About the Course

The History School is among the largest at Oxford, and the undergraduate intake for the university is 300 each year, not counting the large number of students engaged in postgraduate research. There are over 100 members of the History Faculty, most of them teaching the subject.

The very extensive library resources of the University - the Bodleian Library, the Faculty Library, the separate and well-stocked College libraries - enable a wide variety of optional courses to be offered and enable the student to pursue his or her own scholarly interests in depth.

Students are taught largely by tutorials (which take place at least once a week in the first two years) and by lectures. Classes at both college and university level are also an essential part of the teaching programme. The lecture courses are very numerous; each term the list of lectures being offered covers several pages. Lectures are voluntary; tutorials and classes are compulsory. The latter are particularly important as the major form of teaching on the Further and Special subjects in the second and third year. The emphasis of the degree course is on the need for each student to learn for himself or herself, primarily by reading, but also by friendly discussion of written work with a College tutor or within a class group.

Much teaching for the course is done by the Jesus College History tutors, but the wide range of optional topics makes it necessary for all historians to go also to tutors in other colleges, so each student has quite a variety of academic contacts during his or her three years.

Historians normally produce two or three tutorial essays a fortnight in their first year. During the second and third year, when the more specialised work is done, this changes to an average of one a week. Much of the penultimate term is assigned for the writing of the dissertation. Oxford terms are on the short side - eight weeks - so in the vacation students are expected to do a good deal of reading and to consolidate work undertaken during term.

Jesus College students also run a lively History association, the J. R. Green Society, the oldest student History Society in Oxford. It hosts informal talks and organises a number of social events each year.

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for History - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.