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: Writing Love

These creative writing workshops spotlight the much-written theme of love. From romantic love to family love, from love of a place or a home of long ago to the love of a pet or a ritual, we’ll learn from authors who have portrayed love in all its form – obsessive love, had and had to let go of love and soul-mate love. This workshop consists of a blend of activities: writing exercises to practice your craft; close reading of extracts from published inspirational writers and teaching points on creative writing techniques. There is an opportunity to share your fresh words in small groups and receive gentle, appreciative feedback.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 27/11/2024 -
Wed 18/12/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Nicola Torode
Course code:
Q00017746
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £29.60

Art Appreciation: Portraits through the Ages

The portrait has flourished as an art form from the ancient world to the present day and this innovative course will explore its continuing popularity. We shall study not only the painted face and figure but a variety of formats and formulae, from statuary to pendant medals and miniatures, and study artists as diverse as Holbein, Titian, Gainsborough, Singer Sargent and Francis Bacon. We include a reflection on the place of the photograph in this history of portraiture: was this new invention to prove a help or a hindrance to the creation of the modern portrait? This is a course for everyone who enjoys looking at paintings and no previous reading is required

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 30/11/2024 -
Sat 30/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Reading International Solidarity Centre
35-39 London Street
Reading
RG1 4PS
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017297
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £25.20

Art Appreciation: The Art of Christmas

The Christmas story has probably inspired more art than any other subject. From medieval icons of the Virgin and Child to the Renaissance paintings of the shepherds and the wise men; and from stained glass windows to Christmas cards, the story has been at the forefront of western art.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 05/12/2024 -
Thu 05/12/2024
Times:
10:30am - 3:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Salisbury Museum (Salisbury)
65 The Close
Salisbury
SP1 2EN
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00016863
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £21.00

Art Appreciation: The Destruction of Art by artists, institutions, and conflicts

This course explores the destruction of art which has been going on for centuries whether through natural disasters, censorship, political ideology, war, and conflicts. Artists have been destroying their work out of jealousy or frustration to save their reputations or their legacies for generations. Contemporary artists even destroy art as part of their artistic practices, installations, or performances. Whilst activists are prepared to vandalise artworks to get their voices heard on issues they are passionate about. And governments waging wars deliberate target artworks to destroy the enemy’s culture. Are artworks destined to be destroyed whether through practice, protest, or conflict?

Course Information

Dates:
Sun 08/12/2024 -
Sun 08/12/2024
Times:
10:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Jolanta Jagiello
Course code:
Q00017293
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £11.10

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

Art Appreciation: Art of Christmas - Christmas images and how artists interpret the Christmas story

The Christmas story has probably inspired more art than any other subject. From medieval icons of the Virgin and Child to the Renaissance paintings of the shepherds and the wise men; and from stained glass windows to Christmas cards, the story has been at the forefront of western art. This study day will examine the historicity of the gospel stories and how they have been interpreted by artists through the centuries. A wide range of art will be shown and there will be space for discussion and for learners to offer their own suggestions and experiences.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 12/12/2024 -
Thu 12/12/2024
Times:
10:00am - 3:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
St Lawrence Parish Rooms (Winchester)
Colebrook Street
Winchester
SO23 9LH
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00016856
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £23.10

Art Appreciation: Art and Faith

Are you fascinated by art and how it developed, and would like to know more? Humans have always expressed their spirituality through art, from the earliest cave drawings to contemporary installations in cathedrals. This course concentrates on how European art has depicted the Christian faith, but also looks at the art of Islam and the Indian art of Buddhism and Hinduism. Beginning with cave art around the world, we look at some of the earliest artistic expressions of humanity’s search for the beyond. Buddhist and Hindu art from the centuries before Christ is discussed, as is art from the earliest roots of Islam from the seventh century onwards.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 06/01/2025 -
Mon 10/02/2025
Times:
11:00am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00009346
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
7 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £55.50

Literature: Victorian Literature Through the Decades - The 1840s

During this course we will consider a wide range of novels that were pubished in the 1840s as a continuation of an exploration of literature published through the decades of Victoria’s long reign. We will consider a range of novels by both male and female writers: Barnaby Rudge (Charles Dickens 1841); The Luck of Barry Lyndon (W M Thackeray, 1844); Sybil (Benjamin Disraeli, 1845); Agnes Grey (Anne Bronté, 1847); Shirley (Charlotte Bronté, 1849). The 1840s were a prosperous time for many but but this decade was also known as the Hungry Forties. The 1840s also saw the growth of the realist novel.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 07/01/2025 -
Tue 01/04/2025
Times:
2:30pm - 4:30pm
Duration:
13 sessions
Location:
Exeter Community Centre (Exeter)
17 St. Davids Hill
Exeter
EX4 3RG
Tutor:
Greta Depledge
Course code:
Q00016886
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.80

Music Appreciation: The Music of the Parisian Belle Epoque: The Innovations of the French Composers

Paris between 1870 and 1925, in the period known as La Belle Epoque, saw an outburst of artistic creativity in which music played a major role. Composers such as Bizet, Debussy, Ravel and Satie produced innovations which advanced western musical development by overturning Wagner and re-writing the rule book on harmony and form. After a lull since its Romantic hey-day in the 1830s, Paris was once again the centre of the musical world. The city was now a melting pot for artistic endeavour, transforming influences from Russia, Spain, the Far East and the USA into music which became uniquely and elegantly French. In this course, we trace a period, book-ended by two devastating wars, through its achievements in verismo opera, “total art” ballet, impressionism, avant-garde and jazz.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 07/01/2025 -
Tue 11/02/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Storton Lodge (Goring)
Icknield Road
Goring-on-Thames
Goring
RG8 0DL
Tutor:
Christopher Carter
Course code:
Q00017603
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £60.00

British Novels in the 70s and 80s (Part 2)

This course will consider and analyse the following authors and their texts. These are: Strange Meeting - Susan Hill. So Long Hector Bebb - Ron Berry. Flaubert’s Parrot - Julian Barnes. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro. Innocence - Penelope Fitzgerald. 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 08/01/2025 -
Wed 19/03/2025
Times:
2:15pm - 4:15pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Rose House (London)
70 Barnes High Street
London
SW13 9LD
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017376
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

British Literature 1980 - 2011 (Part 2)

On this course we will examine the following novels: On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell (2004) Day - A.L. Kennedy. Affinity - Sarah Waters. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes. These texts will take us inside contemporary British fiction, and earmark those authors who have contributed to the evolution of a distinctive voice in British fiction in the last fifty years, from the years of Thatcher, New Labour to the present. We will explore each writers’ techniques and themes, and how they address the themes of British identity. Discussions will be lively with plenty of opportunities to voice your opinions.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 08/01/2025 -
Wed 19/03/2025
Location:
Friends Meeting House (Sutton)
10 Cedar Road
Sutton
SM2 5DA
Course code:
Q00017594
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00