Culture, history & humanities

Explore Culture, History & Humanities Courses

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. Ways into creative writing: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jul 2024 (and 10 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    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 £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Ways into poetry: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jul 2024 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This shorter version of our introductory Ways into poetry course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    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 £70.00
  3. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Nov 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    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 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 £84.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  4. Exploring British cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Defining itself around themes such as realism, class and national identity, British cinema continues to find critical and popular acclaim, both domestically and internationally. This course explores British cinema, past and present, through a range of critical concepts and approaches, films - including both popular and art house - and filmmakers, and considers its function as a national cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  5. How should we reason? An introduction to logic
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    Philosophical Logic is the study of the rules of correct reasoning. This course will introduce you to some widely accepted rules of correct reasoning and teach you how to describe these rules with mathematical precision.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 26 Sep 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £75.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  7. Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £75.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  8. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Course start date:  Fri 27 Sep 2024 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    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 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. America in the 20s: culture and society
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene, Mark Malcomson, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Paul Sutton, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    From the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance, to Prohibiton and the Depression, this online intertextual course explores the political, social and cultural context of 1920s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. With different tutors for each specialism, the course provides a 'taster' in each subject as a gateway to further study in understanding this fascinating period in American culture and society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  10. US history for beginners
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This online course offers a brief examination of, and introduction to, the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the United States, 1608 - 2001.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  11. British Fiction of the 40s and 50s: matters of life, death and peace
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  William Brady
    British Writers of the 1940s contended with a series of hitherto unimaginable challenges, dilemmas and paradoxes. From living in a climate of ‘total war’ to grappling with a disorienting rush of social and cultural change, the literature of the period reflects, often fragmentedly, a time of hope, anxiety and upheaval. We will explore a range of texts, spanning the gothic, the semi-autobiographical, the escapist and elegiac with a range of voices, including Virginia Woolf, Roald Dahl, Elizabeth Bowen, and Terrence Rattigan under discussion.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  12. From the Land of the Rising Sun: an introduction to Japanese Literature
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Woody River
    Explore the strange and beautiful world of Japanese literature from the 17th century to the present. Follow the footsteps of a medieval travelling poet, delve into the Tokyo pleasure district, view Hiroshima through the eyes of survivors after the atomic bombing, and interpret dreams to illuminate Japanese history and culture. Using art, photography, history and film, you will explore poems, journals, short stories and novels by ten of Japan’s most important writers.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
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