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History & Joint Schools

Oxford has one of the largest History faculties in the world. Academics research and teach a vast range of topics covering all periods since Antiquity, and we encourage our students to range widely.

As a History student at Oxford, you are offered a vast range of choice. The syllabus requires you to study aspects not only of British and European history, but also global history. We also foster a strong interdisciplinary approach. You can choose papers that deal with such diverse subjects as Anglo-Saxon archaeology, painting and culture in Ming China, the early modern witch-hunts, global empires, film and national identity in Britain, the Stalinist Terror, and the Northern Ireland troubles. Modes of assessment are varied too: three of the seven modules taken in the second and third years are assessed by coursework: a portfolio of essays for British History, an extended essay for the Special Subject, and a dissertation. There is a strong emphasis on engagement with primary sources in each year of the degree, while conceptual skills are honed through a first-year historiography module and Disciplines of History studied in the second and third year.

For further information about History at Oxford, see the Faculty of History website and the HistoryAncient and Modern HistoryHistory and Modern Languages, and History and Politics pages on the Oxford University website.

Yearly Intake

At Keble: 12 (including Joint)
At Oxford: 312 (including Joint)

Offered at Keble

Ancient and Modern History
History and Modern Languages
(also see Modern Languages)
History and Politics

Past Admissions Feedback

Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.

Feedback 2023 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2023 (University) (pdf)
Feedback 2022 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2022 (University) (pdf)
Feedback 2021 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2021 (University) (pdf)

The Course at Keble

We admit students for History, History and Politics, History and Modern Languages (French, Italian, and Spanish) and Ancient and Modern History. We are one of the largest subject families at Keble, and we have an ever stronger postgraduate presence. Our students are a lively, welcoming, and diverse group, and while we select them on the grounds solely of their academic potential, we are delighted at their active contribution to both University and College life, not only academically, but also in the fields of student journalism, politics, and the arts. Keble’s historians enjoy an unusually high profile.

We are committed to realising the full potential of our students. Group work is taken seriously, especially in the first year; we provide dedicated study skills sessions; as tutors, our approach to our teaching involves constant refreshment through engagement with new approaches, including gender and identity; Library resources are excellent; standards are high. Thanks to the Keble Association, our historians are able to apply for funding in support of research trips to archives in the UK and overseas – which can make a big difference to dissertation research.

A History degree provides you with a range of transferable skills that prepare you for many different careers: historians regularly analyse disparate data and assess competing interpretations; they are used to conveying complex ideas in a clear manner; and they have strong analytical, critical, and verbal skills. While some of our students go on to undertake graduate degrees and research, most go on to successful careers in a wide range of areas, including the media, journalism, law, politics, teaching, business, and financial consultancy. We have also produced our fair share of entrepreneurs.