Great Works

Delve into the work of the writers, artists and musicians who have changed the world and inspire us every day.


Our Great Works courses are taught by passionate tutors who are experts in their fields and want to share their knowledge and passion. You will be surrounded by like-minded people in our classes where you will study and discuss famous work, the influence it has had on the modern day, and the history behind it.


Many of our courses are taught online, allowing you the flexibility to join from anywhere in the world. For more information on studying online, please read our guide to online learning. We also have courses that take place at our site, conveniently located in Covent Garden in central London.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. The Complete Ishiguro 2000-2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    Explore the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro as we focus on the second twenty years of his writing career. Books include When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun. We also take a look at his ventures into song lyrics and film screenplays.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo: scene by scene
    Last Few Places, ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Now recognised as both a major Hitchcock work and a masterpiece in its own right, Vertigo was originally a commercial failure and largely ignored by critics. Through a close analysis of the film this course considers Vertigo's dreamlike narrative and structure, the way in which Hitchcock's applies his authorial style to highly original and absorbing effect, and the film's critical reputation.



    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
  3. Masters of Cinema: Powell and Pressburger
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    "There is not a British director, working in Britain, with as many worthwhile films to his credit as Michael Powell" wrote the film critic David Thomson. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's glorious run of movies through the 1940s was “the longest period of subversive film-making in a major studio, ever” argued Martin Scorsese. “I’m not a director with a personal style, I am simply cinema” claimed Michael Powell. During the 1940s Powell and Pressburger made nothing but masterpieces.



    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
  4. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Phoebe Braithwaite
    ‘The shit in the shuttered château / Who does his five hundred words / Then parts out the rest of the day / Between bathing and booze and birds / Is far off as ever, but so / Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod…,” wrote Larkin in his poem, ‘The Life with a Hole in it.’ Who is the real Philip Larkin? Our course slices the bard of Coventry, Larkin loved and Larkin reviled, into four periods during the second half of the twentieth century to set him in context, with a view to unravelling some of his guises and understanding how he came to have such a hold on the British reading public.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  5. Chaucer and the establishment of English Literature 1300-1500
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    This course is about the literature written in English between its re-emergence as a language of power and influence, and the onset of such matters as the printing press and Columbus’s journeys across the Atlantic Ocean that generally represent the end of the medieval world and the onset of the Renaissance. The course takes in Chaucer, Middle English Arthurian Romances, and the re-establishment of English as a great literary language.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  6. Film of the Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is one of America’s most celebrated novels. Published in 1869, it charts the adolescence and young womanhood of the March sisters, growing up in Massachusetts. The novel’s popularity and familiarity with audiences across the world has led there to be several adaptations of the film. In our course, we will look at two versions, one from 1933, and one from 2018, and examine their particular readings of the book.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  7. Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesco Bucciol
    The Divine Comedy is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife. It's a fascinating compendium of life in 14th century Italy, but Dante's ability to depict humanity in all its aspects is timelss and has fascinated readers ever since.



    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
  8. Masters of cinema: the films of Luis Bunuel
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Óscar Salgado Suárez
    This course explores the immense influence of Buñuel’s films on World cinema. We will experience his visionary approach to filmmaking and storytelling by viewing and analysing his brilliant and scandalous films.



    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
  9. The Godfather at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 13 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    The critical and commercial success of The Godfather raised the prestige of the gangster and crime genre, but the film has also become a cultural as well as a cinematic landmark. This course explores the film's epic narrative, its reworking of a popular genre, and both its critical and cultural reputation, while also considering its production in the context of the 'new' Hollywood of the 1970s.



    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
  10. Great artists: Fanny Mendelssohn
    Course start date:  Tue 29 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Surprise! It’s the ‘other’ Mendelssohn who wrote music. Learn all about Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and her work, her aspirations, her relationship with her family, and her artistic output. Come for the music, stay for the person (as well)!



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  11. Great works: Monteverdi's L'Orfeo
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 31 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Karen Betley, James Lloyd
    Explore this famous ‘tale in music’ -one of the first operas - and find out why the Greek legend of Orpheus provided such fertile material for a plot.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £24.00
  12. Masters of cinema: Steve McQueen
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will explore the work of the Turner prize winning artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. Awarded an Oscar in 2014 for his film, 12 Years a Slave, McQueen has been producing politically and racially committed artworks and films since the early 1990s. His most recent project, the five film Small Axe (2020) was broadcast on the BBC amid increasing recognition that racial prejudice for Britain’s ethnic minorities remains as prevalent today as it was half a century ago. This course will examine McQueen’s work as a response to and an engagement with these experiences.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  13. Focus on: Vermeer
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Master of stillness and light, author of only 35, maybe 36, known works, Vermeer’s art continues to fascinate. Discover his life and works in the context of the Dutch Golden Age.



    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
    Rating:
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  14. Great works: Janácek's ‘Intimate Letters’ Quartet
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Katy Hamilton
    ‘I maintain,’ Janácek once wrote, ‘that a pure musical note means nothing unless it is pinned down in life, blood and locale; otherwise, it is a worthless toy.’ In his passionate Second String Quartet, which he named ‘Intimate Letters’, the seventy-three-year-old sought to depict and exalt Kamila Stösslová, a woman over 35 years his junior with whom he exchanged more than 700 letters. This astonishing declaration of love and obsession was premiered a month after Janácek’s death.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  15. Classic drama: Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Chekhov
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    You will read view and discuss three classic plays : Aeschylus’ Eumenides from The Oresteia, Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Seagull by Chekov in terms of themes, language, their social and historical contexts and how they work as performance texts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00

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