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.

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. Origins of the Italian Renaissance: The Primitivi
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 19 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Discover the history, politics and intellectualism that fuelled the Italian Renaissance. Explore the art of Giotto and his peers from a new perspective.



    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 £119.00 Concession £97.00
  2. A day in the life of the everyday: the twentieth century circadian novel: Mrs. Dalloway, One Fine Day, The Hours
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Stevens
    Novels that fit all their action into just one day (‘circadian novels’) have been penned by some of literature’s most esteemed authors. This course focuses on three novels which use the one-day structure to tell their stories: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), Mollie Pater-Downes’s One Fine Day (1947), and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (1999). It explores how they portray the inner life of characters, at the same time as engaging with broader social issues of the time.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  3. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. Visionary experiments: American art of the 1940s and 50s
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore American art during and just after World War II. From abstraction expressionism to social justice in photography and printmaking see how the US's unique context created the foundation for experimental and transgressive art.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  5. Magnificence and display under the Tudors
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Explore how the Tudors cultivated the art of magnificence in the form of pageants, tapestries, paintings, jewellery and dress to detract from what was essentially a weak dynasty.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  6. Ways into creative writing: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 May 2024 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    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
  7. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Course start date:  Fri 27 Sep 2024 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    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
  8. The city and the myth: Venice in 20th & 21st century literature
    Course start date:  Fri 31 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    The beautiful city of Venice has attracted writers as diverse as Marcel Proust and Thomas Mann, Ezra Pound and Jeanette Winterson. These writers eulogised Venice as a city of art and culture, praising its gorgeous Gothic palaces and shimmering waters. In this course we look behind the myth, exploring the fascinating and surprising stories behind these Venetian visions.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  9. Representing nature in early modern Europe
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Thomas Balfe
    Explore the links between the visual image and ideas of nature in early modernity (c.1500-1750). At this time, tools like the microscope were visualising nature in new ways, changes were afoot in how humans related to animals, and the environments of Asia and the Americas were becoming more familiar to Europeans. We will focus on how artists and skilled artisans engaged with these subjects.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  10. A brief history of printmaking
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Discover the complexity of printmaking through this introduction to its history. Explore the cultural contexts, social ideas and artistic methods that make printmaking distinct to other forms of art.



    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
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