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.

Online and classroom-based classes in London

This term we are running our history, politics and economics courses online to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community. From January 2022 we will offer courses both online and in the classroom (please check specific courses on the website). Whether online or in person, our classes are always welcoming and open to everyone.

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. Farms to Finance: an introduction to political economy
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  James Stannard
    Human economies have many foundations, from agriculture to banking. Some are unstable, yet we often feel powerless to change them - even when they threaten our survival. Are there alternatives? Join to learn more.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £40.00
  2. Who owns culture? The politics and poetics of decolonising museum displays
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Yasmin Hales
    Routinely the discussion on how to address the colonial and imperial past in relation to museum artifacts, collections and exhibitions appears in the media landscapes. The questions are difficult and answers are not straightforward. Join us to learn more and discuss this important challenge.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  3. Islam and politics in South and Southeast Asia post-1945
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nomaan Hanif
    Islam has long history in South and Southeast Asia and has remained a powerful influence in social and political spheres in the region following decolonisation. Join this course to learn how Islam has shaped the political dynamics of key countries and actors in the region.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £44.00
  4. America Divided – the lead up to the US Mid-Terms and beyond
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    Every election is important but some elections have huge implications, this year’s Mid-Terms increasingly feel like they are in that group. Will they be a referendum on Biden’s presidency; a repudiation or resurrection of Trump; what part will the Supreme Court have to play; and will the finely balanced equilibrium, which slightly favours the Democrats in both the Senate and the House, be overturned?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £15.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £15.00
  5. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Stuart Brookes
    Look at the least known episodes in London's history, Lundenwic (AD 600-900) and Lundenburh (AD 900-1000).



    Includes an introductory lecture, museum visit and guided walk.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. 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
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  6. Mary Queen of Scots
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Intrigue, murder execution…over 500 years on from her death, Mary’s colourful life continues to attract filmmakers and novelists alike. What can her reign, abdication and execution teach us about the social instabilities of social, religious and political life in Scotland and England in the 1500s?
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  7. Constable's Hampstead
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    The artist John Constable rented properties in Hampstead with his family from 1819 until he made it his permanent home in 1827.This virtual walk looks at the Georgian and Regency Hampstead he knew and includes quotes from his letters and points out his favourite places he painted.



    Meet outside Wagamama 58-62 Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3 1EN. Meet outside Wagamama 58-62 Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3 1EN.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Short histories of empire in South-East Asia
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Alison Appleby
    South-East Asia was for centuries an area of colonial conquest. This course looks at three of the empires established in the region: Dutch, British and Japanese.



    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 £22.00
  9. Crime and Punishment in Old London
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Diane Burstein
    Take a guided walk through the old City and its borders taking in beheadings and brutality at the Tower, tales of cutpurses and con men, the rise of prisons and the ghastly punishments that were meted out to wrongdoers. We go on a journey to Newgate Gaol, the Bridewell Prison and the places of execution including the notorious Tyburn Tree to hear tales of brutality, escapes and the bloodthirsty crowds who watched executions. Our tour includes London’s atmospheric legal quarter taking in the Old Bailey, The Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court to discover how London’s legal system developed .



    Meet outside St Paul’s Cathedral by the Statue of Queen Anne.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  10. Global issues: migration
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Hilke Gudel
    Explore and understand current trends and developments in international migration.



    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 £49.00 Concession £22.00
  11. East End in fact and fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    Covering the early 19th century to the early 20th century, we will examine the history of the East End, and we will analyse how it was portrayed in works of fiction.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  12. Modern France: from de Gaulle and the Resistance to Macron
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    (Re)discover France's complex politics during the Fourth and Fifth Republics, and the social challenges and tensions the country faced both at times of growth and modernisation and of crisis and doubts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  13. Global issues: human rights
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anna Grimaldi
    This course explores what human rights are and the ways in which they can be used to face various challenges being faced across the globe today, such as poverty, inequality, political repression, and climate change.



    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 £30.00
  14. The odd couple: Presidents Ford and Carter
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    Presidents Ford and Carter, who only served just over six years between them, often feel like relatively insignificant figures compared with other post-War Presidents. However, they served at a tumultuous time in both the United States and in the World. We will look at both men as individuals, their lives and reflect back on their presidencies and their legacies.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £8.00
  15. Britain and the Empire: the 1807 abolition of the slave trade
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Why did the British slave trade end in 1807 despite its apparent financial advantages? Historians have long debated the reasons for the abolition of the slave trade, variously citing economic, social, political and moral factors. How can we reconcile these competing theories over the reasons why the slave trade ended?
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £57.00

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