History Courses

As the History Faculty at Oxford is large, we have tutors with a wide-range of specialist areas, and can therefore offer undergraduates a varied and flexible timetable. Students must study a variety of time periods, places, and approaches to history, but choose their own options within this framework and are free to follow their own academic interests. You can study options on African, Asian, American, British, European, and Global and Transnational History from the fading years of the Roman Empire to the present day. You have the opportunity to explore diverse approaches to the past, including by learning languages or by engaging with other disciplines such as art history, economics, and gender studies. 


These are the heart of undergraduate learning at Oxford. A small group (usually two or three) students agree a specific area of study with a tutor who is an expert in that area. The students undertake their own research and write an essay on that subject, which is marked by the tutor. The tutor and students then meet for a tutorial in which the area of study and essays are discussed. Tutorials last for about one hour, and students have one or two each week of term. Such detailed and personalised teaching is rigorous and intellectually challenging.


These are discussion groups of between four and twelve students, giving the opportunity to debate ideas, discuss reading, and present to a small group. Undergraduates usually have one seminar a week.


Lectures are talks given by a wide range of specialists who will share the latest research and thinking with relatively large groups of students. Undergraduates should attend two or three lectures a week.

Language study

All history undergraduates have the chance to develop their language skills. The Faculty offers students the opportunity to attend special language classes for historians, and additional languages can be studied independently through the Oxford University Language Centre.

Joint School courses

Students on Joint School courses will spend approximately half their time studying history, and half their time studying the ‘other half’ of their course. They are joint degrees, and have a much smaller intake than the single BA History course, so entry is more competitive. The BA History course is wide ranging and flexible, so if your interest is in, for example political history, please do consider applying for History rather than History and Politics.


What is History at Oxford like?

This video looks in depth on what the History courses at Oxford will offer to you.

This video was created for the Oxford Virtual Open Day in July 2020.



What I love about studying history

Meet the students and find out what they love about studying history at Oxford.

This video was created for the Oxford Virtual Open Day in July 2020.