History, politics & economics

Explore History, Politics & Economics

Whether you’re fascinated by the past, wishing to keep up to date with current affairs, or to develop a deeper understanding of democracy and capitalism, we have the course for you.

City Lit offers a wide range of history, politics and economics courses on weekdays, evenings and weekends. Our courses vary from skills-based courses on oral and family history projects, to the history of empire, the history of London and the study of global powers and international politics.

Gain critical thinking and analytical skills

Courses in the Humanities help you understand our world today, and the history that has informed the political, social and economic dynamics of modern times. Our courses, including short day courses, lectures and longer-term study over several weeks or whole terms, aim to inform you of the issues that interest and matter to you. Our courses also encourage the development of wider skills such as critical thinking and analysis, listening and discussion skills, and evidence-based interpretation.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Learn from expert tutors

Our courses are taught by experts in their fields. Our tutors come from a range of backgrounds, and include academic experts, experienced educators, serving politicians, acclaimed authors and renowned guides. Whoever your class is taught by, all our courses are intellectually rigorous and stimulating.

For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Browse our range of online courses and courses in London below to choose your perfect option: both complete beginners and returning students are equally welcome.

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  1. From the Holy Roman Empire to the unification of Germany (the Middle Ages to 1871)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    The course offers a broad survey of the German lands over the centuries from the Middle Ages to the Unification of



    Germany in 1871.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. History reading group: political biographies
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    Through discussion of selected biographies we will explore in depth key individuals in world history , their legacy and the era in which they lived.The first class will discuss The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher and the End of the Cold War by Archie Brown (2022). As the edition is fairly recent, the cheapest version I have found (at the moment of writing this- 20/4/22) is on kindle.



    NOTE: This course consists of four sessions on the following dates:4/10/22, 29/11/22, 17/1/23 & 7/3/23.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00
  3. World War 2: collaboration and resistance in Hitler's Europe
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis
    The course looks at the origins, articulations and legacies of resistance and collaboration in Hitler’s Europe (1939-1945).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
  4. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Oct 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London.



    First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  5. Nazi Germany: politics, society, war and genocide
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    This course offers a broad survey of Nazi Germany, its leaders and its population, its racial ideology, political ambitions and structures of rule, its opponents and its victims, and its ultimate descent into world war and genocide.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
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  6. History, memory and mental wealth: why we need to talk about empire
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    Formally, European imperialism ended decades ago. Yet, the different legacies still affect the world and many societies today. Join us for a discussion on why we need to talk about empire and mental wealth. This session is part of the 2022 Mental Wealth Festival hosted by City Lit and partners.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  7. The Art of War: London’s brushes with conflict
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London’s superb collections of visual representations of War show how conflict affects people, politics & places. Hostilities have destroyed, but also inspired, influenced & impacted the attitudes of Londoners & artists.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. The Viking Age in 50 objects, c. 750-1100 CE
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Cassidy Croci
    We will explore how people lived, worshiped, fought, and identified themselves in the Viking Age (c. 750-1100 CE) using 50 objects.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
  9. Pioneers of Modern Art
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 16 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    In the early 20th century Hampstead was home to some of the era's most pioneering artists. We will walk in the footsteps of the Slade School artists who socialised in Downshire Hill and the Modernists working in Belsize Park. Starts Hampstead Tube station, Ends Isokon Gallery, Lawn Road, near Belsize Park. The tutor can take people back to the Station. There is also an option to spend time in the Isokon gallery afterwards.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  10. The life and times of Ignatius Sancho: slave, composer, man of letters, grocer and first Black British voter
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  William Sterling
    Explore the life of the 18th century black Londoner, Ignatius Sancho. Orphaned on a slave ship bound for South America he had many lives in London: in service to noble family in Greenwich, a businessman, elector, correspondent with Laurence Sterne and others and composer of music. After his early death many of his letters were published and helped to raise awareness of the plight of black slaves and ex-slaves and fuel the drive to the abolition of slavery.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
  11. Rise and fall of the Spanish global empire
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Schraer
    How and why Spain won – and lost - the world’s first truly global empire; its impact on the Spanish colonies and on Spain itself; how far it acted as a model for the empires that followed.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
  12. The Heights of Dickens
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Follow in Charles Dickens’ footsteps in a walk from Highgate to the hamlet of North End on the border with Hampstead and Hampstead Garden Suburb. We will follow some of Bill Sikes escape route after murdering Nancy in Oliver Twist, see houses that Dickens stayed in; learn about his friendship with philanthropist Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts; peep into Highgate Cemetery and follow the Gordon rioters in Barnaby Rudge towards Lord Mansfield’s country estate at Kenwood (Caen Wood).



    We will pass the Spaniard’s Inn, featured in the Pickwick Papers and continue across Hampstead Heath towards North End and Hendon. We finish in North End where we view the 17th century farmhouse that Dickens lodged in.



    Please note this walk is over 3 hours long and involved some steep ups and downs.



    starts Highgate on Green opposite the Woodman pub (414 Archway Rd, London N6 5UA), ends Bull and Bush pub, North End Road, NW3 ( between Golders Green and Hampstead.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £25.00
  13. Haiti in history
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Join us to discover the remarkable history, culture and politics of the Caribbean island of Haiti and the extraordinary resilience of its people since the revolution of 1791-1804. How has Haiti shaped a social and political identify for itself and what challenges have Haitians faced?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  14. American conservatism from Hoover to Trump
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Brian Kennedy
    This is a one-day course which will provide an overview of conservatism in American politics and how the ideology has evolved over time.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. The British in India
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    On this eight-week course we will explore the lives of the British men and women who lived in India in the period 1858-1947. How did British people live, work, socialize and die in India, and how did they feel about the end of British rule?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00

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