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 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. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    This short, fun taster course is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to the poetry path. Join us for thought-provoking writing exercises and poetry theory for beginners.



    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
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  2. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    84% of 100
  4. Economics for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Naresh Sonpar
    Economics is about what drives human behaviour in making decisions faced with limited resources. Join this online course to learn a toolkit of skills, approaches and ways of thinking that you can apply to a wide range of problems.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Picture book writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Feb 2023 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    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; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. A short history of the Indian subcontinent
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ketan Varia
    The India subcontinent is unique in its heritage and history. It has lasted through invasion, political change and assimilation. It is home to the one of the world’s oldest civilisations, the Indus Valley.







    The subcontinent’s contribution to language (Sanskrit) and great philosophies (Vedic, Buddhism Jainism and Sikhism) is well known. From its land, has been the emergence of Sanskrit, the concept of the soul and liberation and the invention of the number ‘zero’ - a cornerstone in all mathematics.







    Our course will cover the period from Pre-Aryans (c5000BC) to the start of the Mughal empire.







    The course will be interactive with a chance for discussion on Indian history & politics and its impact on Indian culture and tradition.



    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 £45.00
  7. Crusade and Reconquest in Medieval Spain
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Schraer
    Through interactive lectures and discussions Investigate the ideologies, events and motivations as Christian kingdoms conquered the territories of Muslim Al-Andalus, culminating in the fall of Granada in 1492 and the end of Islamic Spain. Tutor: Michael Schraer.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  8. The Silk Road the first mega-highway
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Silk Road was the central nexus of commercial, cultural, and political exchange in Eurasia and China for many centuries, and still has a profound influence on the world 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 £99.00 Concession £50.00
  9. How to get published
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023 (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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  10. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Rebecca Ferrier
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  11. The pre-Socratic philosophers: philosophy in the beginning
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The beginnings of philosophy and science are found in the thinking of early Greek, ‘Presocratic’, philosophers. Who were they? Why is their thinking still relevant?



    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
  12. Current affairs
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news in an online setting? Enrol early for lively and informed online discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.



    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:
    90% of 100
  13. The politics of gender and sexuality in the Middle East
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Barbara Schenkel
    Want to learn about contemporary Middle Eastern and North African politics from a perspective that centres gender and sexuality? Want to dig deeper than the often-rehearsed narratives about ‘oppressed Muslim women’ or ‘suffering gay refugee’? Join us us to think critically about the politics of gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North 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
  14. The philosophical Hamlet: life, death and everything in between
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Borna Radnik
    Can we ever escape our past? Can we act to change our future? This course examines various philosophical themes through engagement with different philosophical traditions and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



    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 £50.00
  15. That's entertainment
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Rachel Kolsky
    This series of walks profiles entertainment in London, past and present. Discover the theatrical and musical heritage of Soho, Covent Garden, Camden and Marylebone together with London landmarks used as popular film locations.



    22nd February : Beatles London - inside Marylebone Station near the tube entrance



    1st March : Theatreland - outside Covent Garden tube, on Long Acre on corner of Neal Street



    8th March: Musical Soho - outside Dominion Tottenham Court Road



    15th March: London on Film - outside Barbican tube.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00

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