City Literary Institute

City Lit
Established 1919
Type Adult education college
Principal & Chief Executive Mark Malcomson
Location Keeley Street
Covent Garden
England England
Students 30,000
Gender Mixed
Ages 18–no upper age limit

City Lit is an adult education college in Covent Garden, central London, offering over 4,000 part-time courses in areas such as languages, visual arts, music, drama, humanities and more, available during the evenings, daytimes or weekends.

In 2011, City Lit was graded "Outstanding" by government inspectors Ofsted, who were particularly impressed by the college’s active promotion of equality and diversity and how the college encourages and acts upon feedback from students. Over 98% of students rate their courses at City Lit as "good" or "excellent" on the college’s award-winning online rate-and-review facility.


In 1918 after the war, the London County Council wanted to strengthen non-vocational education. They approved the opening of five literary institutes: Plumstead and Woolwich, Marylebone, Dalston, Peckham, and City Literary Institute (City Lit). They took their first students in September 1919. At the time, it was a radically different approach to adult education. Their first four classrooms were leased from a teacher training college.[1] City Lit is now the sole survivor of London’s Literary Institute movement.

21st century

In 2005, City Lit moved to new, purpose-designed premises on Keeley Street in Covent Garden, which is fully accessible and includes facilities such as modern classrooms, specialist studio spaces (for visual arts, drama and health and movement), an information and advice shop, supported learning centre (library), café, roof terrace with a herb garden, theatre, music recital room and more. Since then, they have also opened new photography, fashion and digital arts studios.

In 2007 they were the first adult education college to be given the Queen's Anniversary Prize, to mark their international reputation in stammering therapy; in 2011 City Lit were graded "Outstanding" by government Ofsted inspectors; and in 2012 they received a Gold Investors in People award.

Notable alumni


City Lit offers over 5,000 courses, including subjects in the areas of art, drama, dance, comedy, creative writing, history, philosophy, languages, computing, counselling, music, and health and fitness for over 25,000 students.[4]

The college also offers specialist areas, including education for D/deaf adults, courses for adults with learning disabilities and work in stammering therapy.


External links

Coordinates: 51°30′54″N 0°07′12″W / 51.5151°N 0.1199°W / 51.5151; -0.1199

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