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History

8-10 places per year. Applicants can choose between History and joint schools in: Ancient & Modern History; History & English; History & Modern Languages; History & Politics: and Classical Archaeology & Ancient History.

Why Study History at St Hilda’s?

History is important to our College – our community is built on the tireless efforts of pioneering women and men who challenged social conventions and intellectual traditions to broaden access to, and the scope of, an Oxford education. We welcome history students with enquiring, questioning minds and the determination to work hard. St Hilda’s has a strong tradition in History, with around 25 undergraduates studying History and History and Joint Schools at any one time. Our students come from all types of educational backgrounds and geographic locations, across the UK and from further afield, including Asia and America. History students here belong to a lively, supportive, and intellectually stimulating community of undergraduates, graduates, and tutors. History is at the heart of our College’s life.

The course content, lectures, and the University examinations are the same for every student who is studying History at Oxford, and you are not restricted to options taught within College. We arrange for you to be taught by leading scholars in your field across the University’s colleges, so that you can pursue or develop your own particular interests. The only exception to this relates to one course taught in the first year – we teach the ‘Approaches to History’ rather than the ‘Tacitus to Weber’ course since we believe it provides a strong foundation for the other papers you will choose to study.

The College is an easy 15 minutes walk from the Faculty building, or a 5 minute cycle ride. However, students don’t need to visit the Faculty building very much. Most of your lectures and exams are held in the Examination Schools, which are a 5 minute walk from St Hilda’s. Classes and tutorials are usually held at St Hilda’s or at one of the other constituent colleges of the University. Many of these are between 5 and 10 minutes walk from St Hilda’s; practically all are within a 10-minute cycle ride.

History students at St Hilda's regularly win College scholarships and prizes for first class examination results or distinguished tutorial work. A number of students go on each year to advanced study at graduate level. St Hilda's is one of a few colleges to participate in the Oxford History Faculty’s prestigious and competitive student exchange scheme with Princeton University, USA, and we have a dedicated bursary to help students to take part in the scheme.

History and the College community:

Your historical studies don’t end with the tutorial or class. At regular meetings of our College History Society, you will meet with Fellows, other history undergraduate students, and history graduate students. Guest speakers have included history graduates working in museums, publishing, and journalism, as well as leading academic historians speaking on cutting-edge research. We believe that student input is central to what the History Society does and we very much encourage you to invite speakers who inspire you, or public figures you’d like to question, to talk to us. The lively discussions often continue over drinks and dinner.

The informality and intellectual buzz of the St Hilda’s history community is evident at our regular History drinks parties, dinners, and meetings, where you are able to discuss mutual interests with tutors and fellow undergraduate and graduate students.

We are fortunate to be able to offer undergraduate history students a generous amount of support for your studies. Our travel and research grants are particularly valuable for students undertaking the compulsory thesis in their final year.

Subject Tutors

You will have a personal tutor within College who will guide your studies for the duration of your degree, through regular meetings and discussions with you. The History tutors at St Hilda’s are all experts in their respective fields. They are:

- Dr Katherine Clarke (ancient history, especially Strabo, Hellenistic and Roman historiography and ancient perceptions of time).
- Dr Julie Farguson
- Dr Ruth Percy
- Dr Hannah Smith (early modern Britain, in particular political culture and gender history in the late 17th and early 18th century).
- Prof Selina Todd (20th century Britain and Europe, focusing on the experience and representation of working-class people and women in Britain since the 19th century).
- Mr Bryan Ward-Perkins (early medieval Europe, especially the end of the Roman World in Europe and the Mediterranean; economic history and archaeology; history of towns and town life).

Further Information

Hear From a Student

"I had never even considered applying to Oxford University, let alone a specific college, before Sixth Form. With the thought that I had nothing to lose by applying, I decided to go for it and haven’t looked back since. Going to St Hilda’s has made sure that this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The atmosphere here is so friendly and welcoming, the support you can get from both the tutors and other students is fantastic and the location (although it looks far out on a map!) is actually perfect. It’s a five minute walk from where lectures are held and within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants. What's more the tutors here really make you feel like an individual and care about both you and your progress. Whilst encouraging you to push yourself in your studies they also encourage you to go out enjoy all the extracurricular opportunities both St Hilda’s and the wider university offer you. I’ve had an amazing time here so far and made some truly life-long friends. Coming back to St Hilda’s every term feels like returning to a second home. I’m so glad I applied and I can’t recommend St Hilda’s enough to anyone considering applying to Oxford!"

Podcasts

Thashmim, History and Modern Languages: French Undergraduate Podcast

Links

A Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) office, 1913