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 or History and joint schools at any one time. Our students come from all types of educational backgrounds and geographical 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 History 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. 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 tutorials or classes. Our College History Society has regular meetings where you will meet with Fellows, other history undergraduate and 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.