Culture, history & humanities

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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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Items 1-15 of 55

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  1. The emerging markets today
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore emerging markets in the global economy. Understand economic, political, and cultural dynamics, challenges and strategies for success in evolving markets.



    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 £58.00
  2. Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £75.00
  3. Greek myths: ancient truths, modern mystery
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Myth permeated all aspects of ancient society and much the same can be said today. Investigate the relevance and perseverance of the Greek myth and why these tales continue to fascinate.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Course start date:  Thu 11 Jul 2024

    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 £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    84% of 100
  5. Autobiographical writing: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 22 Jul 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    This shorter version of our introductory autobiographical writing course covers the basic elements of the genre, drawing on memories, diaries, photos, dreams and fantasies with a focus on the forms of autobiography, memoir and the personal essay.



    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
  6. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Nov 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  8. Exploring British cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Defining itself around themes such as realism, class and national identity, British cinema continues to find critical and popular acclaim, both domestically and internationally. This course explores British cinema, past and present, through a range of critical concepts and approaches, films - including both popular and art house - and filmmakers, and considers its function as a national cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  9. How should we reason? An introduction to logic
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    Philosophical Logic is the study of the rules of correct reasoning. This course will introduce you to some widely accepted rules of correct reasoning and teach you how to describe these rules with mathematical precision.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. City Lit evening reading group
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Sep 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed. Monthly meetings on 25 Sept, 23 Oct, 27 Nov; 15 Jan, 19 Feb, 18 March, 29 April, 10 June, and 08 July.



    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 £97.00
  11. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Look at works of art in the Western canon and ask why we consider them to be masterpieces. What formal qualities do they all share, if any, or is our interpretation of a masterpiece largely subjective?



    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 £162.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. 50 films from the 50s: Hollywood's last stand
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    The 1950s was the beginning of the end for the Hollywood studio era, a golden age in place since the 1920s. The fifties are more difficult to pin down than the 1930/40s due to explosive diversity in both subject matter and cinematic technology, the profound influence of WWII, the development of European neorealism and the first signs of the French New Wave. An emphasis on teen culture emerged, represented by the brief career of James Dean. Film stars became anti-heroes. The moguls who founded Hollywood began to disappear. The studio business model was doomed. Hollywood reacted both defensively and creatively, going for broke—and producing some of the finest and most enduring films in its history, films that transformed the culture, from Sunset Blvd. (1950) to Some Like It Hot (1959)—both by Billy Wilder. From The Asphalt Jungle (1950) to The Misfits (1961)— Marilyn Monroe’s first and final films, both directed by John Huston. From Here To Eternity (1953 Fred Zinnemann) to A Place in the Sun (1951 George Stevens, part of his American trilogy). Fifties’ films reflected a darkening America. (See related courses on Fifties Musicals, Melodrama and Film Noir).
    Full fee £289.00 Senior fee £231.00 Concession £188.00
  13. Memoir Fiction: Karl Ove Knausgaard, Martin Amis, Philip Roth
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    We will discuss questions of memory, history and genre through readings of three fascinating examples of ‘memoir fiction’: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Death in the Family, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, and Martin Amis’ Inside Story.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
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