“The secret of architectural excellence is to translate the proportions of a dachshund into bricks, mortar and marble.” ― Christopher Wren

At a Glance

  • Classroom and Live online course (hybrid)
  • Wednesdays 18:00 - 19:30
  • 5 weeks from 1 March 2023
  • Tutor: Dr Michael Paraskos
  • Fee: £70
This course is now full

This course is now full

Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was, in many people's opinion, England's greatest architect. Not only was he responsible for some of the most iconic buildings ever built in Britain, from the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, to the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich, to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London, he was an accomplished scientist, town planner and more.

In this five week course, taught in person at Imperial College London and live online, Dr Michael Paraskos explores the architectural work of Wren, with a series of lectures looking at some of the key moments in Wren's life, and the buildings he created. We will learn about where Wren's architectural ideas came from, how he applied them with a scientific spirit of calculation and experimentation, and we shall explore his legacy in the work of later architects.

The course is presented as part of the commemorations marking the 300th anniversary of Wren's death, taking place across the country this year under the banner of Wren300, coordinated by the Georgian Group.

The course will be taught live in the classrooms at Imperial College London and also simultaneously live via the internet (hybrid). Recordings of the lectures will also be available to those signed up to the course.

Class Recordings

Where feasible, for this course sessions will be recorded for subsequent viewing


Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

Course Programme and Additional Reading

Course Programme

  • Week 1 (Wednesday 1 March 2023): English Architecture Before Wren
  • Week 2 (Wednesday 8 March 2023): Early Wren and the French Court 
  • Week 3 (Wednesday 15 March 2023): Fire! Fire! and the City Churches 
  • Week 4 (Wednesday 29 March 2023): St Paul's Before and After 1666
  • Week 5 (Wednesday 5 April 2023): Palaces and the Wren-aissance

The programme might be subject to change.

Your Tutor

Photograph of Michael ParaskosDr Michael Paraskos is a very experienced adult education tutor, having taught for over twenty-five years. He holds a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and also teaches art history to undergraduate students at the City and Guilds of London Art School.

He is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has published very widely on art of this period, as well as reviewing exhibitions and novels for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and The Spectator magazine. His first novel In Search of Sixpence was published in 2016 and his second, called Rabbitman, was published in 2017.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 7.5  5 £70
Same as Standard Rate Same as Standard Rate
Fee rate quoted is for the whole course. No Early Bird rate available for this short course. Part-payments are not possible.


Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 7.5  5 Wednesday 1 March until Wednesday 5 April 2023* n/a n/a
* This is a 5-week course. No class on Wednesday 22 March 2023

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the Programme Manager for adult education, Dr Michael Paraskosm.paraskos@imperial.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk