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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Music:

The course aims to encourage you to attend art exhibitions and/or musical events with a greater background knowledge in order to enhance appreciation. If actual attendance is not possible, to undertake independent research and hence, enjoy a more active and cultural lifestyle. The class also offers an opportunity for you to interact socially with like-minded people in intellectual pursuits. It also encourages you to acquire critical and analytical skills through debate and discussion. The course covers all styles and periods from the Renaissance to the present day. It is multi media to accommodate diverse learning styles and preferences. It is suitable for beginners and connoisseurs alike.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Wanstead House (London)
21 The Green
Wanstead
London
E11 2NT
Tutor:
Andrew Rothwell
Course code:
Q00017607
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

Literature: Nordic Noir

This course will examine the publishing phenomenon of Nordic Noir, locating its roots in the early twentieth century, before exploring four contemporary novels from the genre. Our texts will be Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg; Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg; The Bird Tribunal - Agnes Ravatn; The Flatey Enigma - Viktor Arnor Ingolfson and Missing - Karin Alvtegen. These texts will take us inside the mind of Nordic Noir and we will evaluate the common features of the genre and its relationship with crime-fiction, horror and recent forms of Gothic literature. There will be ample scope for lively discussion in our sessions

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017459
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Foreign Languages: Conversations on Art and Culture, in French

Would you like to learn about art and at the same time practice your French? This course is for you! During ten weeks, we will discuss a series of topics related to art and culture. The course aims to enrich your knowledge of art history, develop your French vocabulary, and boost your confidence when speaking French. Please see the longer description for a list of the themes we will study. . Language skills: This is not a language course. To follow this course, it is desirable to have a good level in French (probably upper intermediate, or B2 and above). The group will be small and the atmosphere relaxed and tolerant. If your French is a bit rusty, it is OK! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 05/12/2024
Times:
1:15pm - 3:15pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017439
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Art Appreciation: How to See and Interpret Paintings

Have you ever wondered how to look at a painting and how to figure out what it means? This course will give you keys to develop your understanding and appreciation of paintings and their history. Based on the study of many concrete examples, taken from a variety of historical periods and styles, we will study all the aspects of a painting, from its format and technique, to its subject matter. As we do so, you will have many occasions to apply this knowledge and techniques for yourself.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017435
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

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: Twentieth Century Irish Poetry

This course will examine Ireland’s unique contribution to twentieth century poetry in English. We will explore the work of two Nobel Prize winners, W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, plus the work of Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice and Michael Longley. Additionally, we will refer in passing to poems by numerous other poets such as Paul Muldoon and Derek Mahon. We will analyse those elements which have contributed to Ireland’s distinctive contribution to world literature in the last 100 years, and discuss the relationship between a politically troubled history and creativity. There will be ample opportunities for discussion in what will be lively sessions.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 29/11/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017458
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Literature: 20th Century British Women's Short Stories

This course will range from the beginning of the twentieth century until its end, and explore the wealth of short stories written during this period by women. We will encounter the usual suspects such as Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen and Doris Lessing, but the course will also assess the stories of less well-known writers, many of whom are worthy of much deeper study. These writers will emerge from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. As all our texts are by women, we will discover the importance of these voices, often disappeared in a patriarchal society, and recognise how vital these women’s voices were and are.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 29/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017460
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Art Appreciation: The Century that changed the World-Renaissance and Reformation

A new way of seeing human beings and their environment; the end of the middle ages and the birth of modern Europe, the discovery of the ‘New World’; fresh insights into faith and the upheaval that created; and a new way of doing art. This study day investigates Renaissance art in Southern and Northern Europe and traces the birth and development of the Reformation. The art of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and van Eyck and the thought of Luther and Calvin together with the reforms of Henry VIII all feature in this extensively illustrated study day.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 20/09/2024
Times:
10:00am - 3:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
St Lawrence Parish Rooms (Winchester)
Colebrook Street
Winchester
SO23 9LH
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00016855
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £23.10

Film & Media: 5 Forgotten Classics from Ealing & Gainsborough

Exploring five arguably lesser known classics produced by British film studios Ealing and would be ‘rivals’ Gainsborough, both stalwarts of 1940s and early 1950s cinema. Ealing Studios are still renown for their many now classic comedies produced throughout the 1940s and into the 50s but perhaps the repeated focus on the same films has lead to other equally remarkable classics from their own studio becoming overshadowed. Likewise, a repeated focus on Ealing Studios has perhaps stolen praise from other British studio of the era Gainsborough. This course aims to reinvestigate some of these ‘forgotten’ classics.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 18/10/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00017778
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Art Appreciation: How to See and Interpret Paintings

Have you ever wondered how to look at a painting and how to figure out what it means? This course will give you keys to develop your understanding and appreciation of paintings and their history. Based on the study of many concrete examples, taken from a variety of historical periods and styles, we will study all the aspects of a painting, from its format and technique, to its subject matter. As we do so, you will have many occasions to apply this knowledge and techniques for yourself.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 06/12/2024
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017464
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £88.00

Literature: Nature Writers (Prose and Poetry)

Interested in Nature writers who have worked with prose and poetry? This day school will explore the works of John Clare, Emily Bronte, and Gretel Ehrlich, with a glance at other relevant authors. Resources will be available on for pre- and post-course reading. The day will include presentations and group discussions on each writer’s work, moving between specific writings and the broader cultural context. This will help us understand how fiction connects to the ‘real’ world.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 21/09/2024 -
Sat 21/09/2024
Times:
10:30am - 4:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Norwich Millennium Library (Norwich)
Millennium Library
The Forum, Millennium Plain
Norwich
NR2 1AW
Tutor:
James Clarke
Course code:
Q00017998
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £25.20