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. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Oct 2021 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories, develop their ideas and technique.



    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:
    99% of 100
  2. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 12 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (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 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 £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. The essay - academic writing
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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:
    91% of 100
  4. Where is the future? An introduction to the philosophy of time
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Time is a familiar and fundamental part of our lives - we count down the minutes until lunch, we schedule meetings, we set alarms - and yet few subjects have proven as mysterious and elusive. This course will explore some of the key questions that have preoccupied philosophers and scientists for thousands of years.



    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
  5. City of words: further adventures
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    London luxuriates in literary references. We follow the footsteps of the authors, poets and playwrights, and some of their creations, as we walk a brand new neighbourhood each week, exploring the literary 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 £79.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Jewish novels in the Hellenistic period
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover the emergence of the novel as a literary genre during the Hellenistic period, which has given birth to the modern novel.



    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 £60.00
  7. Ancient cities St. Paul knew
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover eight fascinating ancient cities, which are amazing places to visit.



    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 £63.00 Concession £48.00
  8. 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
  9. The philosophy of love and sex
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    At first, the philosopher and the lover seem unnatural bedfellows. The philosopher’s lucidity talks past the lover’s intoxication. But could they be companions? What wisdom can the philosopher take from the lover?



    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 £39.00
  10. 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
  11. Dark Women: Daphne du Maurier, Patricia Highsmith and Elizabeth Bowen
    Course start date:  Tue 26 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Three women occupy a special place in the story of pre and post war British fiction: the Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, mistress of horror Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith, whose dark thrillers have been made into classic films. All three combined a profound sense of dread with dazzling skill in story telling.



    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00
  12. Philosophy for the guilty
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    What can philosophy offer us once we have transgressed, fallen or sinned? You could say that philosophy only truly comes alive to us once we have betrayed our own values. Only then are we ready for philosophy's interrogation.



    This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.



    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 £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £35.00
  13. Cause and effect: a philosophical investigation
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course introduces students to contemporary philosophical debates concerning the nature of causation, how we identify causes, and whether we should even understand the world in causal terms at all.



    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. From the silent era to the talkies: the transformation of cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    By the end of the 1920s cinema had reached a peak of creativity with films such as Sunrise which it was thought the 'talkies' might undermine. But the late 20s and early 30s saw a flourishing of imagination in the use of sound in films like M, and sparkling dialogue in films such as Trouble in Paradise. Explore the world of silent cinema and early sound film through these and other landmark films.



    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. Spectacles of the Ancient world
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 12 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores some of the most elaborate and powerful displays of the Graeco-Roman world. Designed to entertain, inform, and elicit support, often at times of great political or religious significance, they were unforgettable, and have long exercised an influence on our own understanding of the nature of power.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00

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