History, culture & writing - Off Site

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

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

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

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

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Discover how London recovered from one of the great disasters and became a centre of commerce and the heart of a great empire. We follow in the steps of some of its best known characters like Doctor Johnson and Samuel Pepys and some lesser known including William Lilley and Thomas Chatterton. The course follows on from the HLW06 The City of London: the square mile, but new students are welcome. The first meeting place is Monument station, Fish Street Hill exit.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
  2. That's entertainment
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Rachel Kolsky
    This series of walks profiles entertainment in London, past and present. Discover the theatrical and musical heritage of Soho, Covent Garden, Camden and Marylebone together with London landmarks used as popular film locations.



    22nd February : Beatles London - inside Marylebone Station near the tube entrance



    1st March : Theatreland - outside Covent Garden tube, on Long Acre on corner of Neal Street



    8th March: Musical Soho - outside Dominion Tottenham Court Road



    15th March: London on Film - outside Barbican tube.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
  3. Renaissance art: making, locating and viewing
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    This course explores the Making, the Locating and the Viewing of Renaissance paintings in the collection of the National Gallery. This course takes place at the National Gallery.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  4. Medieval and Renaissance art at the V&A
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Andreas Petzold
    Explore the one of the finest and most diverse collections of medieval and Renaissance art and material culture in the world at the V&A Museum.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  5. Friday lates: designs of India at the V&A
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Explore the treasures of the V&A Nehru Gallery and its painting and the decorative arts from India between the 16th and 19th centuries.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  6. Looking at contemporary art
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore and discuss contemporary art on show in London. Each week we’ll visit 1-2 commercial galleries or a public gallery and examine specific exhibitions of contemporary art across a range of media including painting, works on paper, photography, new media and sculpture.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  7. Faith and the female image
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Explore the V&A’s collections and see how Biblical figures, the Virgin Mary, female saints and Hindu and Buddhist deities have been depicted in various periods and cultures and learn about their importance and symbolism.



    NB: This course will take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £19.00
  8. A stroll through British art: 1500-1850
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    On this informal gallery-based course you will explore and discuss the history and characteristics of British art from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The course will take place offsite at both the National Gallery and Tate Britain.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  9. London's smaller galleries: Leighton House
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    A Palace of Art built for the Olympian Giant of the Victorian art world but also a place to live and work. This short course provides a fascinating exploration of Leighton’s world.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  10. Between two bars: Art and architecture of Fleet Street
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    In 1878 the symbolic entrance to the City of London from Westminster, Temple Bar was taken down to allow greater traffic flow into the City. It was replaced by the Temple Bar Monument, a more subtle marker into the City. In this walk we trace the history of Fleet Street and some of the outlying courts and streets and discuss the institutions and professions that the street is symnominous with. We shall take a survey of the architecture and monuments of this conservation area. The walk ends at the entrance of Paternoster Square, where in 2004 the former, restored Temple Bar was re installed as its gateway.







    Meeting point - Bell Yard by telephone boxes, outside the Royal Courts of Justice junction with the Strand and Fleet Street; Ends Paternoster Square, City of London.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  11. London's hidden art and architecture, part II
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Uncover a whole new side of London, from Roman times to the present day through a series of walks and visits to art galleries and historic sites.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  12. The art and culture of the Victorians
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover the fascinating world of the Victorians and their legacy, exploring fine art, design, architecture, and literature through gallery visits.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Islamic art in 25 objects
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Discover important objects of Islamic Art dating across a more than a millennium in London galleries. We will study world-famous objects, discover lesser known gems, study their context and understand how they relate to one another and the wider world.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  14. Contemporary art in London
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore and discuss contemporary art on show in London. Each week we’ll visit 1-2 commercial galleries or a public gallery and examine specific exhibitions of contemporary art across a range of media including painting, works on paper, photography, new media and sculpture.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  15. Extended history of modern art in 50 works
    Course start date:  Wed 3 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the history of modern art through objects and artworks in London galleries. Build a greater understanding of modern art, its experiments and the cultural rebellions that mark the period.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100

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