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. Sports: an American History
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Kennedy
    This course (from an American lecturer who is a sports fanatic!) will provide a brief overview of the history of American sport and the role of sport in American society.



    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
  2. Colonial expansion, the Caribbean and the Golden Age of Piracy
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Raise the Jolly Roger, we’re off to the Caribbean! With thousands of pirates active globally, the late 1600s and early 1700s have been referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Piracy.’ On this short course we will discover the people who joined pirate crews; what life was like on board a pirate ship; and the reasons why pirate crews are referred to as early democracies.



    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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £25.00
  3. Why do we obey? The politics of obedience
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christian Michel
    We groan against bosses, berate politicians, demonstrate against most aspects of the social system, and then humbly take our orders from above. Is obedience imprinted in our genes? How submissive must people be for society to function? In this short course we will discuss the politics of obedience – drawing on psychology, anthropology, history, and political philosophy.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Further village London
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - 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
  5. Medieval London 1000-1350: the archaeology of a capital city
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and Onsite)

    Tutors:  Stuart Brookes
    This one day course looks at a period that fundamentally shaped London as a city, from the laying out of a new town within the old Roman city wall to the rapid growth of the 11—13th centuries.



    Includes an introductory lecture, museum visit and guided walk.



    This course will be delivered online and onsite. 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
  6. The Wyldes of Hampstead: Exploring Hampstead’s Northern Slopes
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 10 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Discover the rural north side of Hampstead by walking across the Heath Extension to the hamlet of Northend learning about its famous residents, its hostelry and the 17th- century Wyldes farmhouse. We return via the enchanting Hill Garden and Golders Hill Park.



    Meet on the green behind the newsagent at Golders Green Station. Circular walk starts and ends outside the main entrance to Golders Green and involves walking across parts of the Heath..
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
  7. Political biography reading group
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Oct 2021

    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 BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND: HARRIET TUBMAN PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN HERO by Kate Clifford Larson, 2005 One World Trade paperback edition.



    NOTE: This course consists of four sessions on the following dates: 5/10/21, 23/11/21, 18/1/22 & 8/3/22.



    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 £30.00

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