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. Reading for children's writers
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Penny Joelson
    Explore recently published successful books for children, mainly by UK authors, and produce your own writing inspired by them. The course will cover pictures books, middle grade and young adult.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022 (and 13 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    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 £105.00
  3. Introduction to political philosophy
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What are the ends and means of politics? Interweaving modern history and politics with key philosophical texts, study and debate the ideas, ideologies and concepts underpinning our thinking about the organisation of society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  4. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    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 £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  5. Current affairs
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news? Enrol early for lively, informed discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  6. Advanced political studies
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    If you have a passion for politics, or have ever been interested in studying politics at a higher level, this course could be right for you. Whatever your political background, interests, or history, this course will give you a space for discussion and understanding at an advanced level.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £115.00
  7. Cultureplex Ciné-club
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. 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 £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  8. The medieval history of Sicily
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This course explores the extraordinary medieval history of Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, a bridge between Italy and Africa. We meet Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, all-conquering sophisticated Normans, and the brutal, Empire-hungry Henry VI whose son Frederick promoted himself as the ideal king of an ideal kingdom….



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
  9. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 29 Apr 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
  10. Understanding the modern world
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  11. Writing for children: advanced
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Penny Joelson
    This supportive and interactive course for advanced children's writers will help deepen your understanding of the genre and acquire techniques to hone your writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
  12. Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Global issues
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    Through the study of some of the key actors and main issues that affect people across continents, you will gain the skills and knowledge to analyse today’s world and the challenges we all face.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
  14. More current affairs
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Continue your exploration of current affairs through lively, informed discussion. Run as a tutor-moderated discussion group of current news events. This course follows on from 'Current affairs' but new students are welcome. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  15. Rome: from Republic to Empire - 120 BC to 20 AD
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sean Gabb
    In 120 BC, Rome was a city-state with functioning republican institutions that made room for a substantial element of democracy. It was also the dominant power in the Mediterranean World. By 20 AD, Rome was the capital of an autocratic empire that covered virtually the whole of the Mediterranean World and most of its surrounding territories. Between these dates, Rome saw the collapse of its ancient governing institutions in an orgy of political assassination, civil wars, purges, and military dictatorships.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00

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