Delve into history

Explore the events of the past, and how they’ve shaped the world we live in today. Immerse yourself in different eras, marvel at historic achievements, and examine how different things could have been.  

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All of our courses are designed to help develop your skills in historical research and analysis, encouraging you to look beyond the surface of key historical moments. From the history of King Arthur to World War I and II, you’ll develop a better understanding of key historic customs, beliefs, and ways of life.   

Whether you consider yourself a history buff with decades of experience, or someone just starting out that wants to learn more, you can choose from a wide selection of topics.   

Attend a WEA history course near you  

A variety of our history courses are taught in-person or are delivered online - it all depends on what suits your needs best. From the comfort of your own home to a space in your local community. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be taught by a talented tutor who is vastly experienced.   

The support you’ll receive on our history courses  

They'll help you develop an understanding that goes beyond just what's on the surface, all within a friendly and encouraging environment that ensures you attend each session with the excitement to learn.   

It’s our learning experience that sets us apart too, with many of those attending our courses going on to achieve incredible things. You’ll learn at a pace that’s comfortable for you too, with a friendly supportive tutor on hand to answer any questions you might have. 

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History: A short history of Palestine/Israel 1897-2024

A brief history of the region since the end of the 19th century covering the rule of the Ottomans, The British and the post 1947 story. We will start with an outline of the status of the region by the end of the 19th century before moving on to the Ottoman administration up to 1917. The second session will cover the British Mandate in Palestine up to 1947 including the partition plans of 1937 and 1947. The third and fourth Session will deal with the formation of the state of Israel, the wars of 1947-49, 1956, 1967 and 1973 as well as the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. The final session will take the story from 1987 to the present day including the peace process, the intifadas and the rise of Hamas and Israel’s response

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 24/04/2024 -
Wed 22/05/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Laurie Johnston
Course code:
Q00014214
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £50.00

History: The Golden Age of Persia : Intermediate

How did the Persian Empire become not just a match for the Roman world, but even surpass it? The Persian Empire underwent a number of major changes and challenges in the 6th century, with the reforms of Khosrow I in particular bringing about a major transformation of Iranian society. A study of the grandeur of that age, looking at both social, courtly and military aspects, is the first aim of this course. We will then do some analysis of the factors which caused a final collapse of that empire during the early seventh century. This course will take place online in a fun and supportive environment.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 24/04/2024 -
Wed 10/07/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00014328
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £81.40

History: Britain In Ireland - From The Act Of Union To The Irish Free State

This six week online course will look at the history of the Ireland as it gradually established itself as an independent nation state. Beginning with the Act of Union, which brought the country into the United Kingdom for the first time, we’ll examine the history through the tragedy of the Famine and resultant growth in republicanism, the attempts to introduce Home Rule to give Ireland autonomy within the Union, and then outbreak of violence with the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, whose repercussions are still being felt today.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 24/04/2024 -
Wed 29/05/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
David Price
Course code:
Q00014382
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £44.40

History: Walk and Talk through Time – York through the ages

Come and explore the city of York, looking at five different periods in its history. We will visit Roman York, explore the medieval city, admire Georgian style and glamour, examine the Victorian influence of the railways and evaluate how York adapted (or not) to new technologies in the 20th century while preserving its historic past. We will see how architectural features and building techniques have changed over time and use local maps to spot how the city’s layout has adjusted to the demands of changing fashions and expectations. Expect gentle walking, with some steps on weeks when we go onto the city walls.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 24/04/2024 -
Wed 22/05/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
York City Centre – Outside Explore
York City Centre
Museum Street
York
Yorkshire and Humber
Tutor:
Katherine Croft
Course code:
Q00014414
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
8 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £42.00

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For just £15 a year, you can:

  • Join our popular, award-winning weekly lecture series,
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Just add us to your basket to sign up today!

Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

Architecture: Medieval Architecture of the English Cathedrals

Recognising the main architectural styles of the medieval cathedrals is key to being able to appreciate the periods of their construction. From the great Anglo-Norman building programme, whose surviving architecture can be seen in Ely and Winchester, through the Early Gothic of Canterbury, the Early English of Salisbury, the Decorated Style of Exeter and on to the Perpendicular of York, this is a story of continuous stylistic and technical progress.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 09/05/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Duration:
3 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00014954
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
£16.65

History: Philosophy Behind the Headlines

The course will briefly introduce the principal ideas of a selection of philosophers and apply these to the discussion of the news headlines and the controversies that lie behind them. This course will encourage discussion and sharing of ideas about current affairs and will involve reflecting on how to make philosophy a part of this discussion.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 30/05/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Blue Beetle Room (London)
Hendon Lane
Finchley
London
N3 1TR
Tutor:
Daniel Williams
Course code:
Q00012137
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £60.00

History: Byzantium : Bulwark of Christianity?

How did the Roman Empire survive the great challenges it faced during the 8th century, and yet arise ultimately stronger? We will examine how the reign of Leo III not only ushered in a time of stability but also brought about key developments within mediaeval Roman society, and how, during that time, the Arab threat was confronted and ultimately weakened. Finally, we will examine the issue of iconoclasm manifested itself during the first half of the eighth century, and how that impacted on Roman society at large. This course will examine those events in a friendly and supportive online group.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 11/07/2024
Times:
11:30am - 1:30pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00014178
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
7 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £81.40

History: The House of Lancaster: Intermediate

The emergence of the House of Lancaster could have led to a major decline of the English realm, yet it achieved its greatest success against the old enemy of France. A consideration of the later reign of Richard II will be made, and what particular factors ultimately led to his overthrow. We will then go on to provide a major analysis of the reign of Henry IV, dealing with the various problems and rebellions faced by the English and how he in turn was able to contain those problems. This course will analyse the course of those events, in a supportive online environment.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 11/07/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00014354
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
6 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £81.40

History: British Folklore: Beginners

How did some of the characters and images of British folklore come to be so widely recognised as key elements of British society? We will go on to examine some of the key figures of English folklore tradition, including the main characters of Arthurian and Robin Hood stories, as well as considering the evidence for their origins and historical basis. We will also examine some of the early English and Celtic pagan cults and gods in order to shed light on how those early practices may have gone on to affect habits and customs in later times. We will also identify animals with a British Folklore tradition.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 26/04/2024 -
Fri 12/07/2024
Times:
11:30am - 1:30pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00014176
How you'll learn:
Online
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £81.40

History: Aphra Behn: Poet, Playwright, Prisoner, Spy. Her Life & Times

Join tutor Michael Long on this fascinating one-off session, presented as part of Women's month, looking at the life of Aphra Behn. Aphra Behn was a playwright, poet, translator and royal spy. She was a woman in a world of men, a staunch Royalist, a spy, and condemned as a scarlet woman with loose morals. She was also the first woman in England to identify herself as a professional writer. She wrote to suit the occasion, and she wrote to make money. This is a brief look at her life and times rather than a focus on her literary achievements.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 26/04/2024 -
Fri 26/04/2024
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Michael Long
Course code:
Q00014708
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £7.40