St Hilda's College

Why study History?

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 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 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 tutors, 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 subjects such as ‘From history to hashtags. Doing humanities-led research in a digital age’, ‘Does historical scholarship on masculinity have anything useful to say to the wider public?’ and ‘Working with material culture, museums and the heritage sector’.

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 refreshments.

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.

"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!"

Meet our Academics

You can read more about the course academics via their profiles which can be accessed below.

Hannah Smith

Tutorial Fellow in History

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Selina Todd

Tutorial Fellow in History

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Dr Julie Farguson

Julie Farguson

Lecturer in History

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Dr Ruth Percy

Ruth Percy

Lecturer in History

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Dr Lyndsey Jenkins

Lyndsey Jenkins

Lecturer in History

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Catherine Schenk

Professorial Fellow in Economic and Social History

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