Learning about the world around us

Here at the WEA we offer a huge range of humanities and science courses, with something for everyone.  

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If you’re interested in the natural world, our geography and environment courses are the perfect choice. Our packed curriculum explores some of the biggest issues facing society, such as climate change and the fight against the destruction of some of Earth’s most precious resources. The option to learn in person or online means that our geography courses can whisk you away to a far-flung corner of the globe, all without you ever having to leave your own home. 

Studying a science

If you choose to take one of our psychology courses you’ll be immersed in the study of the human mind. With options to learn about memory and identity, you’ll get the chance to explore and debate some of the most famous psychological experiments.  

There’s also Sociology too, a subject that focuses on human behaviour, interaction, and relationships. If you’d like to explore some of the biggest questions in life, then our philosophy courses are for you. Small class sizes mean that you’ll get to discuss and debate in a supportive environment, all with an experienced tutor on hand.  

Attend a Humanities and Science course near you  

Whether you choose to learn from the comfort of your own home or opted for face-to-face learning at a local community venue, you’ll be taught by a talented tutor who is an expert in their subject. Our learning experience sets us apart from other providers, with learners regularly highlighting the difference that an encouraging environment makes. 

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History: Beginners' History : Before 1066

In this term, we begin by considering the later reign of King Eadgar and his efforts to achieve a kind of unified England, but also how English practices and texts became unique. This will involve examining the peculiarities of the English Benedictine Reform Movement, the impact it made among the clergy and also social and cultural consequences, as well as for the English monarchy itself. After that, we will address the feuds, administrative and executive failures of the monarchy in the years after Eadgar’s death, and why these errors would finally cause the downfall of the House of Wessex.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 17/09/2024 -
Tue 03/12/2024
Times:
11:45am - 1:45pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00015931
How you'll learn:
Online
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £88.80

Astronomy: Astronomy in the Autumn

Longer, darker evenings of Autumn provide the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the night sky. We will concentrate on some of the objects (stars and planets) that can be seen over the autumn with the unaided eye. You will be given guidance on how to observe them. Astronomy is a very dynamic subject, and we will consider news stories of note. The course is for beginners/those with some experience and targetted observing challenges will be set. You will be encouraged to undertake independent research (via ‘mini-projects’) and, if you are willing, share with class members. Weekly knowledge quizzes will be set so that you can see your progress.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Ann Bonell
Course code:
Q00017670
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
7 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £55.50

History: British History through the lives of 10 women

This 10-week course offers a unique exploration of British history by examining the lives and contributions of ten remarkable women who left indelible marks on society, culture, and politics. From ancient warriors to pioneering scientists and influential writers, each woman represents a distinct era in British history, shedding light on the struggles, achievements, and societal changes of their times. Throughout the course, we will delve into the lives of these extraordinary women, analysing their impact on British society and their enduring legacies. By studying their stories, learners will gain a deeper understanding of key historical events, social movements, and cultural shifts that have shaped the fabric of Britain.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 05/12/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
St John's United Reform Church Orpington
Lynwood Grove
Orpington
BR6 0BG
Tutor:
Kate Antoniou
Course code:
Q00017272
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £84.00

History: History Walks

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Many distinct places lie within its boundaries. There are many unusual corners, unexpected history, remarkable buildings, and fascinating characters which illustrate the city’s development both socially and culturally. These six autumn walks will reveal contrasting parts of London and show how Londoners lived and worked, how they were entertained, how they travelled, how they constructed bridges. We shall meet novelists, con men, rock stars, minor royalty, politicians, a whole panoply of London life. In addition, these walks for two hours long will bring the benefit of healthy exercise!

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
11:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Meeting at: Paddington Station Info Desk
Overground Station
Praed Street
London
W2 1HU
Tutor:
Guy Rowston
Course code:
Q00017442
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

WEA Membership

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:
£15

History: The House of Lancaster

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.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 12/12/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00018320
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £88.80

History: London in the 20th century: A social and cultural history

London has been many things in its history - a world city, a financial capital, a centre of empire, a microcosm of the world, a city rebuilt, a port city, a migrant city, a changing city The course will chart some of these changes during the twentieth century, changes to London’s built environment, its culture and its people, from the West End to the East End, from the City to the suburbs, from Camden Town and Brixton to Southall and Soho. Topics covered will be industry and the workplace, transport, housing, health, education, media, fashion and leisure

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 15/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
8 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
George O'Reilly
Course code:
Q00017265
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £96.00

Philosophy: Reasons, Explanations and Justifications

When people ask why someone does something (for example why they lie) or what the reason for something is (for example for flooding or increased support for a political movement,) what exactly are they asking ? This course introduces you to three philosophical answers to this question. The first is to distinguish types of reason – ‘explanatory’, ‘motivating’, and ‘normative’. The second consists in pointing out that there are different reasons for accepting a statement as valid – truth, rightness (e.g. moral), and truthfulness. The third is to specify criteria for what creates or maintains moral or political justification. The course is intended to help you think more clearly about the ‘why question’ and to bring useful insights to what can be contentious topics.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
9:00am - 11:00am
Duration:
9 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Bettina Lange
Course code:
Q00017669
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
7 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
£59.20

History: Antisemitism from the birth of Christianity to the Final Solution

We will study the mutating virus of anti-semitism, through an exploration of the ancient template shaped by Christianity and examine key explosions of anti-Jewish violence and prejudice which Hitler was able to exploit, tragically culminating in the Final Solution. Through discussion and debate we will also spend time as a group examining contemporary Holocaust denial, distortion and conspiracy theories. Finally we will look at the current antisemitism accusations within the Labour party and its impact

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Duration:
9 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
David Halliwell
Course code:
Q00016180
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

History: Napoleon: Citizen to Emperor

Explore the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte and the complicated legacy he still holds: villain to some, hero to others, and architect of the French state. This course takes you on a journey through Napoleon’s rapid rise to power, his dramatic military campaigns, and the changes he brought to Europe. We’ll look at his leadership, his impact on society, and the lasting effects of his rule. By examining different perspectives and historical evidence, you’ll get a balanced view of one of history’s most fascinating and controversial figures.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 02/12/2024
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Barking Enterprise Centre CIC (Barking)
50 Cambridge Road
Barking
IG11 8FG
Tutor:
Amy Miller
Course code:
Q00017264
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

History: Fascism and the Troubled 1930s

The course will examine the origins of Fascism and National Socialism against the backdrop of post war turmoil in Italy and Germany. We will see how the emergence of Stalin as supreme leader in the USSR led to a radicalisation of the economy and political terror. We will consider the effects of the economic crisis in the democratic countries, USA, Britain and France. Finally, we will consider how the radicalisation of economies and politics impacted on international relations culminating in the outbreak of a second European war in 1939.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 21/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
St Francis de Sales (Hampton)
16 Wellington Road
Hampton
TW12 1JR
Tutor:
Julian Roberts
Course code:
Q00017425
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £50.00