Love to learn with the SPƵվ

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. 

Skip to course

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.

Please enter your postcode

In order for us to give you accurate results for your courses, please click on the Search options and enter your postcode and the mile radius for your search.

Refine search

How you'll learn

Your location

Please enter your postcode

In order for us to give you accurate results for your courses, please enter your postcode and the mile radius for your search.

Sort by start date

Choose to sort the course start date in ascending order (furthest away dates first) or descending (most recent dates first)

Results per page

Days

Other Filters

Part of day
Level of study
Availability
Search for the branch name/location, without adding branch e.g. Barnet

Creative Writing: Explore Your Writing

If you've ever had a hankering to explore your writing talent, this course is for you! This friendly 10 week online course/workshop led by a tutor with professional writing credits will help you to explore your writing. You will have a chance to read your homework pieces set the previous week with supportive feedback from you tutor and fellow Learners and in the last third of the class, you'll have a chance of an in class exercise that leads to that weeks homework writing assignment. This unaccredited course is suitable for all abilities and may lead to new found skills which you could take back to your communities.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 11/01/2024 -
Thu 21/03/2024
Times:
12:30pm - 2:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Tutor:
Len Pentin
Course code:
Q00012614
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
In progress
Fee range
Free to £74.00

Literature: Literature of the Historical Moment

The course will explore two novels which, although very different in approach, are examples of the different ways in which writers seek to represent a contemporary of historical moment. The authors of both these texts have chosen to write about an era some decades before their own and we shall look at the time and pace in which each was produced and its relationship to the world represented. In each case we shall examine the techniques used by the authors in their creation of character, place and contemporary beliefs and behaviours.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 19/02/2024 -
Mon 29/04/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Trinity Baptist Church (Tenterden)
Ashford Road
Tenterden
TN30 6LR
Tutor:
Elizabeth Allen
Course code:
Q00013278
How you'll learn:
In venue
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £42.00

Art Appreciation: World Heritage Architecture in Mainland Europe

We will look at outstanding examples of the architecture of Mainland Europe which have been awarded World Heritage status - and consider the issues of their selection and conservation. UNESCO’s designation of World Heritage now includes some of the world’s most extraordinary and varied architecture – our sampling of this will include Palermo and Monreale in Sicily, Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Turin under the House of Savoy, the magnificent cathedral at Chartres, the historic city of Lyon, the Romanesque masterpiece of Speyer’s cathedral, Lisbon’s Jerónimos monastery and Granada’s Alhambra. This course will combine short lectures with discussion sessions, backed by colour-illustrated notes.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 20/02/2024 -
Tue 19/03/2024
Times:
10:00am - 11:30am
Duration:
5 sessions
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00012191
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £27.75

Art Appreciation: Art History - Art of Indigenous People

In this course, we will focus on artworks that are rarely studied in themselves: the objects and art created by indigenous peoples. Come and learn about the artistic traditions of Native American peoples, of the Sami, of Aboriginal Australians, and many more.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 20/02/2024 -
Tue 19/03/2024
Times:
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
St John's United Reform Church Orpington
Lynwood Grove
Orpington
BR6 0BG
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00012101
How you'll learn:
In venue
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £42.00

SPƵվ 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:
SPƵվ Membership

Makaton Level 1

Makaton is a communication tool with speech, signs and symbols to enable people with disabilities or learning difficulties to use as their main method of communication or as a way to support speech. This is a 5-week course aimed at learners who have a basic understanding of Makaton and wish to take their knowledge to the next level. Handouts are given to support all learning. They are available within the sessions and also in Canvas your learning platform. Makaton is used in education, health professionals, family, friends, carers and other supportive people.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 20/02/2024 -
Tue 19/03/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Comfrey Project (Gateshead)
Chester Place
Gateshead
NE8 1QB
Tutor:
Maria Hambley
Course code:
Q00013694
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £75.00

Film & Media: 5 BBC Plays for Today Revisited

The BBC Play for Today strand ran from 1970 to 1984, an anthology series of one-off made for Television plays covering a broad range of genres from social realism to science fiction and anything in between. The plays also allowed a variety of then new writers and directors to express themselves on screen in an inventive and original platform allowing for experimentation in terms of style and themes, for many writers this was the start of a fruitful career. This course examines several of these plays, considering what made some into landmarks of TV drama, why they so often courted controversy and what shifted in the television landscape to bring about their decline.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 21/02/2024 -
Wed 20/03/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Tutor:
George Cromack
Course code:
Q00012944
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Art Appreciation: Art History: Women in Renaissance Art

This is a two week Hybrid taster course and will be followed at a later date with a four week course, please note the tutor will be online and the learners will be in the venue. Both courses will cover a discussion of the importance of the social and sexual mores of the times in history. In the full course there will be four weeks to look at the life and work of these remarkable women, but in the taster we shall look at only two, Artemisia Gentileschi and Lavinia Fontana. We will cover the problems that faced them because of the historical place women were in at this time due to their sex and then at the ways they employed to get round these societal problems. Then we shall study their body of work under the context of the moment of history that they lived in.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 21/02/2024 -
Mon 26/02/2024
Times:
11:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
2 sessions
Tutor:
Kate Phillips
Course code:
Q00013666
How you'll learn:
Online and in venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £16.80

History: Art, Architecture and Photography in the 1930s

This course aims to introduce you to the work of artists, architects and photographers of the 1930s, with close attention to historical context. It is suitable for both those who are new to the history of art, and for students who may have previously attended art history courses.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 22/02/2024 -
Thu 14/03/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
St Lawrence Parish Rooms (Winchester)
Colebrook Street
Winchester
SO23 9LH
Tutor:
Michaela Cranmer
Course code:
Q00009648
How you'll learn:
In venue
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to £40.00

Art Appreciation: World Heritage Architecture in Britain

A survey of remarkable architecture in England, Wales and Scotland celebrated in World Heritage sites. We will include the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Edward I’s Castles in Wales, Durham Cathedral and Castle, Blenheim Palace, the City of Bath, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – and the Palace of Westminster. Listing is decided by a committee established under UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. We will look in detail at how these architectural sites have been awarded this World Heritage status and consider what may have justified this distinction. This course will combine short lectures with discussion sessions, backed by colour-illustrated notes.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 22/02/2024 -
Thu 28/03/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Marlow Community Association (Marlow)
Liston Hall
Chapel Street
Marlow
SL7 1DD
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00012195
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £45.00

Art Appreciation: From New York with Love - American Abstract Painting

Conquer your fear (!) of American Abstract Expressionist painting and discover how and why this major art movement of the 20th century dominated international art from the 1940s and beyond. Why did this radical new form of artistic expression originate largely in the studios of New York? What were the main social, political and cultural influences on this new painting style? This course will look at the work of several artists including Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, among others. We also discuss how and why Abstract Expressionism continued to influence artists internationally in the following decades.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 22/02/2024 -
Thu 28/03/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
Chantal Condron
Course code:
Q00012150
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
3 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £69.00