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. Copies & copyists in antiquity: art, beauty and misunderstanding
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Explore the often-overlooked world of ancient copies and copyists, how their work helped to save art treasures for the future and how it impacts on our modern perception of the Ancient World.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  2. A star is born: the birth of Hollywood stardom
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. Public enemies, screen heroes: the gangster film
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Although primarily associated with American cinema, the gangster film is also a major genre in British and French cinema. Explore gangster cinema in each of these three production contexts, looking at themes such as the representation of the gangster, violence, masculinity and style - particular that of the film noir - while considering the ways in which it has evolved at key historical moments.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  4. Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Focus on: iconography
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 17 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Ever wondered whether there’s a hidden meaning behind paintings? Discover why there are signs and symbols in paintings and how to find and interpret their meanings in medieval and Renaissance art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Melodrama, fantasy and realism: British cinema in the 1940s
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 17 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    The 1940s saw major developments in British films and filmmaking matched by record numbers of cinema-goers and lively critical debate. Explore this 'golden age' of British cinema through films such as Millions Like Us, Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, and themes including national cinema, realism, melodrama and fantasy, while assessing its critical reception and impact on British film culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. You'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Includes a 2-hour break (12:30-14:30) each day.



    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
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  9. Write your screenplay: from idea to first draft
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Clive Ford
    A good screenplay starts with a good story but it also needs structure, good characters and interesting twists. This is a course for writers who have an idea they think is ready to go. We’ll look at the best ways to grab the viewers’ attention from the off, and at the end of the course you’ll get a chance to pitch your ideas.



    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
  10. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  11. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  12. Before the election: Understanding the different political systems across the United Kingdom
    Course start date:  Thu 11 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ian McGarvie
    Want to understand how the different political systems across the United Kingdom works? Join our tutor Ian McGarvie to explore!



    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
  13. Cuneiform. An introduction for beginners
    Course start date:  Fri 12 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugo Cook
    This four-week course provides a foundation in Old Persian Cuneiform, allowing students to explore the words and world of the ancient Persians. The class will be held at City Lit and includes visits to the British Museum.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
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