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.

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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Discovering Late Imperial China: Ming to Qing, 1500-1800
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Qiuyang Chen
    Journey into the heart of China's transformative era, where dynastic intrigue met daily life's rich fabric. Grasp the complexities of power, ethnic interplay, and innovation in an age of change in Late Imperial China.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
  2. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
  3. Tales of transformation: Ovid’s Metamorphoses
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 7 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nikoletta Manioti
    So many works of arts refer, in one way or another, to Ovid's Metamorphoses. In this course, you'll become familiar with some of the most memorable stories in this masterpiece and begin to understand why its stories are - and have been - so universally fascinating and influential.



    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 £58.00
  4. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 7 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene, Mark Malcomson, Paul Sutton, Patricia Sweeney, Dafydd Townley, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    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 £64.00
  5. "From Birth to Battle: The RAF, 1914-1945"
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 14 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online





    This course will explore how air power developed in Britain between 1914 and 1945.







    Taught by:



    Dr. Powell a Teaching Fellow in Air Power and Strategic Studies at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell as part of the Portsmouth Military Education Team. He holds a PhD in Modern History from the University of Birmingham. His first book The Development of British Tactical Air Power, 1940-1943: A History of Army Co-operation Command was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. He has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals and is a regular TVP World (Poland) and British Forces TV. His current research investigates the relationship between the Air Ministry and the British aircraft industry in the inter-war period.



    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 £64.00
  6. Reading BrexLit: three novels
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 14 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    The 2016 referendum result was one of the most significant events in recent British history. How can novels, written in that moment, shed light on the run-up to the vote and its immediate aftermath?



    On this course we’ll study three fascinating and powerful novels, by Ali Smith, Anthony Cartwright and Adam Thorpe, exploring their stories and the backdrop they present of Britain’s divisions and connections.



    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 £64.00
  7. Medieval pilgrimage
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 14 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Take a virtual tour of the ‘must see’ pilgrimage sites of medieval Europe. Pick up tips from William Wey, a seasoned pilgrim of the fifteenth century, as you plan your trip to Jerusalem.



    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 £64.00
  8. The West and World Order since 1989
    Course start date:  Tue 21 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Angelos Sepos
    The abrupt end of bi-polarity in 1989 and the advent of US unipolarity has now been replaced by a volatile multipolar world order. What does this mean for the West?



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
  9. Ways into advanced film studies: film theory
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This advanced level film studies course will introduce you to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of film. It will consider some of the earliest attempts to think about film, studies that borrowed methodologies from other disciplines. As early as 1915, for example, writers were applying psychology to film analysis, exploring the emotional responses of audiences to this still new medium. Early theorists argued for film as a distinct art form, and we will examine a number of their key texts. In the 1960s, film studies began to develop as a specific subject of study in universities in the US and the UK, once again deploying perspectives from other subject areas. We will examine a number of these theories and consider their continued importance for the analysis and understanding of film today.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ingrid Aguiar Schlindwein
    Explore post-colonial Africa's political, economic, and social journey since independence. Gain insights into state building, governance, development, and identity, fostering a holistic understanding of Africa's historical evolution.



    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 £64.00
  11. How to get published
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Feb 2025 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Neil Arksey
    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.



    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 £75.00
  12. An introduction to African and diaspora studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 16 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Gabriel Olumide Apata
    The course explores the many ways by which Africans came to be dispersed across the world and their political, socio-cultural experiences in their new societies.



    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 £64.00
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