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History

All varieties of History are pursued to excellence in Oxford: the faculty is one of the largest and best in the world. As students of the past we become specialists in some areas whilst retaining an interest in the connections and differences between individuals and societies across time and space.

Outline of the undergraduate course, with compulsory and optional elements.

In their first year, Oriel students study how History has been influenced by anthropology, archaeology, art history, economics, gender theory, and sociology. In the second year, we hold fortnightly seminars on historiography (the history of History) and comparative history, covering issues such as the history of emotions, the interplay between humans and nature, and even the character of knowledge itself. The highlight of the undergraduate course is probably the thesis, which is an independent research project undertaken in the third year. Recent topics have included the morale of First World War officers, the reputation of Jesse James, and sexual behaviour in the thirteenth century. Anything is possible!

The college library has one of the largest History collections in Oxford, and the student-run history society organizes visiting speakers, day trips and social events. As an alternative to the single-subject History course, you might like to consider one of the joint courses. 

Admission Criteria

The admissions process at Oriel is exactly the same as at all other colleges. For further information, please visit the History Faculty admissions pages.

Number of places

9

Departments

Faculty of History

Teaching Staff

Organising Tutor
Professor Ian Forrest

Professor of Social & Religious History | Fellow & Tutor in History | Fellow Archivist

Dr David Damtar

Turpin Junior Research Fellow in History

Dr Eloise Davies

Departmental Lecturer in Political Theory and Tutor in Politics

Annabel Hancock

College Lecturer in Medieval History

Professor Julia Mannherz

Fellow & Tutor in History

Ellen Paterson

College Lecturer in History

Dr Simon Skinner

College Lecturer in History

Dr Valerio Zanetti

Sir John Elliott Junior Research Fellow in History

OTHER COURSES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Admission Criteria Applicants should usually have AAA at A-Level (or equivalent).

Classics (Literae Humaniores)
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. There are additionally 1 place for Classics and English and 1 (usually) for Classics and Modern Languages. Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

History (Ancient and Modern)
Number of places Usually 1 Admission Criteria Short-listing by History Aptitude Test and GCSE results (contextualized by school performance data). Admission by written work, interviews, and AAA at A-level or equivalent. There are no required subjects, and we consider applicants who do not have A-level History.

History and Economics
Number of places From History quota Admission Criteria Short-listing by History Aptitude Test (which will feature an Economics question) and GCSE results (contextualized by school performance data). Admission by written work, test result, interviews and AAA at A-level or equivalent. There are no required subjects, and we consider applicants who do not have A-level History, but A-level (or at least GCSE or AS-level) Maths would be an advantage.

History and Modern Languages
Number of places From the Modern Languages quota Admission Criteria Short-listing by History Aptitude Test, Language Test, and GCSE results (contextualized by school performance data). Admission by written work, interviews, and AAA at A-level or equivalent. You should have studied your chosen language to A-level (except in the case of Italian, which can be studied from scratch). We consider applicants who do not have A-level History.

History and Politics
Number of places Usually 1 Admission Criteria Short-listing by History Aptitude Test and GCSE results (contextualized by school performance data). Admission by written work, interviews, and AAA at A-level or equivalent. There are no required subjects, and we consider applicants who do not have A-level History.

Philosophy (Joint Honours)
Admission Criteria The admissions criteria for each course involving philosophy can be found on the dedicated course page. For all courses, applicants invited to interview will be given a philosophy interview, or an interview with a philosophy component. At interview, we will not test whether you are already familiar with philosophical texts or arguments. Instead we are interested in your aptitude and potential for precise analytical thought, and in whether you enjoy abstract reasoning.

Theology and Religion
Number of places 2 or 3 Admission Criteria Typical offer: AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Candidates for places in the Single Honours School of Theology are not required to have backgrounds in particular subjects. Candidates are required to submit one piece of written work.  

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