Literature

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. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

    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
  2. Women's prize for fiction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most popular, contentious and highly contended literary prizes in Britain. In this short course we will read and discuss past and current winners, texts by the 2021 judges, consider the merits and drawbacks of the prize, and perhaps predict the next winner!

    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. Writers of the New Yorker
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over three weeks we explore the work of three writers from The New Yorker. We think about the history of the magazine and look at the writing of three of its best-known women: Maeve Brennan, Lillian Ross, and Janet Malcolm.

    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 £49.00 Concession £30.00
  4. Exploring Medieval Literature: origins of the Robin Hood legend
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 1 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Dashing heroes, dazzling tights, merry men, and talking foxes: the Robin Hood legend has influenced many TV and film representations. How did it originate, and why? What relationships have the fiction with the history? And how did Robin Hood stories develop in ballads, plays (including in Shakespeare), and poems?

    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
  5. Maps and Mapping in Fiction
    Course Date:  Wed 4 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Whether the places they depict are real, imaginary, or somewhere in between, writers of fiction have long been fascinated by maps and the possibilities they contain. From fantasy lands to real-life geographies, this course investigates the close (though sometimes ambiguous) relationships between maps and fiction. We will explore extracts and illustrative maps from a range of different texts, and try our hand at mapping a fictional space for ourselves.

    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
  6. The Poetry of W.B. Yeats
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 8 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over 150 years since the birth of William Butler Yeats, his poetry continues to have an enduring place in the landscape of world literature, inspiring writers, musicians and artists alike. This course explores four of his finest poems written at different stages in his life. We will examine how he sought inspiration from Irish mythology, politics, nature, his personal relationships and art to develop ideas about beauty and creativity.

    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
  7. Caribbean voices: writers of the Windrush generation
    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
  8. Virginia Woolf: essayist and thinker
    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
  9. Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class
    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
  10. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    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
  11. Novels of Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Shirley & Villette
    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
  12. Literature Taster: Shakespeare
    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
  13. Literature taster
    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
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  14. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    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
  15. Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
    Evening
    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

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