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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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:
    98% of 100
  2. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    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:
    94% of 100
  3. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  4. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.



    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
  5. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    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
  6. German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    German philosophers created the most ambitious and imaginative systems of thought of modern times against the backdrop of revolution and war. This creative and speculative beginning to modern continental philosophy is an exciting intellectual adventure.



    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 £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £79.00
  7. The history and meaning of portraiture
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Examine the changing face of the portrait in art history from the early Renaissance to the present. Look at how and why its meaning and function have changed over the years and why artists are still drawn to it despite photography.



    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 £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  8. Understanding the modern world
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    Explore the ideas of four key thinkers whose ideas have vitally shaped our world. Examine their views on morality, meaning, the role and status of women, human nature, political and economic injustice and much more.



    NB: No class on 7/03/2022 and 14/03/2022.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  9. Art evolutions: 1950s to today
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Explore art and culture in the late 20th century, focusing on the major developments and movements in art including Neo-Dada and Pop art, conceptual and performance, installation and Postmodernism, and their relationship to wider cultural contexts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £152.00
  10. Post war German history 1961 to reunification and beyond
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    This course offers a broad survey of German history from the sealing of the country’s division by the Berlin Wall to its unforeseen reunification in 1989-90 and its aftermath.



    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 £66.00
  11. The Soviet Union: A history in Film, 1922-1991
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nick Morgan
    This is an advanced course intended to use film as a primary source in exploring the history and culture of the Soviet Union in greater detail.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
  12. Poetry of the Vikings
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Medieval Norse or Icelandic Poetry contains the bulk of the myth and legends relating to the Germanic peoples who migrated across Europe in the first Century A.D. Some of it is praise poetry, very complex in nature, made by Scandinavian court poets. Some of it appears within the great Saga literature. This course looks at some principal material about the creation and demise of the world, about gods, heroes, and a character who is driven into a snake pit and who plays the harp with his feet!



    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
  13. French Cinema: Classic - Current - New Wave
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    When we fall in love with French cinema it’s not only with the films but with an attitude to cinema itself. In France, cinema is taken seriously as an art rather than merely entertainment or industrial product. France invented cinema then nurtured it through surrealism, 1930s poetic realism, the New Wave, the 'cinema du look’ and nineties realism to the present day by creating a climate in which Hollywood’s narrative norms did not overwhelm. Perhaps no other country, from the earliest years of the cinema’s existence to the present day, has done so much to defend the intrinsic worth of the extraordinary medium of cinema. When you love life, you’ve just been to see a French film.



    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 £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £109.00
  14. First nations before and in US history
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    First nations' histories are often overlooked when studying at US history. Join us on this course to explore these ‘hidden histories’.



    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 £39.00
  15. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00

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