Guide to Free Lectures in London - Broke in London

Guide to Free Lectures in London

Find free lectures, courses and exhibitions within London

By Helly Barrett

As you probably already know getting a job in London is incredibly competitive. Tens of thousands flock to the capital city each and every year in search of the elusive London job. This means differentiation in your job application is key. Creating a free social media CV is one way to differentiate yourself. Another is to attend free lectures or complimentary courses. Not only will it be a unique talking point for any interview and highlight that you’re a self-motivated individual, it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people! Check out the places listed below to find London’s best free lectures in 2016 and complimentary courses.

#1 We know you’re only here because it’s hot right now

Guide to Free Lectures in London

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For those of you pursuing a career in any of the social science venues, from sociology, politics, economics and all avenues of business, then you’ll already know just how important commercial awareness is to succeeding in interviews and staying up to speed in work in general. With free lectures on everything relevant and ‘hot right now’ in social sciences, the London School of Economics and Political Science is the place for you. Speakers include some of social sciences’ most influential names, making these lectures perfect for those wishing to increase their commercial awareness or for those who just have a real passion for a particular human cause. The majority start at 6.30pm so are ideal for those already working and will provide a great discussion piece for evening drinks. If you’re wavering slightly after a long day in the office, there’s also a Starbucks just around the corner to ensure you’re fully engaged throughout (and of course to ensure you fit the part of stereotypical Starbucks lecture attendee). Make sure you turn up early though as although they’re a no-ticket, no registration event, they’re also first come first serve! Don’t fret if you do miss out on your free lecture though, LSE are great at providing Podcasts and videos of the lectures just 2 days after they happen.

And if social sciences don’t quite tickle your fancy… Good news! Most of London’s educational institutes offer free lectures on a huge range of topics. A quick check at UCL Lunch Hour Lectures or Kings College and your diary will soon be full of free London lectures.

#2 Register with Emagister

Guide to Free Lectures in London

Free lectures in London

As important as it is to have relevant work experience and commercial awareness when applying to jobs in London, employers also want to know you’re more than just a job hungry machine.  If you have a passion outside of work, whether it’s health and fitness or creative writing, why not kill two birds with one stone? Indulge in your passion while getting something concrete to show employers. Emagister offers free online courses as well as free classroom learning in London for everything from Aromatherapy to social and digital marketing. Courses range from a few hours to 6 weeks, so they’re great no matter how much free time you have! ‘What about those of us who haven’t quite made it to London yet?’ I hear you cry! Don’t you worry, Emagister have courses available all over the UK, just use the simple Area/Region filter on the website.

The Open University is another great source for long and short term courses (as are all these other websites we’ve found for you here.) Head on over to the Open University website for free courses ranging from French to child psychology, all absolutely gratuit (that’s free in French – see you’re already almost fluent!)

#3 Learn on your Lunch in London

Guide to Free Lectures in London

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For those of you with a more eclectic approach to learning, pack up that Tupperware or grab that meal deal and head on over to London’s Euston Road. Described as the visitor destination for the ‘incurably curious’, the Wellcome collection is a combination of open galleries and free ticketed discussions. Topics range from the construction of gender to the conservation of the coral reef. Pop in during their lunchtime sessions to quench your thirst for the weird and wonderful, or join one of the evening conversations to learn something that will definitely set you apart from the rest! Discussions do fill up fast so register for ticketed events as soon as possible. Find out more lunchtime lecture sessions through our post about the Top 5 Free Lunch Break activities in London.

#4 Who says we never learn from History?

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once said that ‘“We learn from history that we do not learn from history”. Although this may be true for the most part, one way you can prove him wrong is by attending free lectures and discussions in some of London’s most historic venues. If you’re one of the lucky people who get an hour for lunch then definitely saunter with your sandwich to Great Russell street. The British Museum Gallery hosts a different themed talk each day at 1.15pm for 45 minutes. Geared toward those with a genuine interest in the arts, or those pursuing a more creative career, these free talks include upcoming topics such as ‘Love and lust in Greek Myth’ and ‘Liberté, egalité, fraternité: the story of the franc’.

The Guildhall Library, National History Museum and The Royal Society also host an array of free public lectures.

As you can see, despite its reputation for being an affluent and expensive city, if you take the time to look closely London has some fantastic freebies on offer.  Choose from a huge variety of free London lectures, exhibitions and online courses to improve your employment chances, feed your curiosity and meet a whole host of new people!