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. A taste of philosophy
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  John Goff
    Have you ever wondered what philosophy is? What do philosophers talk about? Can they tell you the meaning of life or is it just jargon and navel gazing? Come along and find out.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  2. A taste of poetry
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Irigaray
    This short, fun workshop is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to poetry. 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
  3. Think like an artist: in 16th century Venice
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 18 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Find out how the art of the mercantile republic of 16th century Venice reflects its unique location, trade routes and society.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Buddhist philosophy
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Goff
    'Impermanence is the root of human suffering.' Over hundreds of years a highly developed philosophy grew from this simple idea. However, one does not need to adopt a religious outlook to benefit from Buddhist philosophy.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £130.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  5. Developing your poetry
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    For those familiar with the basics of poetic form, this intermediate course explores craft and content through reading exercises, writing exercises and constructive feedback. Ideal if you have already attended 'Ways into poetry'.



    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:
    96% of 100
  6. Masterclass: fiction (a year-long workshop)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    This intensive three-term fiction workshop is open by selective application and interview to a maximum of ten fiction writers working at the advanced and professional levels. Please note: the deadline for applications is Sunday 14th August. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview via Zoom on Sunday 21st August.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £879.00 Senior fee £879.00 Concession £879.00
  7. Writing fiction
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 9 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    Develop your creative writing skills on this practical intermediate course. You'll explore the fundamentals of fiction-writing craft, such as character and structure, and unlock your imagination to produce compelling prose. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    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:
    87% of 100
  8. Autobiographical writing
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    Whether writing for self-discovery, testimony or to tell your story, this term-long course explores how to ensure your autobiographical work is both evocative and powerful.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
  9. The whole story of cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    If you love cinema and want to know more about it, look no further. Here is a course for all those who love watching and reading about films, and who want to understand more about the evolution of the art of cinema, as told through the most innovative films from any country in any period. From film’s origins to modern day streaming, and through many cinematic golden ages, this course will examine those moments in time when a range of national cinemas surfed the wave of creative originality, achieved through a mix of social, technical, and historical factors. The exploration of key films and genres will reveal insights into the world of film-making, from cinematography, lighting, and sound, to editing and acting styles, enabling you to better interpret the meaning of world-famous movies.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  10. Key texts of 19th and 20th century drama: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Brian Friel and Timberlake Wertenbaker
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This course will explore the concerns, styles and influences of four key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. It includes The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel and Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
  11. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Thomas McMullan
    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  12. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    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 £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  13. Developing your novel
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Have you started work on your novel? This course is suitable for experienced creative writers who want to make progress with a novel draft. Learn more about the art of novel writing and move your project forward in a supportive workshop environment.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  14. Reading for writers: queer fiction (a fortnightly course)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Gaar Adams
    Explore the scope of human experience through the lens of LGBT+ writers, and learn the fundamentals of writing fiction. This fortnightly intermediate course combines reading and analysis of key queer texts with practical writing exercises. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    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:
    75% of 100
  15. Ways into poetry
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lawrence Bradby
    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

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