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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Advanced historical study
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Benjamin Chwistek, Martin Jorgensen
    If you have a passion for history, or if you've ever been interested in studying history at a higher level, this course could be right for you. Whether you're an avid hobby historian, or thinking about studying history for your Foundation, Bachelors or Masters degree, this course offers you an introduction to history at an advanced level.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
  2. Slavery and the Civil War: The United States from 1815 to 1865
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This course will look at American history from 1815 to 1865. Much of the course will focus on how regional divisions developed, how the topic of slavery divided the nation, and how that ultimately culminated in The Civil War. However, we will also look at other political, economic, social, and cultural developments during that half century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Transports of delight: London's railway stations
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London's stations see over 1 billion journeys annually, but the buildings themselves are often ignored. Explore a different station and environs each week, discovering the architecture, history, stories and future of these lifelines of London.



    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 £61.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Norse code: deciphering the Viking age
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Cassidy Croci
    This interdisciplinary course provides a brief overview of the Viking Age (c. 750-1100 CE) by exploring medieval texts, place-names, and artefacts from a variety of perspectives and themes.



    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
  5. Elizabeth I: marriage, warfare and foreign policy
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    The Virgin Queen, Gloriana and Good Queen Bess are just a few of the names given to Elizabeth I, who remains one of the most iconic monarchs in British history.



    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 £39.00
  6. Scottish history: Soccer and sectarianism in Scotland 1867-1918
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Colm Hickey
    The development of football in Scotland from 1867 to the end of the Great War occurred against a background of growing and hardening sectarianism. The reasons why these themes were intertwined are studied, analysed, evaluated and explained.



    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
  7. History of the European Union: from World War II to the 2004 expansion
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Hilke Gudel
    Explore the fascinating evolution of the European Union throughout its history.



    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 £39.00
  8. The political economy of China’s aid policy: Mutually beneficial or Machiavellian?
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zannis Kairis
    China has risen to become the world’s largest development aid provider. This has been variously described as a form of neocolonialism, an expression of economic expediency, and a generous aid project. This course will critically review these arguments and help learners make their own judgements.



    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 £39.00
  9. The US Presidents who made the post war world
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    Lecture based course covering the five American Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon) who shaped the post-War world both in their own country and beyond. Both America and the world changed hugely during this period, often directly influenced by these five Presidents. Tutors: Mark Malcomson.



    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 £79.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Modern France: from the Paris Commune to the Vichy Regime
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    After uncertain beginnings, the Third republic managed to survive numerous crises until the defeat of 1940 sealed its fate. Re(discover) this exciting period, its actors and how their policies shaped modern France.



    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
  11. The American century: the US from 1945 to 2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This interactive lecture outline course explores the political, social, and cultural development of the United States since the end of World War 2 to the present day.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
  12. Curating stories: the value and practice of oral history
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Angela Platt
    Want to start gathering oral histories but not sure where to start? Already collecting oral histories but need a friendly and supportive space to discuss your project? Join us on this course to further define, plan and organise your project.



    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. History of economic thought: from Adam Smith to neoliberalism
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Naresh Sonpar
    Want to learn about the the development of economic ideas and their inter-relationships with political ideas? Join this course to strengthen your understanding.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £66.00
  14. The emergence of modern America: the United States from 1865 to 1900
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    In this follow-up course to “Slavery and the Civil War” we will discuss the next phase of American history, covering the years from 1865 to 1900.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £66.00
  15. Life in Elizabethan England
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    The Elizabethan era is long remembered as a ‘Golden Age’ of literature, theatre, learning and exploration, but what was daily life like for the poor, the artisan classes and the middle-classes during Elizabeth’s reign?



    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 £39.00

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