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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Art Appreciation: Highlights of Tate Britain

Discover for the first time, or re-visit an old favourite, this course will introduce you to a wide range of artworks from the national collection of Tate Britain in London. We explore specific works by historical, modern and contemporary artists in relation to wider cultural and social contexts. The aim of the course is to develop confidence and visual literacy skills when looking at and discussing art in London’s galleries. On this course, we examine work by prominent artists as diverse as Anthony Van Dyck, Joan Carlile, William Blake, JMW Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, Gwen John, Mona Hatoum and Mike Kelly.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 17/01/2025 -
Fri 14/02/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Blue Beetle Room (London)
Hendon Lane
Finchley
London
N3 1TR
Tutor:
Chantal Condron
Course code:
Q00017455
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £50.00

Literature: American Literature - On Land & Sea

This course will explore some of the classics of American Literature. You will study a range of poetry and prose by writers both ancient and modern, including Moby Dick by Herman Melville, My Ántonia by Willa Cather and other works by Maya Angelou and Cormac McCarthy. You will also explore how American Literature relates to other art forms, including film, photography and music.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 20/01/2025 -
Mon 17/03/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
9 sessions
Location:
Redruth Community Centre (Redruth)
Foundry Row
Chapel Street
Redruth
TR15 1AN
Tutor:
Mark Crees
Course code:
Q00016867
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Creative Writing: Structure & Point-of-View 

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 thinking about how point-of-view impacts on structure. 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. This course uses the same content as the Friday morning course, Creative Writing: Point-of-View, and the Thursday morning fortnightly course, Creative Writing: Point-of-View, therefore you need only enrol on to one of them.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 23/01/2025 -
Thu 03/04/2025
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Catherine Humphris
Course code:
Q00012327
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
6 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

A Face to the World: Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery

Discover selected paintings, sculptures, works on paper and new media works from the National Portrait Gallery in London. Marking the relaunch in summer 2023 of this national collection after a three-year refurbishment, this course offers an opportunity to discover new or less well-known artworks; and to re-visit familiar portraits that epitomise aspects of British history. We explore ideas around the function of portraiture; and the range of approaches and styles that artists have employed through history to express individual and national identity. Artists featured include Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffmann, Pauline Boty, Jann Haworth and Liberty Blake.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 30/01/2025 -
Thu 13/03/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Wesley Hall (Barnet)
High Barnet Methodist Church
9 Stapylton Road
Barnet
EN5 4JJ
Tutor:
Chantal Condron
Course code:
Q00017379
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £50.40

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:
WEA Membership

Art Appreciation: The Art of Diplomacy: Behind the Doors of the Government Art Collection

Go behind the scenes of the Government Art Collection, a less well-known national art collection, with Chantal Condron, a former curator at the Collection. Discover the fascinating origins of its history, and the people and events that have shaped its past. Explore how and why artworks are acquired or commissioned and discover some of the locations where they have been displayed. We explore works across a range of media from paintings to film, by artists from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including Marcus Gheerhaerts the Younger, Thomas Phillips, Bridget Riley, Michael Armitage and recent Turner Prize winner, Jesse Darling.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 01/02/2025 -
Sat 01/02/2025
Times:
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
St John's United Reform Church Orpington
Lynwood Grove
Orpington
BR6 0BG
Tutor:
Chantal Condron
Course code:
Q00017572
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £10.00

Creative Writing: Writing Your First Novel: Next Level

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Everyone has a novel in them?’ This is your chance to get yours down on the page! Even if you don’t have an idea in mind at the moment, you can begin to develop your writing and experiment with different stories and genres until you find something you want to write.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 06/02/2025 -
Thu 17/04/2025
Times:
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Craig Rickard
Course code:
Q00009232
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Art Appreciation: The Lost Stars of the Renaissance - Art History

In this course, we will discuss in detail works from lesser-known painters of the Renaissance era. Since the High Renaissance is much better known, we will look at artists from the fifteenth century, who were very highly thought of at the time. They were influential and sought-after by the powerful in Florence.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 18/02/2025 -
Tue 11/03/2025
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
Pyrton Village Hall (Watlington)
Pyrton
Watlington
OX49 5AP
Tutor:
Kate Phillips
Course code:
Q00017589
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £40.00

Art and the Arts in 1950s

If there is such a thing, at any time the “national mood” in any country is reflected in the cultural products of the period - visual works, theatre productions, the movies, the literature. The course will provide an overview of the decade from the artistic and cultural viewpoint. This will include the art movements which emerged such as Abstract Expressionism, exemplified by people like Jackson Pollock, music developments such as rock'n'roll famously promoted by Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and many others and epoch-making movies such as West Side Story.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 20/02/2025 -
Thu 27/03/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
Colin Lomas
Course code:
Q00017413
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £72.00

Art Appreciation: The Art of Easter

Are you fascinated by art and how it developed, and would like to know more? The story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus has been at the forefront of western art for 2,000 years - from early inscriptions in the catacombs, medieval altarpieces and Leonardo’s Last Supper, to the twentieth century works of artists such as Marc Chagall and Graham Sutherland. This lavishly illustrated six week course takes you through the Easter story through the eyes of the major artists.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 24/02/2025 -
Mon 31/03/2025
Times:
11:00am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00009348
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £55.00

Literature: Six Classic Novels you can read in Six weeks

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 over 200 years, from the mid-19th century to modern times. We begin with Jane Eyre and end with Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. 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 25/02/2025 -
Tue 01/04/2025
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
Brandon Robshaw
Course code:
Q00017423
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £72.00