All the Dramatic Art of the London Underground

Ref: C3746160

This course studies the dramatic events, famous figures and major artworks from 10 centuries of London life that are displayed in the permanent art that adorns over 90 of London’s Underground stations. Created by the leading artists in Britain of the last 90 years, the majority of Underground art illustrates key passages in the history of the local area served by each station. These include the building in 1294 of the memorial "Cross at Charing" for the Queen of King Edward I, the bawdy life of England’s “Merry“ Monarch King Charles II and the first manned flight in England in 1794. We study the tragedy that befell the monumental Euston Arch of 1840 and thrill at the mosaics of Alfred Hitchcock's films at Leytonstone. A number of stations have taken images from local institutions. As a result, we have the opportunity to savour famous artworks from the National and Tate Galleries, rare and extinct species from the Natural History Museum and ancient artefacts from the British Museum.

Course aim

The most entrancing journey across London that you can ever take. A study tour of all the permanent artworks that grace the platform walls of over 90 Tube stations, mining the rich veins of London's dramatic history, its museums and art galleries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit:
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Cite a leading British artist responsible for both an artwork on the Underground and for the official designs for the 1951 Festival of Britain.
  • Describe how the décor of Leicester Square station celebrates the bright lights and cinemas of the West End streets above.
  • Describe the 80-metre long woodcut print of the building of London's Eleanor Cross on the Northern Line platforms at Charing Cross.
  • Name both the famous British artist and the French artist responsible for today's décor of Tottenham Court Road station.
  • Locate the elephant guarding the escalators to the Underground at a London mainline station.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • 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?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will be able to keep a digital portfolio of your work on WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas.
  • 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?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas:
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • The tutor will outline efficient routes for students to view the London artworks. The tutor will describe outstanding examples of art on Continental Metro stations. The tutor (and other WEA tutors) provide a range of courses which celebrate public art, accessible via searching the WEA web site.

Download full course information sheet

All the Dramatic Art of the London Underground


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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