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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 'Holy, holy, holy': Literary religions of the counterculture

    Course Date: Fri 15 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    There is a culture, and there is the counterculture: the movement that arose to challenge the values, politics, mores – in short, the consciousness – of the emergent post-WWII society in America and Europe. Through literary and historical readings, the course will explore the counterculture’s reinvention of salvation, transcendence, and revelation.

    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. London lowlife in fiction

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 18 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The late 19th/early 20th century was a tumultuous time in London, and many fiction writers sought a new way to explore the themes of poverty, social injustice, gender and ethnicity in the capital. We will explore each author’s approach to the subject matter, and travel in fiction to many vividly realised London locations, ranging from Lambeth to Soho, Whitechapel to Seven Dials, Shoreditch to Shadwell, identifying innovations in narrative style and literary genre.

    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

  6. Pope: 'The Proper Study of Mankind'

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 23 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Discover how Pope dominated the early Eighteenth Century with a series of ambitious and astonishingly varied masterpieces, ranging from idealistic pastoral – via magnificent satire and romantic eloquence – to his greatest philosophical and spiritual undertaking, An Essay on Man.

    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

  7. Don DeLillo's 21st century fiction

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 24 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Over the course of his career, Don DeLillo has produced an extraordinary range of novels which examine what it means to think, to feel and to be. This day-long course gives you a change to study his work, contexts, and influences.

    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

  8. Russian poets: Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 24 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    An evaluation, through close reading and discussion, of some of the most celebrated verse of the Silver Age, the Soviet Revolutionary period and the decades of Stalinism. What is it about the individual poems that cast a spell over so many of their contemporaries and the generations that followed? What do they tell us about the human spirit and the value of art in a time of catastrophic upheaval?

    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

  9. An introduction to poetry: Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 24 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    You will read ,discuss and enjoy a selection of poetry by Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  10. Exploring literature: an introduction to poetry

    Course Date: Tue 2 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    We will read and discuss poetry from across four centuries including poems by Shakespeare, John Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Emily Dickenson, Wilfred Owen, TS Eliot, WH Auden, Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Maya Angelou and many more. There will be a weekly spot where students can share their own particular favourites.

    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

  11. Women Walking in the City

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Inspired by Lauren Elkin’s book Flaneuse, and the journey of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, this two-day workshop explores literary representations of women exploring the city.

    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

  12. Exploring Medieval Literature: Viking Sagas

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 15 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The Norse or Icelandic Sagas might be the greatest literature from the medieval period. They are prose tales, mostly written in medieval Iceland. They concern the histories and myths of Northern Europe. This course looks at some principal tales – about poets, gods, heroes - and farmers with super powers!

    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

  13. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories

    Course Date: Tue 16 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Read and discuss two short stories a week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time. For the first session we will read "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" by James Joyce (from Dubliners) and "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" by Eimear McBride (2014), a contemporary response.

    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

  14. Byron: 'In the soul's haunted cell'

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 20 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Flamboyant and contradictory, Byron’s exploits enthralled a continent. Self-aggrandising and self-lacerating, utterly of his time while declaring war on Romanticism, few poets equal Byron’s power to entertain while wrestling with intractable existential questions. We shall consider how the vitality and provocations of Byron’s work stimulate insight into our own experience and aspirations.

    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

  15. Dubliners: between paralysis and epiphany

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 27 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Dip into James Joyce in a dynamic one-day course with two selections from Dubliners. We will consider the nature of paralysis and epiphany in ‘Two Sisters’ and ‘The Dead’. Please read these in preparation.

    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

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