Love to learn with the WEA

Our languages and culture courses span the length and breadth of England and Scotland, with the option to study online or in person at a time that suits you. Whether you’re looking to learn a new language and immerse yourself in another country, or you simply wish to indulge in your love and fascination of film, we have the course for you. 

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Our creative writing courses will nourish your inner writer, providing you with a platform to develop your love of poetry, non-fiction or script development. If literature courses are more your kind of thing, then you’re in luck too, as there are a wide range of topics to choose from.  

Literary greats and great periods in history

Our language courses offer you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a completely new culture, developing your skills so that you can speak confidently in countries right across the world. German, Italian and Greek are just a few examples of the language courses we have to offer, with many others taking place throughout the year.  

As you’d expect, literary greats such as Agatha Christie and Shakespeare feature regularly. There’s also the option to examine other time periods in English literature too, helping you develop your critical reading and analysis skills - perfect whether you’re a beginner or more experienced in the subject.  

If you prefer history then you’ve got a choice too, from courses on subjects you’d expect such as the first world war, or art history and studying the works of iconic painters such as Salvador Dali. 

Support and guidance

Whatever course you choose, you'll learn in a supportive environment where the class sizes are small, ensuring you get the attention you deserve, with an experienced and qualified tutor on-hand to guide you through your learning too.  

A lot of our cultural learning is delivered by our branch network: learn more here.

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Creative Writing: How to Write Contemporary Poems

On this course we will explore: ● How the ghosts of metre and rhyme may exist in free verse, and how to achieve this ● How rhythm is generated within free verse through sonic devices. ● How rhythms of conversational speech are related to the rhythm of free verse, and how this produces a form of elevated speech. ● Rhyme and Rhythm in traditional poetry. The course will explore one technique each week and concentrate on workshopping this via the development of a subject during each session. These sessions will be built from structured inspiration tasks, discussion and experimentation with ideas and languages.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 21/09/2024 -
Sat 19/10/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017466
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Film & Media: 5 Classic British Crime Thrillers Revisited

What does it take to keep the audience on the edge of their seat for the classic film thriller experience? What happens when crime is thrown into the mix? We explore five examples now regarded as classics of this genre and question – do they all have far more than ‘just’ generic entertainment value? For a brief period in the 1980s, it appeared as though the crime thriller expressed something about what was perhaps a changing, or changed Britain – we examine two of these films, The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa. Classics such as Brighton Rock provide an interesting and historical British cinematic parallel to the gangster and noir films of 30s and 40s U.S. Whereas, Get Carter, a film now regarded as an icon of national cinema was initially conceived as a trashy ‘pot-boiler’ for the U.S drive-in market, leaving some to argue it could be viewed as more of a ‘revenge Western’ set in North East England? Whilst Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave seemingly reinvigorates the genre into something arguably more sophisticated and/or accessible in the 1990s? What common techniques do these films employ and what do they say thematically about reoccurring anxieties and tensions of the societies which produced and consumed them? Can filmmakers still learn from these or have some now dated in their power to keep us on the edge of the seat? Mona Lisa (1986), The Long Good Friday (1980), Get Carter (1971), Brighton Rock (1948), Shallow Grave (1994).

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 21/10/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00018209
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
4 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Film Studies: 10 Award Winners Revisited

From the Academy Awards (nicknamed - ‘The Oscars’) to Cannes and the BAFTAs, sometimes it seems as though one film often dominates major categories, in 2024 this was Oppenheimer, but what were the judges really looking for, are box office figures really enough to stand the test of time with audiences? We compare this to films such as Gone With the Wind, a film still well known and highly regarded but now increasing questioned for its representation of slavery and questionable moments of morality. Do we need to remember and appreciate what this film won its awards for in the first place? Smaller scale, more micro-budget film productions such as Bait as perhaps just as important for their creative innovation and social commentary on a moment in time/history - yet it takes a different kind of award to recognise this – are awards more important for getting emerging talent recognised way from the box office. How important are awards for ‘International’ cinema such as The Power of the Dog, The Boy and the Heron and Perfect Days – what does this term really mean? Do award winning films say as much if not more about the sociological, political, technological and/or pop-cultural moments in time they were made as much as anything else? From the big hits to a near miss or two, we have fun, discuss and come to understand and appreciate the themes, approaches and creative decisions behind each of these films, broaden our knowledge of the subject area and cinema in general. The Holdovers (2023), Oppenheimer (2023), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Perfect Days (2023), The Conversation (1974), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Power of the Dog (2021) Bait (2019), The Boy and the Heron (2023) Oliver! (1968).

