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: 3 Maritime Themed Sessions – Essex, East Anglia and East Coast Waters

Join guest tutor Andy Beharrell on this fascinating insight into the history and events around the Essex, East Anglia and East Coast Waters. Each week will have a different theme starting with the shipwrecks around East Anglia, followed by The Maunsell Forts and ending with From Tierra Del Fuego to Essex. The course will be in the historic venue of The Reading Rooms at Billericay, Essex.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 02/10/2024 -
Wed 16/10/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
3 sessions
Location:
Billericay Reading Rooms (Billericay)
73 High Street
Billericay
CM12 9AS
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00018066
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £30.00

Nature, Ecology & Permaculture: Earth on Fire

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to volcanoes, exploring their locations, mechanisms, and profound impacts on both life and landscapes. Students will delve into the geological processes that drive volcanic activity, understand the distribution of volcanoes across the globe, and study the various types of eruptions. The course also examines the environmental and societal effects of volcanic activity, from the creation of new landforms to the challenges posed by volcanic hazards. Through a blend of lectures, case studies, and hands-on activities, participants will gain a deep appreciation for these powerful natural phenomena.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 03/10/2024 -
Thu 31/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
Poringland Community Centre (Poringland)
Overtons Way
Poringland
NR14 7WB
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00018002
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £33.60

History: 17th Century Fashion

Fashion reflects the influence of politics, trade, social exchange and foreign encounter. In this course, we will explore the changing fashions of seventeenth-century Britain. Alongside sessions that consider the history of fashion are practical, hands-on sessions that explore the materials used, and construction techniques employed by makers of the period. You may not be an expert by the end, but you will have first-hand understanding of how, and with what, clothing of the 17th century was made.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 05/10/2024 -
Sat 14/12/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Redbridge Institute of Adult Education (
Gaysham Avenue
Gants Hill
Ilford
IG2 6TD
Tutor:
Amy Miller
Course code:
Q00017282
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

History: China 1796 to the present – Fall of the Qing – 1796-1912 (Part 1)

From the zenith of the Qing Empire in 1796 we trace the decline of China’s imperial reach through the 19th century. Western incursions and humiliations, the role of religion and opium, wars, reforms and rebellions will all be covered up to the fall of the dynasty in 1912 and the formation of China’s first republic. Major personalities such as the Empress Dowager Cixi, Sun-Yat-Sen, the Last Emperor and many more will be considered. We will consider the nature of court rule, the development of society and the economy as well as art, literature and philosophy.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 07/10/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
10:15am - 12:15pm
Duration:
8 sessions
Location:
Petts Wood Memorial Hall (Petts Wood)
200 Petts Wood Road
Petts Wood
BR5 1LA
Tutor:
Laurie Johnston
Course code:
Q00017270
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £80.00

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:
WEA Membership

History: The 12th Century Civil War for the Crown of England

This course looks at the troubled years after 1140, when England was ravaged by civil war and had two rival monarchs: the Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I and her cousin, King Stephen. The Empress spent 17 years trying to secure her birthright. These years were called ‘The Anarchy’ by historians because of the destruction wreaked by both sides on villages and towns across southern England and the breakdown of law and order. The course explores the reasons why William Adelin’s sister, the Empress Matilda never achieved the Crown.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 08/10/2024 -
Tue 19/11/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
7 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Michael Long
Course code:
Q00017706
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £51.80

Carbon Literacy - October 2024

To attend this partnership course, you will have to register via EVENTBRITE Carbon Literacy – October 2024 ticket at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carbon-literacy-october-2024-tickets-880713998277?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:
Wed 09/10/2024 -
Wed 16/10/2024
Times:
9:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
2 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Lee Armon
Course code:
Q00015293
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available

History: The Decline of the Ottoman Empire 1800-1892

The once mighty Ottoman Empire lost some of its lustre during the 18th Century. After its armies reached the walls of Vienna in 1683 the boundaries of the Sublime Porte contracted in a series of military, diplomatic and economic reverses. This course considers the ways in which the Ottomans responded to a changing world in the 19th century, seeking to preserve their position within it. We examine questions of politics, religion, language, culture and economics whilst all the while having an eye towards the consequences for the region, Europe and the world then and now

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 09/10/2024 -
Wed 27/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
8 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Laurie Johnston
Course code:
Q00017441
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
4 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £80.00

Architecture: The Architecture of the Greenhouse

We will look into the design of greenhouses and glasshouses – a diverse subject that embraces the Crystal Palace in London, the Eden Project in Cornwall and a recently completed spectacular project in Singapore. The development will take us from Oxford’s Botanic Garden to Paxton’s “Great Stove” at Chatsworth and the Temperate and Palm Houses of Kew.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 17/10/2024 -
Thu 17/10/2024
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
The Christ Church Centre (Henley-on-Tham
46 Reading Road
Henley-on-Thames
RG9 1AG
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00017601
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
£25.20

Nature, Ecology & Permaculture: West Norfolk’s wonderful peatlands

We will start off by examining how the peatlands in west Norfolk have formed, the differences between different types of peatland habitat (fens and mires) and the wonderful wealth of species that they support, before considering the factors that have caused their degradation and loss and the restoration techniques that are returning them to their former glory. Suitable for both beginners and those with an existing knowledge of peatland conservation and restoration.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 19/10/2024 -
Sat 19/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 5:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Friends Meeting House (King's Lynn)
38 Bridge Street
King's Lynn
PE30 5AB
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017665
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £30.00

History: A Cultural Tour of Istanbul

Settled by the Greeks in the 7th century BC, the city which is now called Istanbul, became Emperor Constantine’s ‘New Rome’ in AD 330 and it was named Constantinople. In 1453 the city was overrun by Mehmed II and it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The study day explores the rich architectural and artistic legacy left by both Byzantine and Ottoman rulers in a city which was shaped by being for centuries the meeting point of Europe and Asia.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 19/10/2024 -
Sat 19/10/2024
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
The Cornerstone (Wokingham)
Norreys Avenue
Wokingham
RG40 1UE
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017281
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £25.20