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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Transports of delight: London's railway stations
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £61.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Contemporary Scottish Women's Fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 9 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Fiona McCulloch
    Explore and discuss a selection of contemporary fictional texts by Scottish women writers, including Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Ali Smith’s Hotel World. We will think about key themes and issues, such as nationhood, women’s contribution to remapping the nation through its fictional imagining and relationship beyond its borders, social class, gender, sexuality, and journeys.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  3. Advanced creative non-fiction: workshop
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    This advanced workshop is designed for students who have already completed introductory and intermediate creative-non fiction courses and would like to focus on workshopping their writing.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. The art of Byzantium
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    A study of the unique visual flavour of Byzantine art and architecture, the development of a range of craft industries, and the impact of Byzantium on other cultures.



    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
  5. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This continuation course guides students in developing a memoir project that will resonate and inspire.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Phoebe Braithwaite
    ‘The shit in the shuttered château / Who does his five hundred words / Then parts out the rest of the day / Between bathing and booze and birds / Is far off as ever, but so / Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod…,” wrote Larkin in his poem, ‘The Life with a Hole in it.’ Who is the real Philip Larkin? Our course slices the bard of Coventry, Larkin loved and Larkin reviled, into four periods during the second half of the twentieth century to set him in context, with a view to unravelling some of his guises and understanding how he came to have such a hold on the British reading public.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  7. An Introduction to British Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Defining itself around themes such as British identity and class, and against the global appeal of Hollywood, British cinema nonetheless continues to find critical and popular acclaim both domestically and internationally. Explore British cinema through concepts including national cinema, realism, documentary, art cinema, popular cinema, 'heritage' film, and critical accounts of British cinema.



    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 £54.00
  8. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Mary Flanagan
    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  9. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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.



    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  10. Writing fantasy stories
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mary Victoria
    Build fantastical worlds, fill them with compelling characters and learn how to structure innovative plotlines in this perfect introduction for those with a passion for fantasy.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Writing for magazines
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. Reading for writers: great plays (a fortnightly course)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Imitation is more than just a form of flattery - it's a tool to discover your own writing craft! Delve into a series of famous playscripts, appreciating their mechanics and the unique approaches they use to represent the world. Then apply the insights gained to your own writing through in-class exercises.



    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 £52.00
  13. Writing for children: workshop
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    For experienced children's writers, this ongoing workshop offers an opportunity to develop your work-in-progress with constructive feedback from tutor and classmates.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  14. Extended history of modern art in 50 works
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site (other locations are available)

    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 £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  15. Social media for writers
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lisa Goll
    Learn to wield a powerful tool in the contemporary writer’s arsenal: social media.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00

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