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: American War of Independence

Knavery seems to be so much the striking feature of its inhabitants that it may not in the end be an evil that they will become aliens to this kingdom,’ declared King George III of Britain. Britain’s ministers - particularly George III - have often been blamed for the loss of the thirteen American colonies. But how fair is this or was France primarily responsible for American independence? Covering the main causes and most important clashes of the conflict, the course reviews how the war developed, its controversies and the immediate consequences for America, Britain and France

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 10/09/2024 -
Tue 22/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
7 sessions
Location:
Nottingham Mechanics (Nottingham)
3 North Sherwood Street
Nottingham
NG1 4EZ
Tutor:
Mark Barnard
Course code:
Q00016045
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £58.80

History: The Big Questions (Part 1)

One of the most fascinating aspects of the history of ideas is learning how ideas have a life of their own, influencing society and culture through successive generations in different ways. In this 6-week course we’ll focus on a different important and influential question each week. We cover philosophy, literature, science and history. We’ll read and discuss selected extracts which will be circulated beforehand. The course covers a sweep of over 2000 years, from the ancient Greeks to modern times

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 10/09/2024 -
Tue 15/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
Brandon Robshaw
Course code:
Q00017266
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £72.00

History: Britain in World War 2 & Post War Britain

To provide an overview of the social impact of World War 2 in relation to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz The course will also highlight the new global balance of power after the War in relation to the upsurge of America and the USSR as being the new power brokers in the Post-War world as evidenced by the new ‘Iron Curtain’ The second half of the course will feature the post war Labour government establishing a Welfare State and focussing on post war reconstruction as well as the early years of the reign of Elizabeth II in the 1950s

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 10/09/2024 -
Tue 03/12/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Paul Levy
Course code:
Q00017643
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £88.80

History: What if (the road not travelled)

This virtual history course delves into the fascinating realm of counterfactual history, exploring pivotal moments in history and imagining alternate outcomes. Through looking at what happened in situations where the outcome was not at all clear cut, we will analyse the factors that shaped historical events and speculate on how different choices could have led to alternate trajectories. Through discussion and speculation on everything from medieval battles to modern political decisions, this course offers a unique perspective on the "what ifs" of history. How might the world be different today if the outcome had been different? Join the class to find out.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 11/09/2024 -
Wed 27/11/2024
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Kate Antoniou
Course code:
Q00017277
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
8 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

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For just £15 a year, you can:

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Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

History: Who will rid me of this troublesome priest? Henry II, Eleanor Aquitaine and Thomas Beckett

Thomas Becket and Henry II— The struggle for supremacy between two powerful, stubborn men, Archbishop and King. This course explores the relationship between Becket and Henry and sets it in its historical context. Rivalries between father and sons, brother against brother, wife against husband. The course will consider the critical role played by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who history has blamed for the rebellion of her sons against their father, the King. In addition, we will consider the part played by Henry and Eleanor’s sons, Henry the Young King, Richard, Geoffrey and John.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 21/10/2024
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Michael Long
Course code:
Q00017705
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £44.40

History: Beginners History

The term will begin with an analysis of Eastern Europe and the Near East at the beginning of the 11th century, exploring the steps towards a climate that would produce the first crusade. In particular, we will examine the condition and policies of the Byzantine Empire and why its position would be so critical in the events which unfolded later, along with the conquests and upheavals of the Seljuk Turks, leading to the critical battle of Manzikert. Thereafter, we will look at how developments in Western Europe would then lead to the circumstances and outcomes of the first crusade.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 02/12/2024
Times:
7:15pm - 9:15pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Gary Slator
Course code:
Q00015927
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £88.80

History: The English Renaissance

This course will introduce a fascinating period of English history, during which poetry, prose and the arts produced some of the touchstones of British culture. We will explore a range of poetry including Thomas Wyatt’s, love poetry, Ralegh’s verse, Edmund Spenser’s homage to Elizabeth I, John Donne’s astonishing poems of love and divinity, and Milton’s early poems; playwrights, Shakespeare and Marlowe, and prose writers such as Tyndale and his translations from the Bible, Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer and extracts from the King James’ Bible. Additional context for the period will be provided from paintings, contemporary documents and letters. All texts will be provided on Canvas.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 17/09/2024 -
Tue 26/11/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017453
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

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
Availability:
1 place remaining
Status:
Available
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:
8 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