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. Crime and Punishment in Old London
    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
  2. Art Deco London walk
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Diane Burstein
    Travel back to the 1930s to explore the Art Deco style that influenced a variety of designs, from radios and cutlery to places related to travel, entertainment and commerce. In addition to looking at the architecture of the period, your guide will tell stories of life in London from the time these buildings were being erected.



    Meeting outside St James’s Park tube station (Broadway exit) and finishing at the coach station. Meeting outside St James’s Park tube station (Broadway exit) and finishing at the coach station.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £8.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Further village London
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair




    A further five walks around London's former villages - Hampstead, Highgate, Archway, Fitzrovia and Soho.



    Why did these areas grow up as villages and how did they become swallowed up by the city of London?



    First meeting place: Hampstead, meet at Hampstead tube.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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