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 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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Picture book writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Feb 2023 (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 £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  3. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. The pre-Socratic philosophers: philosophy in the beginning
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The beginnings of philosophy and science are found in the thinking of early Greek, ‘Presocratic’, philosophers. Who were they? Why is their thinking still relevant?



    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 £50.00
  5. Ways of reading: understanding literary theory
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Jenny Stevens
    This course explores the critical perspectives which have shaped literary study in recent decades. We will focus on key developments in literary theory and the influence these have had on how literary works are read and interpreted. We examine a range of theoretical approaches and consider the numerous connections that can be made between them. We also explore how thinking about literature has been informed by different disciplinary areas such as history, philosophy, linguistics and psychoanalysis.



    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
  6. Partition in the Middle East: Palestine & Cyprus
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    This course examines the unmaking and partition of the Near East by focusing on the rise and creation of Israel and Cyprus (1948-1974).



    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
  7. Britain: The rise of the Institution : the workhouse, the prison and the asylum
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Join us for a four-week course in which we will explore the history of three key institutions – the workhouse, the asylum and the prison. Why did institutions become so systematic in the 1800s and what was life like for people who lived and worked in them?



    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
  8. Animals in Renaissance art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Beasts are everywhere in the art of the Renaissance. Discover why they are there and how artists created the painted and sculpted menageries of both real and imaginary creatures that populate Renaissance art.



    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
  9. Writing an academic essay
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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 £50.00
  10. Exploring medieval literature: late medieval drama
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 15 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre loom large in the history of drama in England. But what came before the Bard? What is the history of drama in the period before named playwrights were producing scripts for professional actors to perform in front of paying audiences? This course will cover the dramatic works of the late medieval period (c. 1350-1550), their fascinating cultural, social, and political contexts, and their influence on the development of drama in England.



    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 £45.00
  11. The history of the FBI: 1908-1976
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    The online course will assess the impact of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the leadership of its first Director, J. Edgar Hoover, on US politics, society and culture from its beginnings in 1908 until 1976.



    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
  12. The Socratic philosophers: Plato
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    Plato’s philosophy is the foundation of Western thought. It remains essential to a philosophical understanding the human condition.



    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
  13. How do we perceive time?
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Kasabova
    Do we perceive time or the passage of events? Einstein famously considered time – or the distinction between past, present, and future – as an illusion. We will reflect on how we experience time, discussing the roles of memory, emotion, and narrative.



    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 £35.00
  14. The worlds of Toni Morrison: a study of Beloved
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 12 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    Toni Morrison’s lyric prose helps the reader grasp the psychological devastation wreaked by the institution of slavery by close observation of a community of ex-slaves re-creating their lives in the second half of the 19th century.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Beowulf and the challenges of translation
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Beowulf is one of the foundational works in the history of English literature. It is at once familiar and strange: its story is well-known, but critics continue to debate its origins and its language and form have long challenged modern readers and translators. This course will explore the poem and its original language, and recent attempts to render that language into modern English.



    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

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