Cool Britannia: Swinging Sixties British Cinema

Ref: C2225382

They say that if you can remember the Sixties then you weren’t there! Fortunately, film was there to record the decade! This informal course will explore how British cinema both reflected and shaped the swinging sixties: beginning with the black and white “kitchen sink” dramas set up North, which then exploded into the Technicolor sexual escapades of James Bond and Tom Jones, leading to an excess of sex and drugs and Merseybeat. The key films, stars and directors of the period will be examined along with the economic and social background, together with taking a trip to such swinging locations as The Cavern Club, Carnaby Street and Stevenage Shopping Centre. Groovy!

Course aim

The main aim of this course is to provide an overview of British cinema during the 1960s, enabling the student to watch films from this period with greater knowledge, insight and enjoyment.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the key films made in Britain during the 1960s.
  • Explain the social and political background to British cinema during the 1960s.
  • List some of the economic and industrial factors which shaped British cinema during the 1960s.
  • Identify the key stars of 1960s British cinema and what they contributed to both film and notions of "The Swinging Sixties".

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No preparation is required, but watching British films from the 1960s would help you to get an idea of the style of the films and the issues they deal with.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Join a film discussion group.

Download full course information sheet

Cool Britannia: Swinging Sixties British Cinema

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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