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 23/09/2024 -
Mon 02/12/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough)
Westborough
Scarborough
YO11 1JW
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00018211
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £92.40

Intermediate Latin

Did you know that learning Latin can enrich your knowledge in all sorts of other areas? Far from being “dead”, Latin is all around us. This intermediate Latin course can give you essential background knowledge to understand terminology in law, medicine, family history, and many other subjects. Latin has hundreds of applications in contemporary contexts. This course is ideal for you if you’re interested in learning Latin, or gaining general knowledge to help you learn modern languages or other disciplines.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 24/09/2024 -
Tue 04/02/2025
Times:
11:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
15 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Penelope Fewster
Course code:
Q00017595
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £111.00

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

Literature: A Feast of Fiction (Part 1)

Each week we focus on a classic work of fiction, reading and discussing key passages. The texts include short novels which can be read in one week, and longer novels which we’ll study over two weeks. The course is organised chronologically and spans over130 years, from the late 19th century to modern times. We begin with Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey and end with Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These. We’ll share and debate interpretations, sharpen our critical and appreciative faculties, understand what fiction can tell us about the society and culture that produced it, and, hopefully, be inspired to read other works by the writers featured on the course.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 24/09/2024 -
Tue 03/12/2024
Times:
3:30pm - 5:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Redbridge Institute of Adult Education (
Gaysham Avenue
Gants Hill
Ilford
IG2 6TD
Tutor:
Brandon Robshaw
Course code:
Q00017552
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

Film & Media: 5 Flights of Fantasy

Are too many too quick to dismiss the fantasy genre as pure entertainment and/or escapist spectacle? Are there varying degrees of fantasy on screen, rendering the term fantasy film as something rather too broad? We examine a selection of five films, all using elements of fantasy to tell their stories. In Orlando, adapted from literature, elements of fantasy are used to highlight inequalities within society. Young Einstein, a film derided by critics in the U.S, makes use of alterative history and elements of surrealism to both entertain and arguably present some deeper comments regarding humanity and innovation, does its fantastical approach help or hinder? Labyrinth offers a unique screen vision by immersing the viewer in a vivid fantasy world earning itself cult status to this day but is it for children, adults or both? Spirited Away makes use of animation to comment on the modern world, here, the fantasy element is fundamental to its approach. More recent films such as Barbie prove fantasy can be big at the box office, using a variety of different approaches to both entertain and relevant social comment. Are all these fantasy films as much if not far more than meet the eye? Are there any reoccurring themes approaches? And is fantasy an ideal medium for the screen? Orlando (1992), Young Einstein (1988), Labyrinth (1986), Barbie (2023), Spirited Away (2001).

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 24/09/2024 -
Tue 22/10/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00018213
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
6 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Creative Writing: Return of the Writers Roulette Workshops

With a series of sessions all designed to help you discover/rediscover and develop your own new and/or existing story ideas - be these a short story, a novel - or if you just aren't sure or even started writing yet. The return of this fun, friendly and structured approach to aid you in finding inspiration, putting pen paper and get writing as we let fate guide us! We let the 'hand of fate' take us on a fresh approach to finding & maintaining that vital spark of inspiration, motivation to write fiction. A spin of the wheel will decide the subject area, theme or tasks for the week in a fun and friendly chance to meet and share ideas with others, exploring useful tricks and tips - whilst importantly gaining some quality information, developing some genuine writing skills and getting writing!

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 24/09/2024 -
Tue 22/10/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00018216
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

British Novels in the 70s and 80s (Part 1)

This course will consider and analyse the following authors and their texts. These are: Magnus - George Mackay Brown. Border Country - Raymond Williams. They - Kay Dick. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John Le Carre. Waterland - Graham Swift. These texts will provide a window into the different regions of Britain during two decades of major change in the social fabric and political nature of Britain, though several of our texts will trace these changes back to the earlier part of the twentieth century, and in doing so, we will encounter themes of identity, class and the decline of Empire. There will be much to prompt discussion and challenge our assumptions.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 25/09/2024 -
Wed 04/12/2024
Times:
2:15pm - 4:15pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Rose House (London)
70 Barnes High Street
London
SW13 9LD
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017363
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

Creative Writing: Creating and Developing Characters

Practice techniques for creating short stories, true or untrue. We'll apply the principles of short fiction to our writing, with the focus this term on creating and developing character. There will be writing exercises, discussions, an optional weekly homework task and feedback. Guidance on feedback techniques will be provided. The course content has flexibility, and will be adapted to suit the needs of the group. Suitable for improvers.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 26/09/2024 -
Thu 05/12/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Catherine Humphris
Course code:
Q00009200
How you'll learn:
Online
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Beginners Latin

Latin is more alive than ever. It is often called a “dead” language, yet it is all around us. This online Latin course is ideal for language and history enthusiasts alike. Whether you are interested in language learning, botany, law, medicine, or even family history, you will find Latin everywhere. This beginner’s Latin course will teach you the essential grammar and syntax to start reading and understanding Latin. Learn to translate basic sentences into English. Learning Latin will give you transferable knowledge to apply to any language learning. This fascinating language is considered the blueprint for modern languages. Understand the etymology of various European languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 26/09/2024 -
Thu 06/02/2025
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
15 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Penelope Fewster
Course code:
Q00017596
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £111.00