Short courses

Part-time pathways to further education


Literature and creative writing

  • Reading English Literature
  • Mastering English Literature
  • Ways Into History
  • Literature for Life
  • The Monthly Read
  • Fiction Writing Workshops


Please read on for course information


Are these courses for me? 

Our lifelong learning taster courses are designed to support, encourage and inspire. They aim to be an enjoyable confidence-building experience and offer the opportunity to progress to higher education. 

No qualifications are needed for the taster courses.

Students who have achieved a degree, may wish to consider the Mastering English Literature pathway course. 


 Our student community

Our mature students often start their journey back into education after a break from study. They range in age from 19 to 80 and our student community crosses all barriers of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, social class and educational achievement. Courses take place in Bristol and Bath, during the weekday and in the evenings so they are accessible to a wide range of people (over 18 years).


Lifelong learning short courses start in October 2017

Please read on to see course details

Booking is made using the University secure online shop

Please read these instructions on how to book short courses (PDF, 587kB)


Please email for more details


Pathways to Higher Education

These taster courses offer a bridge into higher education for mature students who may lack conventional qualifications or have been out of education for a while. 


Mastering English Literature

This course is designed for graduates in any discipline who want to return to study and sharpen their study skills. Students gain a taste of the University's expertise in Romantic literature, women's writing, poetry of the Twentieth Century and Shakespeare. Guidance will be provided for students who wish to progress to an MA in English.  

Mastering English Literature will run on 10 Tuesday evenings 6pm to 8pm, starting January 2018 with breaks for half-term and Easter.

 ‌Mastering English Literature APPLICATION PACK January 2018 (PDF, 387kB)


“One of the most enriching experiences of my life:

challenging, endlessly informative, and so enjoyable.”


Reading English Literature

This course aims to introduce the study of literature and build student confidence through discussion of literary texts. You will be given support to develop your essay writing skills. Students read classic and modern literature, as well as poetry. We also take a trip to the theatre to see one of Shakespeare's plays.

This course also helps you explore your options for further study including the part-time BA degree in English Literature and Community Engagement at Bristol University.  

Reading English Literature will run on 15 Wednesday evenings 6pm to 9pm, starting January 2018 with breaks for half-term and Easter. 

No qualificatons needed.

Reading English Literature APPLICATION PACK JANUARY 2018 (PDF, 406kB)


“I left school at 16. It never would have occurred to me to go to university.

I loved the course. It opens your mind to what you can get out of a book.”


Ways Into History

Would you like to know more about slavery and how it shaped Bristol? We'll be tackling difficult questions about the impact of slavery. This course aims to build student confidence through discussion of historical texts. You will be given support to develop your essay writing skills. We also take a walking tour of key historical locations in the centre of Bristol. 

This course will also help you to explore your options for further study at Bristol University including the BA degree in History. 

Ways Into History will run on 15 Wednesday evenings 6pm to 9pm, starting January 2018 with breaks for half-term and Easter. 

No qualificatons needed.


Please read on to find out about our literature courses and creative writing workshops


Literature Short Courses

The Monthly Read

This is a supportive group for readers who simply wish to share ideas about books with the guidance of a university tutor. Each term we study three texts linked by a common literary theme.  

Wednesday afternoons 1.30pm - 4pm

9 meetings from October 2017 to June 2018

Breaks for half terms, Christmas and Easter

Course Fee £105 per term

University of Bristol, 3/5 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB


The Monthly Read Autumn Term 2017

"Cultures and Connections"

We will examine the novel in which Forster's term "only connect" appears. We will apply it to two other novels which explore clashes and collisions between cultures, and attempt at connecting them.

George Eliot, Daniel Deronda

E.M. Forster, Howards End

Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country

Book The Monthly Read Autumn Term 2017


The Monthly Read Spring Term 2018


We will read three novels from the fin de siècle set in the southern hemisphere, in South Africa, Oceania, and Australia.

Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm

Robert Louis Stephenson, The Ebb-Tide

Henry Handel Richardson, The Getting of Wisdom


Book The Monthly Read Spring Term 2018


The Monthly Read Summer Term 2018

"Tales of Towers"

We will explore three novels in which towers of various types are significant as settings and symbols.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Farm

Thomas Hardy, Two on a Tower

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

To book your place, please email



Literature for Life: Ways of Escape

This course explores the big issues of human existence through literature. We discuss our readings of the texts and what they bring to our understanding of life, as well as the power of narrative and literary language to convey our experiences. 

Thursday afternoons 1.30pm - 3.30pm

8 meetings per term

Break for half term

Course Fee £120 per term

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution BRLSI

16/18 Queen’s Square, Bath BA1 2HN


Literature for Life: Ways of Escape 1

Autumn Term 2017

In our texts characters are trying to escape, be it from difficult family relationships or imprisonment and persecution. We shall discuss their situations and whether they succeed in escaping. We shall also consider to what extent reading (and writing) novels is an escape from reality. 

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë (1848)

Silence – Shusaku Endo (1966)

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson (1985) 

Reference will also be made to Graham Greene’s Ways of Escape (1980) and

The Power and the Glory (1940)

Book Literature for Life: Ways of Escape 1  Autumn Term - October to December 2017


Literature for Life: Ways of Escape 2

Spring Term 2018 

We continue our exploration of the theme of escape in literature. The political and the personal, the serious and the farcical are interwoven in our texts as the characters seek to escape from poverty, corruption, or difficult domestic situations. 

Effi Briest – Thedor Fontane (1895)

Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene (1958)

The Schooner Flight’ (extracts) – Derek Walcott (1980)

The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai (2006)

Book Literature for Life: Ways of Escape 2  Spring Term - January to March 2018



Creative Writing Short Courses

Fiction Writing Workshop

Through writing exercises and examples from literature, students are offered help in developing characters and plots, improving style and working with structure. 

Each session is divided into a general creative writing session and a feedback workshop during which students will have the opportunity to have their writing appreciated and critiqued on a rota basis. 

Friday mornings 10.30am - 12.30pm

8 meetings per term 

Break for half term

Course Fee £120 per term

Percy Community Centre PCC

New King Street, Bath BA1 2BN


Book Fiction Writing Workshop 1 Autumn Term - October to December 2017

Book Fiction Writing Workshop 2 Spring Term - January to March 2018

Book Fiction Writing Workshop 3 Summer Term - April to June 2018


Booking guidance

All bookings are made using the University secure online shop. Advance booking is required. Booking closes two days prior to the course start date.

Please read these instructions on how to book short courses (PDF, 587kB)


  • New students set up an account by providing their email address
  • Students register by answering a few questions
  • Proceed through the screens to the payment screen
  • Have your payment card and bank security pin/password ready to avoid being timed out
  • Returning students log on with their email address and password
  • Returning students select 'use my customer details' to save entering details again
  • Courses are found under conferences and events
  • From the drop down box select 'Faculty of Arts', then select 'School of Humanities'


Booking more than one course?

You will need to book each course separately. 

  • Book and pay for the first course
  • Close your browser
  • Open the link again and navigate to your second course
  • complete registration
  • 'use my customer details' to save entering details again



Having problems booking your place?



Please email:

School of Humanities Part Time Programme
University of Bristol
11 Woodland Road

Tel: 0117 928 8924 Tuesdays and Thursdays

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