Ancient and Modern History


There are up to 2 places for Ancient and Modern History. See also ClassicsClassical Archaeology and Ancient HistoryHistory.

Why study Ancient and Modern History at St Hilda’s?

At St Hilda's we have a long-standing and enthusiastic commitment to Ancient and Modern History. We admit significant numbers of students for this degree, which means that they are in no sense isolated or marginal, but part of an unusually high concentration of AMH students within the University. AMH students at St Hilda's also benefit from being fully integrated into two distinct, but closely related, academic communities - the Historians and the Classicists. They enjoy all the academic and social provision of both of these communities - large and vibrant at undergraduate, postgraduate and senior levels - while maintaining their own particular AMH interests and perspectives.

AMH students across the university work towards the same degree. At St Hilda's we have a strong tradition of supporting students from a diverse range of backgrounds to realise their potential and achieve excellent results. From the purely practical provision of generous travel grants, to a lively social calendar, we are confident that the study of AMH here is both academically rigorous and enjoyable. Here are some of the ‘added extras' available to students of Ancient and Modern History at St Hilda's:

St Hilda's Classics Society: Set up and run by undergraduates, the society hosts regular speakers on classical themes, as well as social events such as dinners, classical film nights and trips to museums.

St Hilda's History Society: The History Society has been running for a number of years now and its activities have a strong student input. Each term, there are usually a couple of events when a distinguished historian comes to talk about their research. Recent talks have covered a range of periods and subjects, including ‘Why did the Anglo-Saxons fall out of fashion in the 20th century?', ‘Ottoman Sovereignty: traditions of rule in an early modern Muslim state', ‘Heresy and Inquisition in the Middle Ages’, and ‘What makes a successful U.S. president?' Talks are preceded by refreshments and socialising and usually conclude with students dining in College with the speaker.

Tutors' Drinks Parties: The Classics tutors host a party every term for all the classical students at St Hilda's.

Travel Grants: We are lucky enough to be able to offer substantial financial help towards the cost of travel to Classical sites around the Mediterranean world and also modern history-related travel. We encourage students to make the most of this opportunity.

Subject tutors

We are fortunate to have so many historians in St Hilda's! The full array of Modern Historians can be found on the History Page. On the Ancient side, we are extremely unusual among colleges in having a fellow, Dr Katherine Clarke, whose time is devoted to one college only.

After St Hilda's

St Hilda’s College is a friendly and academically challenging environment in which students flourish. The results over recent years have been impressive, both in terms of our very strong record of first-class degrees, and in terms of the confident way in which our graduates have moved on to highly successful and varied careers. Many remain so enthusiastic about the subject that they choose to go on to do further research or school teaching. Others have gone on to roles in in law, the civil service, management and journalism.

You can hear Bettany Hughes (Ancient and Modern History, 1985), historian, author, and broadcaster, speak about her time at St Hilda's and the tutorial system at Oxford in a video podcast.

Further information

It is usual, though not compulsory, for applicants for Ancient and Modern History to have studied Modern History at school. However, they tend to have become interested in the Classical world by a wide range of routes. Some have studied Classical Civilization, Latin, Greek or Ancient History at school, but there are no specific ancient course requirements. Indeed, many of our most successful students have applied to Oxford with no prior experience of studying the ancient world beyond their own private reading, which has fired their enthusiasm. There are opportunities, for those who wish, to learn the Classical Languages from scratch at university. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and ask only that students demonstrate a strong commitment to the subject.