History, culture & writing

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.

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, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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.

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  1. Introduction to art history
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    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 £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  2. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Anna Richards
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  3. Starting your novel
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £100.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  4. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  5. Current affairs
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news? Enrol early for lively, informed discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  6. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    Are you brand new to writing poetry? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners in the craft? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a poet.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Mexico: From the war of independence to the present
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anna Grimaldi
    Want to know more about Mexico? Join us in this course where we look at the history of Mexico beginning with the first independence uprisings in the early 19th century until the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
  8. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  9. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Apr 2023 (and 11 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Natasha Bell
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  10. Introduction to journalism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Apr 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tristan McConnell
    On this course students will explore the basic skills a freelance journalist needs to write and sell news and features to newspapers and magazines. From developing ideas and identifying outlets to interview skills and approaching editors.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  11. US history for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 8 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This online course offers a brief examination of, and introduction to, the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the United States, 1608 - 2001.



    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 £45.00
  12. Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Want to write a murder mystery that will knock readers dead? On this course you'll learn how to plot a murder most horrid and develop your writing to create maximum suspense.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  13. European architecture in the Middle Ages 800-1500
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Plant
    Explore the development of architecture in Europe from the Carolingian period to the end of the middle ages and study the major monuments – cathedrals, parish churches and castles of the age.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  14. Transports of delight: London's railway stations
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person) (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London's stations see over 1 billion journeys annually, but the buildings themselves are often ignored. Explore a different station and environs each week, discovering the architecture, history, stories and future of these lifelines of London. The course starts with an initial zoom lecture followed by a series of walking tours.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Paper Secrets: letters in novels from Julian Barnes to Tayari Jones
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Would you ever open other people’s letters? This contemporary fiction course invites you to read intimate correspondence over characters’ shoulders, to piece together the stories of long-forgotten letters, and to watch stolen letters set comic and catastrophic events in motion. We’ll study four absorbing novels in detail, exploring ideas about memory, time and communication, and discovering how letters are tangled up in them all. Includes



    Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011), Claire Fuller, Swimming Lessons (2017), Denis Thériault, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman (2017) and Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (2018).
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00

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