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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Literature: 19th Century Russian Literary Classic - War and Peace

This course will explore Leo Tolstoy’s classic nineteenth-century novel War and Peace. The novel was originally published in the 1860s and provides readers with a panoramic study of early nineteenth-century Russian society. This novel is regarded as not only one of the finest examples of Russian literature but also one of the world’s greatest novels. We will consider the fragmented publication of the novel and its social and political context. The novel’s historical setting is the French invasion of Russia in 1812 which was seen as a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars and a period of patriotic significance to Russia.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 12/09/2024 -
Thu 12/12/2024
Location:
Online
Course code:
Q00017327
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
Free

Film & Media: World Cinema

We will consider a range of films, from classics to contemporary cinema. We will discuss the style and meaning of diverse extracts drawing on key ideas from Film Studies. We will consider films from diverse countries, comparing and contrasting these with American and British cinema. The class will be organised around discussion of selected extracts, with guidance on points to look for, including different aspects of film such as the screenplay and cinematography. Students will be encouraged to develop their responses in small groups. Case studies will be included on Alfred Hitchcock and British cinema.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Daniel Williams
Course code:
Q00017427
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £84.00

World Cinema

We will consider a range of films, from classics to contemporary cinema. We will discuss the style and meaning of diverse extracts drawing on key ideas from Film Studies. We will consider films from diverse countries, comparing and contrasting these with American and British cinema. The class will be organised around discussion of selected extracts, with guidance on points to look for, including different aspects of film such as the screenplay and cinematography. Students will be encouraged to develop their responses in small groups. Case studies will be included on Alfred Hitchcock and British cinema.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Daniel Williams
Course code:
Q00017611
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £84.00

Literature: British Literature in the Belle Epoque.

This course will explore four novels: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James; Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence; The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, and the work of one poet, Thomas Hardy, specifically Poems 1912-1913, a record of his reactions to the death of his first wife. We will discuss the end of Empire, the rise of Modernism and Feminism and psychological study, and the political situation leading up to 1914 and changing perceptions of individual and national identity. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and a chance to reassess what may in some instances be familiar texts.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017457
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
7 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

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Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

Literature: Strange Worlds in Twentieth Century Fiction

This course will discover five texts ranging across twentieth century European and British literatures. The texts are: Stories from the City of God by Pier Paolo Passolini; Baron Bagge by Alexander Lernet-Holenia; Forbidden Notebook by Alba de Cespedes; The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps by Michel Faber and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. These texts include essays, novellas and novels are by turn extravagant fantasies and profound social commentaries on the last unlovely century. There will be ample scope for discussion of issues such as class identities, social and political identities and the desire to create stories to explore the nature of the mutable worlds of the twentieth century.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
11 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017462
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Literature: Dickens and the struggles of life

For Charles Dickens, writing and worrying went hand in hand. His books were knitted together out of his own anxieties and struggles. And yet, despite the weight of all these worries, his novels are never depressing. To read Dickens is to glimpse the possibilities of new life. We all probably intend to read Dickens ‘one day.’ We all know his characters from various films and TV adaptations, so perhaps the time has finally come to get stuck into a major work. On this eight-week course we will read ‘Little Dorrit.’ We will also study some of Dickens's essays, short stories, and letters. You may already be a Dickens enthusiast, or a complete newcomer to his work. Either way, I hope that you will join us to explore a writer whose books still have the power to move and enlighten us today.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 11/11/2024
Location:
Krowji (Redruth)
West Park
Redruth
TR15 3AJ
Course code:
Q00013086
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £67.20

Art Appreciation: Art in Churches

The Church has historically been a major patron of the arts, and all major artists have works in church buildings around Europe. From Saxon wall paintings and lavish medieval alter pieces, to contemporary installations in Cathedrals, this course looks at the variety of art commissioned by the Church, from the Sistine Chapel ceiling to Victorian church textiles. We discuss where good examples can be seen in this country, including stained glass and sculpture. The way in which art in Churches has reflected the major art history developments is at the core of this course.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 21/10/2024
Times:
11:00am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00009352
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £55.50

Art Appreciation: Picasso: Myth and Reality

Picasso is one of the 20th-century most well-known artists, a household name. In this course, we will learn about his personal life and his artistic career. As we do so, we will try and deconstruct the myth that exists around him both as a man and artist. Our approach will be chronological, starting in Spain, developing in Paris, and ending in Southern France, from 1881 to 1973. We will also address transversal themes, such as sculpture, Picasso’s family and lovers, the issue of collaboration, myth-making. Beyond developing your knowledge and understanding of Picasso’s art and life, this course will provide many opportunities to deepen your ability to analyse works of art (visual analysis and iconography).

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 25/11/2024
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017432
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Literature: Crime through Time

For the last century, crime fiction has been the most popular and lucrative of literary subgenres. But this commercial success belies a formal inventiveness and experiment, a constant drive to ‘make it new’, which has long been central to the genre. In this course we will read six crime novels (and three short stories) which chart the development of crime fiction. As well as considering each of these novels in isolation from week to week, we will also use the eight week course to ask ourselves: how has crime fiction changed through the years, and how has it remained the same? No previous knowledge of crime fiction is necessary – everybody is most welcome!

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 16/09/2024 -
Mon 11/11/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
8 sessions
Location:
Emmanuel Church Aylsham (Aylsham)
Cawston Road
Aylsham
NR11 6BX
Tutor:
Joseph Williams
Course code:
Q00018193
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £58.80

Art Appreciation: Royal Portraits (1395 - 1658)

During this five week course we will explore a number of portraits of British Monarchs. We will discover the anonymous Wilton Diptych, Holbein’s portrayal of Henry VIII, the evolving portraits of Elizabeth I throughout her life; the paintings of Charles I by Anthony Van Dyck, and several portraits of the de-facto monarch Oliver Cromwell. The course will introduce the lives of the artists, the historical and socio-political contexts of the paintings, and discuss the changing perceptions of the monarchy as shown in this 250 year long history. Images of the portraits will be available for you online. Come along and tap into your inner art-critic.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 17/09/2024 -
Tue 15/10/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Stephen Smith
Course code:
Q00017463
How you'll learn:
Online
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £37.00