History, Culture & Writing Courses Online & in London

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

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 online now.

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  1. Exploring film studies: a beginner's guide

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of concepts and critical approaches in the study of film, including narrative, genre, spectatorship, authorship and directors, popular cinema, art cinema, national cinema, early and silent film, along with technological developments including the transition to sound, while we view and discuss a wide range of key films as examples.

    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: £36.00

  2. US controversies: The US-Mexican border

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Uncover the vexed history of America’s southern border, from the frontier to the border wall. This one-day course looks at border enforcement, migration and the roots of anti-immigrant sentiment using film, photography, and primary sources.

    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: £30.00

  3. Write a short story in a weekend

    Write a short story in a weekend

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021 (and 4 other dates)
    Location on this date: Online
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end in two days. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Please note - this course includes a 2-hour break from 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: £40.00

  4. Women Walking in the City

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Inspired by Lauren Elkin’s book Flaneuse, and the journey of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, this two-day workshop explores literary representations of women exploring the city.

    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: £42.00

  5. ‘Please come flying’: how poetry helps us in troubled times

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 6 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Many of us have experienced isolation and increased stress during the pandemic. We will look at how poetry can help us in this situation by seeing how some fine poets have responded to isolation by writing some great poems.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £12.00

  6. Phenomenology: politics, empathy and others

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 8 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The political begins in the recognition of human interdependence. To be oneself is to be others, not to be others is not to be oneself. This tension is empathy and grounds a phenomenology of politics.

    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: £42.00

  7. The rise of 'the method' in screen acting of the 1940s and 50s

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 9 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This course explores the acting techniques and psychological elements a new generation of American screen actors brought to cinema in the 1940s and 1950s, known as the Method.

    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: £79.00

  8. Ancient American civilisations: the North

    Course Date: Wed 10 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Explore the little known history of pre-Columbian civilizations North of Mexico and their links to Aztec and other Mexican cultures.

    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: £79.00

  9. Ethics and the modern world: do animals have rights?

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 10 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This short course is part 2 of the wider Ethics and the Modern World series of courses, each of which covers a major subject area within practical ethics, specifically within the discipline known as bioethics: biomedical ethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics.

    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: £42.00

  10. Ambassador Lecture Series - Ms Melinda Simmons

    Course Date: Thu 11 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Join us for the next in our 'Ambassadors Lecture Series' with an online lunchtime talk from Ms Melinda Simmons, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ukraine.

    Ms Melinda Simmons was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ukraine in September 2019 and is the latest speaker in the City Lit Ambassador Lecture Series. This is Ms Simmons first ambassadorship since joining the Foreign & Commonwealth Office* in 2013 as Deputy Director of the Conflict Department. Her extensive career has included stops in the business and non-governmental sectors as well as within government. Ms Simmons was heavily engaged in conflict resolution within the UK’s Department for International Development, responsible for overseas assistance, with special oversight of projects across Africa, the Middle East and Europe during her tenure.

    In 2018, Ms Simmons underwent full-time Ukrainian language training; preparing her for this ambassadorship in the fascinating country of Ukraine. Ms Simmons has commented that her diverse background, which also includes a BA in Modern Languages and an MA in European Politics, “makes it pretty easy to talk to anyone,”.

    City Lit is delighted to welcome Ms Melinda Simmons for the latest City Lit Ambassador Lecture Series on Thursday 11 February, 13:00 – 14:00 (UK time). The Ambassador will speak for 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes Q&A.

    *the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) became the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) following the merger with the Department for International Development (DFID) in September 2020.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £0.00
    Senior fee: £0.00
    Concession: £0.00

  11. Writing about food: a taster

    Writing about food: a taster

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Love food and want to write about it? There’s never been a better time with so much happening in the world of food - from street food markets and pop-up restaurants to 24-hour fine dining and gourmet takeaways. Explore the opportunities in print and online, including blogs.

    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: £28.00

  12. Writing for blogs: a taster

    Writing for blogs: a taster

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Feb 2021 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    Already started a blog and want to know how to craft more engaging blog posts? This fun but informative workshop teaches the essential skills required to craft blogposts that will resonate with your audience.

    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: £69.00

  13. Writing sonnets

    Writing sonnets

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Or would that be a bit cliché? Explore new avenues with this old form in our inspiring day workshop designed to help students push their sonnet writing beyond the traditional lines set by Shakespeare and Petrarch.

    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: £28.00

  14. Writing a romantic comedy

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Romantic comedies have been warming the hearts of cinema-goers for years. In this fun short course you'll learn the conventions of the genre and how to write a script that combines love and laughter to great effect. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

    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: £28.00

  15. The philosophy of Hannah Arendt: where are we when we think?

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    “ … the thinking activity belongs among those energeiai [activities] which, like flute-playing, have their ends within themselves and leave no tangible outside end product in the world we inhabit.”.

    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: £42.00

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