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.

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, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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.

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  1. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 11 Jul 2022 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing.



    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:
    95% of 100
  3. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    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:
    80% of 100
  5. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Autobiographical writing: getting started
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Whether writing for self-discovery, testimony or to tell your story, learn how to get started and what's involved in autobiographical writing. Explore various resources from diaries to dreams, memories and fantasy.



    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:
    100% of 100
  7. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  8. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    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 £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. Anthropology: what is anthropology?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    This introductory online course gives you the basic tools for an elementary understanding of anthropology. We will identify methods and areas of concern that distinguish it from sociology, history and other disciplines.



    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
  10. The Black Death
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    The study of the social and economic impact of the disease known as the Black Death that spread throughout the world in the 1340s and continued to flare up intermittently thereafter throughout Europe and beyond.



    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 £110.00
  11. The Russian Empire 1700-1917
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This module examines the history of the Russian Empire from the reign of Peter the Great to the Revolution of 1917 and the rise of Lenin to power.



    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
  12. US history for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This online course offers a brief examination of, and introduction to, the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the United States, 1608 - 2001.



    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
  13. Writing non-fiction for children: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Catherine Ingram
    Learn how to write children’s non-fiction on this exciting and interactive course encompassing classic fact book, biography and narrative. You will also get an opportunity to practise and get some feedback on your writing.



    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
  14. Writing an academic essay
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
  15. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    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 £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100

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