the course content, teaching style and lecturers’ knowledge very highly.

Current and upcoming courses

NHSN members will receive an e-newsletter announcing when Spring/Summer 2019 education courses are open for booking. We will advertise our courses on the website here, each of which will include a link to Eventbrite where you can register and pay for a place.

Education courses are only open to NHSN members.  Everyone is welcome to join NHSN.

10th
July
2019

Macro Photography

Macro Photography

Wanderer © David Noble-Rollin

Wednesday mornings starting 10 July, 10.15am – 12.15pm

Course tutor: David Noble-Rollin
Course length: 6 weekly sessions
Course structure: 3 indoor and 3 field sessions

Macro photography brings a whole new perspective to our view of the world and creates hundreds of photographic opportunities to produce exciting and different pictures. This course will introduce attendees to the techniques needed to produce sharp, close-up pictures with apparent depth of field to cover the subject of the photograph.

Field trips to Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, Alnmouth Dunes and Bishop Middleham Quarry will allow ample opportunity to practise the techniques explored in the indoor sessions, with subjects including insects and plants.

Cost: £65 (Concessions £55)

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

17th
August
2019

The Art of Bones

The Art of Bones

Badger skull © NHSN

Saturday 17 August, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Course tutor: Dr Alison Cutts
Course length: 1 day
Course structure: Indoor session

At first glance, bones may seem a simple subject; with closer inspection, however, their intricacies become clear. Careful observation of the skeleton of any vertebrate is crucial to understanding how the animal stands and moves, and the bones themselves are fascinating in their own right. In this session with artist Alison Cutts, we will examine and draw articulations and individual bones from the GNM: Hancock’s collections, using a range of media to explore the interesting textures and colours of our specimens.

No specialist knowledge of bones or prior experience of drawing is required; you just need to be willing to have a go! All specimens and art materials are provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Cost: £35 (Concessions £30)

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

31st
August
2019

The Art of Fossils

The Art of Fossils

Frosterley Marble © NHSN

Saturday 31 August, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Course tutor: Dr Alison Cutts
Course length: 1 day
Course structure: Indoor session

Paleoart is the depiction of prehistoric life from scientific evidence, principally the fossil record, and covers all kinds of representations from observational drawings of the fossils themselves to reconstruction of prehistoric plants and animals.

Timed perfectly to coincide with Dippy the Diplodocus’ visit to the GNM: Hancock, we will look at fossils from the collections to produce observational drawings and more experimental work using a variety of media.

No specialist knowledge of palaeontology or prior experience of drawing fossils is required; you just need to be willing to have a go! All specimens and art materials are provided, but if you have a favourite fossil of your own please bring it along.

Cost: £35 (Concessions £30)

Booking essential. To book, please go to Eventbrite here.

How to Book

To book a course please follow the Eventbrite link in the course description.

To enroll on our courses you must be a member of the Natural History Society of Northumbria. For details of membership click here.

Our courses vary in length, costs and the amount of time spent on field trips or in the classroom, so please check each course for details. All our courses are suitable for beginner and intermediate level unless stated otherwise.

For outdoor classes you will need to make your own way to the meeting point (although we encourage car sharing where possible). You will also need to be physically able to walk on unsurfaced paths and up steps/slopes.

Unless stated, classroom sessions take place either in the Great North Museum: Hancock or the University of Newcastle campus, both in central Newcastle upon Tyne.

Terms and Conditions

If you have questions about any of our courses, please contact us and we will be pleased to help, or you can download our full terms and conditions.

What Others Say

I really love being able to get to grips with specimens indoors, and then having the opportunity to see what we had studied actually growing outdoors. Fascinating!

Fiona Aungier, LOWER PLANTS STUDENT

I enjoy the course very much. Really, it’s just getting together with knowledgeable friends!

Barry McWilliam, QUATERNARY STUDENT

I like everything about my course! Our tutor is great, I really enjoy the field trips and you make friends with people who have the same interests.

Sylvia Jones, BIRDS OF THE NORTH EAST STUDENT

Having the courses in the Society’s home at the Great North Museum: Hancock enables us to look at the actual fossil specimens and appreciate them more.

Rose Kay, ORIGINS OF MAN STUDENT