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. The beauty of the medieval manuscript
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    It is generally accepted that medieval illuminated manuscripts are very beautiful things. Something to do with all that gold-leaf maybe. While we cannot hold them in class, close-up digital reproduction will allow us to see if they really are as beautiful as we are told. Indeed, are none of them ugly? Join this course to find out.



    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
  2. The Politics of the NHS from 1945 to 2024
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Salome Ietter
    This course will provide a reflection on contemporary debates around the National Health Service in the UK and relate them to its historical settings.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  3. George Eliot: Middlemarch
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This short literature course will explore George Eliot’s novel, ‘Middlemarch’ (1871-2). Considered by many to be the greatest nineteenth century novel, we explore its narrative methods and characterisation, its rich engagement with the ideas and concerns of its age, and above all, its deep humanity that still resonates today.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  4. Beckett and The Divine Comedy: a lifelong influence
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Explore the intimate relationship between Beckett’s universe of unbelief, presided over by a Godot who never comes, and Dante’s poem, the most exalted, vastly influential literary expression of medieval Christianity, whose presence can be felt everywhere in the Irishman’s long oeuvre, in every genre – in his plays, novels, stories, poems, essays - and at every stage of his career. What brought them together, and what were the results?
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Gaslighters, Grifters and Gangsters: Psycho-thrillers of the 40s and 50s
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  William Brady
    Join us to explore the rise of a dark, psychologically complex strain of Crime Fiction in the 1940s and 50s. Often termed the ‘psycho-thriller’, these novels put the criminal mind centre-stage, delving into murkier recesses of the human psyche than had previously been entertained. Focusing on two key examples of the genre, Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square and Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, we will analyse and contextualise the psycho-thriller as it evolved in Britain and America.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  6. Looking beyond headlines: colonialism and contemporary conflicts
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Salome Ietter
    This course will provide a reflection on the colonial, post-colonial and neo-colonial aspects and underpinnings of contemporary conflicts.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
  7. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
  8. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Great works: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This course explores Mary Shelley’s iconic novel, Frankenstein. We will consider the novel’s literary, socio-political, philosophical, and scientific contexts, alongside thinking about its narrative themes and techniques. We’ll also touch upon its rich ‘afterlife’, thinking about some of the ways the novel has been reimagined in later adaptations, and asking why this story continues to have such resonance today.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £51.00
  10. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
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