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: China 1912 to 1992 – Empire to Republic

This second of two courses on modern Chinese history concentrates on the history of China from 1912 to 1992 a time marked by profound transformations, including the fall of the imperial system, the rise of the First Republic, the Warlord Era, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and major upheavals of war, rebellion, revolution and geopolitical alignment. We trace the political social, cultural and economic development of China in the 20th Century. We consider the events, ideas and personalities that shaped this extraordinary national story. Throughout, we draw parallels with our own time and how we got here.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 13/01/2025 -
Mon 24/03/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Petts Wood Memorial Hall (Petts Wood)
200 Petts Wood Road
Petts Wood
BR5 1LA
Tutor:
Laurie Johnston
Course code:
Q00017563
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

History: Silence in Court - Famous trials from British History

Every famous trial is a snapshot of history in the making. We see the cast of characters strutting on the stage that is the court room, acting out their roles against the backdrop of forces that are often beyond their control - the letter of the law, the power of the state, the force of prejudice, the facts of the case. Their focus is the outcome of 'their' trial, but ours is more than that; why is this trial famous, how did it change things, what lessons does it teach us? Join Peter Blood to study the people, issues and outcomes in five famous trials from British history, with a view to understanding their political, social and legal significance.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 15/01/2025 -
Wed 12/02/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Billingshurst Community and Conference C
Roman Way
Billingshurst
RH14 9QW
Tutor:
Peter Blood
Course code:
Q00017736
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £42.00

History: A History of Architecture – How to See and Interpret Buildings

In this – mostly European – survey, we will study some iconic buildings that came to define their respective periods in terms of ideas, styles, and techniques. A broad chronological progression will take us from the Gizeh Pyramid and Parthenon to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Through this course, you will develop your ability to see and understand a building’s architectural features. For each example, you will study the way it is built, its style, and the relation between the building's form and it's purpose,or function

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 15/01/2025 -
Wed 02/04/2025
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017978
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

History: The Ottoman Empire - Fall 1876-1922

The last 50 years of the Ottoman Empire continues to drive current events and politics in Europe and the Middle East. In this course we consider the events, characters and forces that lead to its breakup including the modernisation attempts of the ‘Young Turk’ movement, the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, The Great War (including the Arab Revolt, the Armenian Genocide and the Turkish War of Independence. We finish by considering the rise of the new secular state of Turkey and the legacy of the Ottomans and why a century after its end the Ottoman Empire is still relevant throughout southeastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 15/01/2025 -
Wed 26/03/2025
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Laurie Johnston
Course code:
Q00017956
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £84.00

WEA Membership

For just £15 a year, you can:

  • Join our popular, award-winning weekly lecture series,
  • Access an archive of over 100 past lectures,
  • Get priority online and phone booking for autumn courses (England only),
  • Receive our Highway magazine and access back issues,
  • Attend our members’ annual conference.

Just add us to your basket to sign up today!

Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
£15

Carbon Literacy

To attend this partnership course, you will have to register via EVENTBRITE Carbon Literacy – January 2025 ticket at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carbon-literacy-january-2025-tickets-880716716407?aff=odcleoeventsincollection&keep_tld=1 as well as via WEA. You will have to make a payment via EVENTBRITE and cannot proceed with the course if you have not done both. Carbon Literacy is a term used to describe an awareness of climate change, and the climate impacts of humankind’s everyday actions. This course is designed specifically for charities and social enterprises working in public leisure and culture and gives you the knowledge and tools available to take impactful climate action.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 16/01/2025 -
Thu 23/01/2025
Times:
9:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
2 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Lee Armon
Course code:
Q00015297
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available

Philosophy: 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. Reading material will be provided on Canvas and the tutor will introduce the key ideas of relevant articles. However, reading before class is not essential. The main activity is to share ideas on news stories.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 16/01/2025 -
Thu 27/03/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Blue Beetle Room (London)
Hendon Lane
Finchley
London
N3 1TR
Tutor:
Daniel Williams
Course code:
Q00017510
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
£100.00

History: Silence in Court: four famous trials from British history

Every famous trial is a snapshot of history in the making. We see the cast of characters strutting on the stage that is the court room, acting out their roles against the backdrop of forces that are often beyond their control - the letter of the law, the power of the state, the force of prejudice, the facts of the case. Their focus is the outcome of 'their' trial, but ours is more than that; why is this trial famous, how did it change things, what lessons does it teach us? Join Peter Blood to study the people, issues and outcomes in four famous trials from British history, with a view to understanding their political, social and legal significance.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 17/01/2025 -
Fri 07/02/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
Caterham United Reformed Church (Caterha
Harestone Hill
Caterham
CR3 6SX
Tutor:
Peter Blood
Course code:
Q00017735
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £33.60

Nature, Ecology & Permaculture: Fossils and Ancient Life

A hands on course using the tutor’s huge fossil collection. Find out about life on Earth over millions of years and learn how to identify these fossils and interpret how they lived.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 18/01/2025 -
Sat 18/01/2025
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
The Cornerstone (Wokingham)
Norreys Avenue
Wokingham
RG40 1UE
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017592
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £25.20

History: Cleethorpes' Theatre History from the Victorian Era to the Present Day

See images and hear about the history of three of Cleethorpes’ entertainment venues. The Empire Theatre is now an amusement arcade, so does anything of its former life exist today? The Coliseum Cinema building is now a Wetherspoons public house on Cleethorpes High Street, but what was its history prior to this? The Theatre Royal is sadly an eyesore and the site is awaiting further development, but what was this site used for before and after its theatre days? Join us on an adventure through time and discover local treasures from a bygone age. Suitable for anyone with a little curiosity.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 18/01/2025 -
Sat 18/01/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 4:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
The Minster (Grimsby)
St James Square
Grimsby
DN31 1EP
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017919
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £10.50

An Introduction to Twentieth Century History: International Relations in the 1930s and World War 2

By the 1930s there were three competing ideologies: Liberal Democracy, Soviet Communism and Fascism.. the latter in various national forms. Broadly the first two accepted the status quo and the latter in Japan, Germany and Italy were determined on revision. This set the scene for the ensuing conflicts in the Pacific and Europe. The course will examine how and why the world went to war during the 1930s. We will look at the role of individuals and consider how much difference it made that it was Hitler or Mussolini in charge rather than someone else. We will examine how it took time for the USA to emerge from isolation and how that tipped the balance when she did.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 20/01/2025 -
Mon 03/03/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
St Francis de Sales (Hampton)
16 Wellington Road
Hampton
TW12 1JR
Tutor:
Julian Roberts
Course code:
Q00017583
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £60.00