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

An astronomy course for absolute beginners, led by an engaging tutor from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the home of time and space.

This six-week course is for people with no prior knowledge of astronomy. It offers a basic introduction to the subject from historical, scientific and practical perspectives.

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

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!

Introduction to Astronomy is an excellent standalone course, but can also provide a stepping stone to other introductory courses run by the Royal Observatory, such as Amateur Astronomy for BeginnersIntroduction to Astrophysics and the online course Introduction to Astrophotography.

Age: 18+

Meet the tutors: 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 tutors: Greg Smye-Rumsby'

Meet the tutors: Giuseppe Nicolosi

Giuseppe comes from Sicily where the skies, in his childhood, were dark and clear. He has been hooked on astronomy since he was 8 years old. He did his BSc in Physics at Catania University and his MSc in Astrophysics at Queen Mary University in London. He is still passionate about it, and is at present looking into the fascinating history of astronomy and how we understand our Universe today by going back to its origins.

An image for 'Meet the tutors: Giuseppe Nicolosi'

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 in the calendar:

  • 17 September - 22 October 2024
  • 05 November - 10 December 2024
  • 07 January - 11 February 2025
  • 25 February - 01 April 2025
  • 22 April - 27 May 2025

Please 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. An online version of this course is also available here.

This was one of the best things I’ve done. Greg is a brilliant teacher and at the beginning I honestly thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew as I hardly knew anything about astronomy, but as we progressed, he was able to explain everything in a really easy-to-understand way. His enthusiasm really shines through, and he delivered the course with the right amount of humour and made space (pardon the pun) for people to ask questions and to feel accepted at whatever level their knowledge was at. I wish I’d had teachers like him at school as I definitely would’ve paid more attention.

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