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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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.

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  1. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Aug 2022 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination. Please note: this course has a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    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 £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 19 May 2022 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    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 £105.00
  3. Current affairs
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news? Enrol early for lively, informed discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. National Gallery
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Get to know the National Gallery. Discuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  5. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    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 £64.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  6. London's smaller art collections
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover some of London’s fascinating smaller art collections and hidden art treasures on this gallery-based art history course.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    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
  8. Philosophy and the meaning of life
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    Some philosophers have insisted that philosophy should explain the meaning of our existence. What does it mean for us to be? And how then should we live? This course examines some seriously philosophical answers.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £259.00 Concession £130.00
  9. Symbols and stories: saints in art
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Saints are represented in masterpieces of Christian art from 1200 to the present – learn how to recognise them, decode their meanings and iconography and enhance your understanding of this aspect of art history.



    NB.The first class is online due to the rail and tube strike on Tuesday 21 June. The rest of the course will take place in person at City Lit, Keeley Street.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Ways into creative writing: intensive
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Aug 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive online environment alongside other beginners? This faster-pace 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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Discover East London walks
    Course start date:  Mon 12 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Diane Burstein
    An exploration of the history of East London via 10 walking tours in the areas of De Beauvoir Town, Bethnal Green , Shoreditch and Hoxton, Poplar, Leyton, Mile End and Stepney Green, Spitalfields, Shadwell, Wapping and Stratford East. First meeting: meet next to the Kindertransport Memorial by Macdonalds at the Liverpool Street exit of the main line station.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  12. Looking at paintings
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Look at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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