Lifelong Learning

Q&A with a Former 'Science and Nature' Short Courses Student

Steven Salvini tells us about his experience on one of our Short Courses.


Thinking about taking one of our Short Courses this January? We spoke to former Short Courses student, Steven Salvini, about his experience on one of our Science and Nature courses.

You can browse our Term 2 Science and Nature courses here.


short courses student steven salvini

Hello Steven! Thanks for speaking to us!  What made you want to take a Short Course with the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Open Learning?

I saw them on the University of Edinburgh website when looking for biology courses in general. I graduated in medicine from Edinburgh in 1981 but then spent almost 40 years in IT / Project Management. 

My younger daughter recently started a biomed sci degree at the University of Edinburgh and I realised that some of the stuff I’d been taught as possibilities for way, way in the future was now commonplace so I decided that, having taken early retirement, it was time to try to get back up to speed in Life Sciences.  

Prior to the course I’d done a couple of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and some reading plus contacted former colleagues at Heriot-Watt University with a view to maybe doing a postgrad course or even some simple research.  I was made a couple of really quite exciting offers so the need to get back up to speed quickly became more pressing.  

So, the main reason for taking the course was to refresh/update my life sciences knowledge and get a bit experience working with fellow students again.


Can you tell us about your experience on the course?

The course was reasonably informal with lots of opportunity to contribute and ask questions while imparting a good standard of knowledge.  It was good fun and a great opportunity to interact with fellow students and to learn from each other too. The people on the course were all lovely and keen to learn and engage.  


How about the teaching?

Excellent – great effort to teach to a class with very varied levels of initial domain knowledge and experience.  Our teacher was very engaging and good fun. The enthusiasm of the tutor was palpable and plenty time was allowed for discussion. Our tutor was good at keeping conversations focussed on the topic in hand.


How much time roughly per week did you spend in class and on homework?

For the class itself, I spent two hours per week at the class itself - and an hour or so each week reading the slides before the class, following up areas or interest, etc. 


What digital resources did you find useful?

I only used the online resources to find the slides (and a few supplementary materials) but this was easy enough to do and the system easy to navigate and very reliable.


Would you recommend taking a Science and Nature Short Course with us?

Yes! It's a great way to learn about Science and Nature no matter your level of experience/knowledge and also to meet with like-minded people.


Go for it, give it a try – The environment is very friendly and encouraging.  The courses are relatively inexpensive and definitely worth the time and effort. 

University of Edinburgh Short Courses Student Steven Salvini


Our Term 2 Science and Nature courses are online and start in January.


Browse our available courses here