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. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 12 other dates)

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

    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
  2. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 25 May 2022 (and 11 other dates)

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

    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  3. An introduction to Hollywood Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Hollywood cinema has dominated screens and enthralled cinemagoers since the 1920s, adapting its creative and commercial strategies to meet the demands of changing markets and evolving audiences. This course explores its films, studios, producers, stars and directors, past and present, while also considering the key areas of its development and a range of critical accounts of Hollywood 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.



    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £36.00
  5. Reading images: an introduction to film studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This comprehensive introductory course provides an overview of the main historical, technical and theoretical aspects of filmmaking and film analysis.



    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Bloody Mary: the life and times of Mary Tudor
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    How did Mary I of England negotiate her position as an English Catholic monarch in the Reformation era, and what is her social and political significance for English history?



    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 £39.00
  7. The political economy of China’s aid policy: Mutually beneficial or Machiavellian?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    China has risen to become the world’s largest development aid provider. This has been variously described as a form of neocolonialism, an expression of economic expediency, and a generous aid project. This course will critically review these arguments and help learners make their own judgements.



    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 £39.00
  8. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    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 £60.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  9. Introduction to journalism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 15 Nov 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  10. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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 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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  11. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    ‘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
  12. Explore the philosophy of religion
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will provide an introduction to philosophical methods, definitions of terminology, and a broad overview of the history of philosophy of religion.



    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 £35.00
  13. Elizabeth I: marriage, warfare and foreign policy
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Virgin Queen, Gloriana and Good Queen Bess are just a few of the names given to Elizabeth I, who remains one of the most iconic monarchs in British history.



    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 £39.00
  14. An Introduction to British Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  15. The Iliad reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Come and explore Homer's great epic tale in translation.



    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 £60.00

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