History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Spies in Modern Literature: John Le Carre, Javier Marias & Graham Greene
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How relevant is spy literature in the 21st century? How has it evolved? This course will consider the complex narrative enticements of two acclaimed masters of the genre operating at the high end between popular entertainment and serious art form, and revisit a classic text from the 1970s whose psychological realism and moral questioning still resonate with us today.

    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 £42.00
  2. Writing the personal: autobiographical theatre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 15 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to select and shape your own life experiences into a dynamic text for live performance on this supportive online course. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

    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 £28.00
  3. Film studies taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit film studies class.

    We will view clips from a wide variety of films, exploring themes and technique in British cinema and modern American cinema. There will be a chance to review term one film courses at City Lit (September - December 2021).

    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 £6.00
  4. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  5. Developing your novel
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you started work on your novel? This course is suitable for experienced creative writers who want to make progress with a novel draft. Learn more about the art of novel writing and move your project forward in a supportive workshop environment.

    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:
    91% of 100
  6. Developing your poetry
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    For those familiar with the basics of poetic form, this intermediate course explores craft and content through reading exercises, writing exercises and constructive feedback. Ideal if you have already attended 'Ways into poetry'.

    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:
    96% of 100
  7. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 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:
    100% of 100
  8. Advanced poetry workshop
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Develop your poetry, taking it in new directions and maturing your poetic voice. Various approaches and techniques will be explored, and new poetry can be workshopped. For experienced poets only.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  9. Masters of Cinema: the directors
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Film Studies course explores the work of a select group of filmmakers, past and present: from European auteurs to the personal visions of a new generation of independent filmmakers. It considers themes of influence and innovation, and how all of the filmmakers featured have used the medium not only as a means of personal expression but as a way to take cinema in new directions.

    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
  10. What do mathematicians do? An introduction to philosophy of maths
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course offers the opportunity to explore fascinating questions concerning the nature of mathematical knowledge by providing an introduction to four major 19th and 20th century philosophies of mathematics.

    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. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.

    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
  12. Writing for children: workshop
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Apr 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    On this ongoing workshop you will develop your work-in-progress with constructive feedback from tutor and classmates. You need to have completed a ‘Writing for children’ course before joining this class.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £92.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  13. Writing romance
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a single pen can compose an unforgettable romance novel. This interactive course will chaperone students through the plotting of modern romance stories.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Philosophy for the guilty
    Course 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
  15. Saints, scholars, sportsmen and soldiers: How religion, politics, education, sports and war shaped Irish identity: 1884-1922
    Evening
    Course 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

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