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. Literature taster

    Literature taster

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 13 Dec 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    Come and join this taster session to find out what makes a literature class at City Lit so special. The course includes an overview of our literature courses for next term (January-March 2021).

    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: £10.00

  2. Exploring Medieval Literature: Beowulf

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 11 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The story of a hero’s battles with supernatural monsters that determine the fate of kingdoms, we know Beowulf from a single 1000-year-old manuscript. The poem tells many stories: of magic swords, festive halls, powerful women and forbidding landscapes. It is the greatest Old English poem. Explore the original English epic!

    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: £48.00

  3. Classic drama: Euripides, Chekhov and Shakespeare

    Course Date: Mon 11 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Read, view and study three classic plays, including Medea by Euripides, King Lear by Shakespeare and Three Sisters by Chekhov in terms of dialogue, theme, characterisation, imagery and structure as well considering them as performance texts, where we will assess the ways a director, actor, set, lighting and costume designer can lift the text off the page and make it a living, breathing theatrical experience.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £209.00
    Senior fee: £167.00
    Concession: £127.00

  4. The Seven Ages of Poetry

    Course Date: Mon 11 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Travel through thirteen centuries of English poetry, from Beowulf to the present, in a single course. Find out what has excited poets from Anglo Saxon bards, medieval romancers, Elizabethan sonneteers, to creators of Romantic lyrics and modern free verse.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  5. The Art of the Essay: women essayists and the bending of genre

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 11 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through a variety of women essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between memoir, confession, nature writing, elegy, sermon, polemic and mystical/religious experience through key women essayists including Virginia Woolf, Simone Weil, Audre Lorde, Clarice Lispector, Kathleen Jamie, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine.

    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

  6. Our world made new: utopias and dystopias

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Why have some writers imagined our world as a much better or much worse place than it actually is? We will look at utopias and dystopias from Plato’s Republic and More’s Utopia to Margaret Atwood and P D James. Have some changed the way we think? Why are some views of the future more memorable than others? Do some writers tap into our fears and hopes more deeply than others and, if so, how?

    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: £97.00

  7. Transatlantic literature

    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This class examines transatlantic literature, embarking on a voyage of intercontinental literary exploration to investigate the history of literary exchanges between Europe and the Americas. From the Hispanic Atlantic and the Black Atlantic to the French and British Atlantic, we encounter a rich body of important writing that charts the unfolding relationship between the new and old worlds.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  8. Writing over the classics: postmodernist interventions

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This course covers some of the most exciting literary texts of the past half-century: texts that have revisited and adapted canonical works of literature including Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe and Hamlet. Along the way, we’ll be confronting some of the biggest questions out there, including the biggest of them all: what is literature?

    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

  9. Meeting Proust 'In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower'

    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Proust’s masterpiece comes to life with supportive resources and invigorated discussion. Through close reading of the second volume, we are immersed in the life of this most introspective narrator in the modernist classic.

    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: £127.00
    Concession: £97.00

  10. Great novels of childhood

    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” The famous opening line of LP Hartley’s The Go-Between sums up the mystery and the challenge in writing about childhood, a time of uncertainty and confusion, of innocence and transformation. We’ll be reading some of the classic novels of modern times which brilliantly explore this “foreign country”.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  11. British literature: 2000-2020: prizes and prize culture

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 13 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    What makes a prize-winning book in the twenty-first century? And why have prizes become such an important influence on the books we read and buy? On this course we will study five of Britain’s most significant literary prizes and read a representative winner of each from the last twenty years, including books by Anna Burns, Ali Smith and Don Paterson.

    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: £97.00

  12. American Gothic

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 13 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Explore and discuss the work of great 19th and 20th century writers such as Hawthorne. Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor – and learn about the dark streak that runs through so much of the best American literature.

    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

  13. African encounters: Modern classics from East, West and South Africa

    Course Date: Wed 13 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    We will read a selection of African novels from the 20th century, exploring the variety of anglophone, francophone and afrikaans African literatures from Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and Southern Africa, which include both acknowledged classics, neglected masterpieces and one freshly-translated fiction.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  14. The Victorian Novel: representations of the family

    Course Date: Wed 13 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This course seeks to introduce students to some of the less familiar texts of Victorian literature, covering a range of genres, including realism, sensation fiction and the ‘New Woman’.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  15. Vagabonds in modern fiction and film

    Course Date: Thu 14 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    “I aint got no home, I’m just a roamin’ round” (Woody Guthrie). This class explores the figure of the vagabond and representations of hardship and the road in works by celebrated authors and filmmakers. From Charlie Chaplin and George Orwell to Woody Guthrie and Agnès Varda, we investigate the historical and cultural contexts of the image of the vagabond in 20th century literature and cinema.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

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