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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11 Items

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  1. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 15 Apr 2024 (and 6 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.



    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
  2. Ways into poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 15 Apr 2024 (and 8 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Relatively new to writing poetry? This inspiring course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices alongside fellow emerging poets. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jan 2025 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    This crucial course on contemporary cinema coincides with the sheer variety of films released immediately before BAFTA /Academy Awards season. Join a community of cinephiles to discuss and debate your favourite films of the past year and compile a list—The List of Best Films—added to and modified as new films are released each week. Students become critics in an ongoing class conversation, some even sharing their inner-geek in a guilt-free environment. As we meet on Mondays, some students extend the day by going to the special price Monday Matinees at several neighbourhood cinemas. Whether you call it homework or dedication, that’s entertainment!
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £149.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Anthropology of space, place and the cultural landscape
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 29 May 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Yasmin Hales
    This is an introductory and interdisciplinary course which ranges beyond social anthropology to explore aspects of cultural geography, philosophy, psychology, art and architectural history, enriching your theoretical and ethnographic understanding of the cross cultural meaning of space within the built environment.



    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 £183.00 Concession £149.00
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