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Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

Study online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many also teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for fiction, poetry and drama through presentations, readings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. Caribbean voices: writers of the Windrush generation
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 14 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    “Wat a joyful news, miss Mattie, | I feel like me heart gwine burs | Jamaica people colonizin | Englan in reverse,” wrote the England-bound Jamaican poet Louise Bennett in 1966. Two decades of migration from the Caribbean “periphery” to the British “metropole” saw the development of deep varied Caribbean traditions both critical and creative, and this weekend course considers them.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  2. Virginia Woolf: essayist and thinker
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 18 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course will explore Virginia Woolf’s work as an essay writer and thinker, focusing on Woolf's 'A Room of One's Own', 'Three Guineas', 'The Common Reader', and other essays.



    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 £42.00
  3. Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 24 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A Pierrot costume, the wrong party dress, a pair of white kid gloves – these items of clothing enable Colette, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen to explore large themes within short stories; for Pauline Melville and Tessa Hadley two very different jackets have rich tales to tell. Join author and lecturer Lynn Knight for a lively and engaging discussion about the meaning of clothes and the power of the short story.



    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 £30.00
  4. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi (Japan), Snow Country by Kawabata, The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya (India/Britain), The Island by Ana Maria Matute (Spain), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Italy).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  5. Novels of Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Shirley & Villette
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course focuses on Charlotte Bronte’s three major novels: Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Bronte’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Bronte ‘mythology’ itself.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  6. Literature Taster: Shakespeare
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Ever wondered what studying an online Literature course at City Lit is like? Tempted to try, but not ready to commit to a whole course? Try this taster session on Shakespeare to boost your confidence and whet your appetite for further study!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £6.00
  7. Literature taster
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 18 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to find out how to go about understanding a poem or how to do a close reading of a work of fiction? Come and join us to discover what makes a literature class at City Lit so special.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £6.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore the concerns,styles and influences of 4 key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. Texts studied include Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Travesties by Tom Stoppard.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  9. Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce and discuss a branch of Children’s Literature known as Young Adult (YA) Fiction. It is also sometimes referred to as Adolescent or Teenage Fiction. We will read books like Malorie Blackman’s Noble Conflict (2013) and Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours (2015). YA Fiction often addresses complex and challenging topics, like conflict, social class, gender, sexuality, and disability. It tends to depict heroes and heroines who may not always have carefree traditional backgrounds or happy-ever-after endings. They can face vast struggles and uncertainties, like those amplified in the increasingly turbulent and precarious world beyond the text.



    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 £79.00
  10. Exploring Medieval Literature: The Canterbury Tales
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Pilgrimage, religion, social mores and foibles, exuberant women, and a drunk miller with a penchant for bashing down doors with his head! Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are excellent examples of Middle English writing. The range of characters, diverse plotlines, energy and playfulness all offer a fine insight into 14th Century England. It’s medieval England’s most famous work; this is because Chaucer’s multi-layered writing style is varied, subtle, and brilliant.



    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 £54.00
  11. Migration and mobility in contemporary fiction
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How have contemporary fiction writers responded to the experiences of a planet on the move? Between globalisation, the legacy of empires, and an escalating refugee crisis, the 21st century has been shaped by unprecedented levels of migration and geographical mobility. This course explores how a selection of recent novels have given shape to this context. Authors include: Teju Cole, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid, and Hoda Barakat.



    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 £91.00
  12. Great Historical Novels
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  13. Out of the fire: Black American writers in the 20th Century
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Weaving history, diverse traditions and a collage of voices, this online literature course will explore the struggle and celebration of black experience through Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, both growing out of the explosion of Black art during the Harlem Renaissance.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  14. Writing Post-Colonial London
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Migration from once-colonised countries to the old imperial centre has transformed London demographically and culturally. This course offers an opportunity to critically read a selection of novels, poetry and cinema written by writers and filmmakers of migrant and diaspora heritage that examine life in contemporary multicultural and postcolonial London. We will be focusing on how this select body of work interrogates legacies of colonialism, racism and socio-economic inequality as well as offering a creative space for investigating London’s place as a multicultural metropolis.



    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 £91.00
  15. Exploring literature: an introduction to prose and drama
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce you to a range of prose and dramatic texts that explore the human condition and analyse how the writers shape your response. Prose texts include stories by Alice Munro, Raymond Carver and Kazuo Ishiguro and the short novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. The drama texts will be 'Ghosts' by Ibsen and



    'All my Sons' by Arthur Miller.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00

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