Suitable for ages 18+

Essential Information

Type Courses
Royal Observatory
Date and Times Six-week courses held on Tuesday evenings | See page for full dates
Prices £96

A perfect course for those looking to turn astronomy into a hobby.

This course, run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, provides information on everything from how to choose and use telescopes, to identifying targets and planning observing activities.

Students get to study in a unique environment supported by a range of equally unique resources, including expert tutors, a state-of-the-art digital planetarium, and the country’s largest lensed telescope

The course will have a strong focus on developing a solid observational understanding of the night sky and how it changes throughout the year, but will also cover setting up and aligning telescopes, how to choose observing locations and plan observing sessions, amateur contribution to scientific research and a brief introduction to astronomy photography (for those looking for a more in depth photography course, consider our Introduction to Astrophotography course).

Those attending the course should ideally have access to a telescope when away from the Royal Observatory, enabling them to put what they have learned in class into practice in their own time, though it is not required.

While the course may be studied independently without prior knowledge, it is an ideal follow-on course for those who have attended Introduction to Astronomy.

Everyone taking a course is also entitled to a 10% discount on books purchased from Royal Museums Greenwich - please check with your course tutor for more details!

Age: 18+

Meet the tutor - Greg Smye-Rumsby

Greg has worked at the Royal Observatory for close to 20 years, continuing a lifelong passion for all aspects of astronomy. In that time he has created and tutored evening classes for adults in several areas of astronomy, including an Introduction to Astronomy, Amateur Astronomy for Beginners and Life in the Universe.

An image for 'Meet the tutor - Greg Smye-Rumsby'

When do courses run?

Courses take place on Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm and run for six weeks in total. The full dates for the 2024/25 academic year are below; when making your booking, simply select the start date of the course you'd like to join:

  • 5 November - 10 December 2024
  • 25 February - 1 April 2025

Note: Each course is intended to be run on-site at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, although occasional online sessions may become necessary in rare circumstances. Please only book if you are certain you will be able to attend an on-site course.

"Just absolutely excellent from the enthusiasm of Greg as the tutor, the depth and richness of the material presented and the professionalism of the organisation. Thank you" 

Course taker autumn 2022

Public astronomy at the Royal Observatory

Learn all about our programme of events, including daytime observing sessions, evening lates, talks, community astronomy shows, film screenings in the planetarium, astronomy courses and more