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We offer an exceptional range of history and culture courses, including; family history and genealogy, art and music appreciation, literature, architecture, religion and philosophy. Our tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today. Our history and culture classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. We also offer trips and day schools. (See also – languages and writing)

"Our Mutual Friend" by Charles Dickens View details

A novel about wealth and its corrupting power. Join us on our journey to the murky world of Dickens's London. Learn more about Victorian England and its shocking social problems.

"The Auden Group": Poetry of the 1930s View details

1930s poetry was characterised by its engagement with the political challenge to liberal democracy in the run-up to WW2. The course explores, through discussion and analysis, a small selection of work by Auden, Spender, MacNeice and Day Lewis, known collectively as The Auden Group, who wrote in the hope that poetry could effect change.

"Whatever happened to Leicester's History?" View details

We will be looking at Leicester at various stages of its history and trying to understand why, walking around the town today, so little of this has been preserved. Starting with Roman times through to the "modernisation" vogue during the 1960s and 70s we will attempt to build up a picture of what has vanished over the centuries and also try to establish reasons for this apparently blatant disregard for the town's heritage. We will also try to build up some mental "snapshots" of the town at various stages in its development and recent study moves to place a lot more emphasis on the town's past.

10 British people who made history View details

This ten week course is about ten randomly selected individuals from the history of the British Isles that have left their mark on the historical development of the UK. The figures we will consider along with their qualities are: Boudicca, Edward I, Tyndale, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, Nelson, Wellington, Aneurin Bevan, Churchill, and Thatcher.

10 Political Classics that Shaped the Modern World View details

This history course will look at 10 political works and examine their significance at the time and investigate their continued impact today. As well as looking at the original works we will also use other primary sources, current interpretations and film and audio clips.

1939 Molotov Ribbentrop Pact and the start of the Second World War View details

Stalin and Hitler signed an agreement in 1939 which may have enabled Germany to invade Poland. They did not fear Russian interference because of the Pact. We will look at the causes of the Second World War and place the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact in the context of diplomatic events such as appeasement to analyse its significance. An understanding of the motives of both Stalin and Hitler will be central to the course. The role of Chamberlain will also be examined.

19th Century Classical Song View details

This 5-week course will provide an introduction to the 19th century Classical Song, exploring the European "art song" genre, including the German 'lied' (Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss) ; the French 'mélodie' (Berlioz, Fauré, Duparc, Chausson); and the Italian Art Song (Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti).

20C English Music Renaissance View details

The beginning of the 20th.century saw a flourishing of English music that had not been seen for over 100 years. Not only the big three - Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams - but many others added to the riches that appeared in orchestral, vocal, choral and chamber music of the period. This course will study in some depth this English musical renaissance, starting in 1899 with Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and tracing its development through the time of Edward VII, World War I, and George V, culminating in 1934 with the deaths of Elgar, Holst and Delius. Well-known works will be studied in detail, as well as an exploration of the lesser-known repertoire. It is hoped that students will end the course with a wider musical knowledge of this period and a desire to explore further this vast treasury of English music. Each session will include many audio/video extracts for listening enjoyment and discussion.

20th Century Art Movements View details

The 20th century saw a proliferation of new art movements, many of which still have the power to shock and provoke today. Explore the development of art movements such as Cubism and Fauvism, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism and Pop Art through close study of the artists and the works that shaped the 20th century.

20th Century British Art and Design View details

British 20c art is as complex and contradictory as British history, responding to international art, retreating to the English landscape. Course themes include responses to the horror of WWI, quirky English Surrealism and elegiac Neo-Romanticism. We end with Lucien Freud’s painterly nudes and David Hockney in 1960s America.