Lifelong Learning (formerly Short Courses)

Q&A with Short Courses Science and Nature Teaching Fellow Angus Miller

Angus Miller digs deep into what to expect from his Geology courses running this autumn.

Are you interested in learning about the geology and history of Edinburgh's stunning and varied landscapes?

From the hills to the coastal regions, Short Courses Teaching Fellow Angus Miller discusses more about his two Geology courses beginning in the next couple of weeks 'The Seven Hills of Edinburgh' and  'Geology of Scotland’s Coast'.

angus miller

Hello Angus! What are the main topics that your courses explore?

Both courses provice an introduction to some amazing stories from the past, about how Scotland’s landscape and coastline has been shaped by geological processes going back hundreds of millions of years....

'The Seven Hills of Edinburgh' explores the fabric of the city and the way in which the whole character of the city is derived from the geology.

'Geology of Scotland’s Coast' delves into the wonder of pebbles and how each piece of rock has an immense story that you can hold in your hand.

What are the highlight of your courses?

For 'The Seven Hills of Edinburgh', people who have lived in Edinburgh all their lives often haven’t explored all of the hills and haven’t thought much about why the landscape it so varied. For new residents to Edinburgh or those who are interested in the local landscape, it's a chance to discover places that are great to go and explore further. Offering an insight into the nature of the city.

For 'Geology of Scotland’s Coast', people love getting a glimpse into the variety of Scotland, discovering places that they didn’t know about and also finding out why some of our favourite coasts look the way they do.

How will the courses be of a similar standard remotely to the on-campus versions?

While we can’t do field trips and get out there and experience Edinburgh together during this time, the course will be accessible for everyone. By using the course materials and other resources people will be able to get out and explore the hills in their own time, and in good weather (which isn’t always guaranteed for field trips!).

Both courses will offer lots of opportunity for informal chat, questions and discussion on a wide range of topics. Presentations will be backed up with plenty of resources for people to study in their own time if they want to.

In terms of opportunities for interaction with fellow students, how will the courses be similar to the classroom experience?

Both courses will be very similar, we’ll have plenty of breaks for questions and opportunities for people to share – for example people can share photos of pebbles that they’ve found and we can talk about them.

Why should someone take your courses?

It's a great opportunity to explore the wonders of Scotland from your own home. These will be lively courses with lots to think about and with many opportunities for further exploration and learning beyond this course.

In terms of workload, about how many hours a week will students be expected to put in? What sort of support will be available to them?

Spending a bit of time reviewing resources is useful, a couple of hours a week perhaps, but they don’t have to do anything beyond the course sessions if they don’t want to. I’ll be available by e-mail or phone if anyone has questions, and there will also be plenty of opportunities during the sessions to ask questions and get ideas of where to go for further information.


Many [former] students have said that they now look at Scotland in a completely different light, and they notice details that they would just have not seen before. Also they know where to go to get answers to the questions that inevitably arise.

Short Courses Science and Nature Teaching Fellow Angus Miller


Are you inspired to join Angus and fellow geology enthusiasts this autumn? The booking deadlines are coming up for both courses, so book away!


Book Your Space on The Seven Hills of Edinburgh

Book Your Space on Geology of Scotland's Coast