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 long and short 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. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Sep 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  2. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  3. Thinking through philosophy: a guide
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What is morality and what is it based on? Is the mind a ghost in the machine?



    What can I really know? This is a beginner’s introduction to how philosophy tackles questions like these and many others.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  4. European empires in Africa
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  James Stannard
    An introduction to the major themes of imperial history in the past 200 years of African history. It offers a way to contextualise many of the trends and challenges in the continent today and invites students to see Africa in a new light.



    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
  5. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 Oct 2023 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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, develop their ideas and technique.



    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
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Brexit: causes and impacts
    Course start date:  Tue 31 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Angelos Sepos
    Brexit was an unprecedented event in the history of the EU. Why did it happen and what has been its impact on Britain and Europe?



    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
  7. From the Arab Spring to the Arab Winter: Causes, Legacies and Prospects
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Angelos Sepos
    The 2011 Arab Spring was an unprecedented event in the history of the Arab World with much promise for the people of the region. Why has it become an Arab Winter?



    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
  8. Ancient Greek drama
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Have a taste of exploring the ancient Athenian stage, and how they still speak to us about the challenges we face today.



    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
  9. Cultureplex ciné-club: Jean-Luc Godard
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club: Jean-Luc Godard, where once a week, for 6 weeks, we will watch and discuss films by this iconic and influential filmmaker. An offshoot of our existing Cultureplex Ciné-Club courses and taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, this incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of Jean-Luc Godard’s films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context as well as being situated within the Godardian oevure. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  10. The Stalin Regime: 1928-1941
    Course start date:  Wed 10 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nick Morgan
    This is an introduction to the history of the Stalin regime in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1941. Students will learn about key events during the Stalin years and how historians approach them.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Jewish novels in the Hellenistic period
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann Jeffers
    The course will look at the emergence of the novel as a literary genre during the Hellenistic period, a genre which has given birth to the modern novel.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00
  12. Arts of Imperial China
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the arts of imperial China spanning across 13 dynasties and 2000 years. Study how painting, sculpture, and architecture were deeply shaped by its richly diverse culture, philosophy, and religion.



    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
  13. How to get published
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 13 Feb 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Neil Arksey
    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.



    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
  14. The British Empire in sub-Saharan Africa
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  James Stannard
    From transatlantic slavery to the fall of apartheid, this course examines Britain’s major projects and legacies in sub-Saharan Africa.



    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
  15. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Explore post-colonial Africa's political, economic, and social journey since independence. Gain insights into state building, governance, development, and identity, fostering a holistic understanding of Africa's evolution.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
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