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.

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  1. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Oct 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London.



    First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. American political institutions
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 21 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This four-week interactive lecture-based course examines the US political system from its inception to today – reviewing its structure and constituent parts.



    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 £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

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



    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 £36.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022 (and 6 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:
    93% of 100
  5. Philosophy for the guilty
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 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
  6. Saints, scholars, sportsmen and soldiers: How religion, politics, education, sports and war shaped Irish identity: 1884-1922
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Ireland has always been a divided nation and a part from religion, other issues that divided the country were politics, education, sport and wars. This course explores Irish history from 1884 until War of Independence and the creation of Northern Ireland in 1922.



    This course forms the second part of an accessible ‘beginners guide’ to Irish history and will help participants gain a general overview of the development of mid-Victorian Ireland from an island ruled by England to the creation of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free state in 1922.



    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 £57.00
  7. Treasures of Byzantine art and architecture
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 11 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Byzantines (circa 330-1453) have produced some of the finest works of art and erected the most remarkable buildings in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.



    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 £42.00
  8. Creative writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Dec 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Give creative writing a try in this fun and supportive one-off taster session. Ideal if you want to unlock your imagination and express yourself, but need a bit of encouragement to get started.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  9. Screenwriting: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Dec 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Give screenwriting a try in this fun and supportive one-off taster session. Ideal if you want to unlock your imagination and express yourself, but need a bit of encouragement to get started.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  10. Journalism: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Dec 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    What makes a great story? Discover what goes into a magazine or newspaper article and be inspired to write your own.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  11. Creative non-fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 6 other dates)

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

    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 £84.00
  12. Ways into creative writing
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021 (and 10 other dates)

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

    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive environment? Join one of these introductory courses. Guided exercises will give you the tools to explore language creatively and find your own writing voice.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  13. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 7 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
  14. Starting your novel
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  15. World cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what lies beyond Hollywood? Are you interested in films from across the globe? Then this six-week introductory course is for you. We will consider alternative cinemas to the dominant North American industry and will focus each week on a selection of illustrative films from movie producing continents such as India, Asia, South America and Africa.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00

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