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History and Economics

The Joint School of History and Economics integrates the two subjects to form a coherent and intellectually stimulating programme.

The combination allows insights that neither subject can realise alone. However, it is possible to specialise primarily in either history or economics while still preserving the benefits of an integrated approach. The combination of economics, economic history and history (political as well as social) means that you will be equipped to view issues in the real world from a variety of contrasting perspectives.

You will learn both the historian’s careful approaches to evidence and argumentation and the economist’s analytical and quantitative methods, providing an excellent preparation for a range of professional, financial and academic careers.

The course is designed to equip you with the basic tools of both history and economics, whilst introducing you to some of the areas that you can study later in more depth. You will be given a wide choice of subjects. Everyone studies introductory economics, which is designed to give a solid understanding of the foundations of both micro- and macro-economics, including some of mathematical tools used in these subjects.

During the first year, you will be expected to attend around five lectures each week, participate in regular meetings with tutors to discuss work, conduct independent research and write at least one essay a week. In the second and third years you will have the opportunity to write a thesis on Economic history, which will enable you to do a piece of independent research.

Further information regarding the course structure and choice of subjects can be viewed here.


Dr Alexandra Gajda

Dr Alexandra Gajda is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Jesus. She has published on the political, religious and intellectual history of early modern Britain and Europe. She is currently writing a book about the evolution of the parliaments of the British Isles during the Reformation and other projects on early modern historiography. Alexandra teaches sixteenth- and seventeenth- century British and European history, with specialisms in Tudor politics and religion, and literature and politics in the early modern period.

Dr Matthew Kerry

Dr Mathew Kerry is Zeitlyn Fellow and Tutor in History and Associate Professor of European History since 1870. Matthew is a social and cultural historian of modern Spain. His work examines the meaning and practice of politics in everyday life. He has written on the revolutionary insurrection in the Asturias in October 1934, during the Spanish Second Republic, and essays and articles on secularisation, anticlerical violence, antifascism and boycotts as a form of popular justice. He is currently working on the history of political engagement in in twentieth-century Spain, primarily through a history of sound and mass politics from the 1890s to the Second Republic. Matthew teaches European and Global history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Professor Susan Doran

Professor Susan Doran is a Senior Research Fellow in History at Jesus College. She teaches early modern (c1400 – 1700) British and European undergraduate papers, and her research specialism is in Elizabethan religion and politics.

Professor Péter Esö

Professor Péter Esö is a Fellow and Tutor in Economics. He teaches Core Microeconomics and Game Theory at the undergraduate level. His research interests and publications are in microeconomic theory, game theory, and the economics of information.


Ms Francesca Arduini

Ms Francesca Arduini is a lecturer in Economics. She teaches Microeconomics, Game Theory, Quantitative Economics, and Econometrics.

Philip Schnattinger

Philip Schnattinger is a lecturer in Economics and he teaches Macroeconomics.

The deadline to submit your application for undergraduate study via UCAS is 15 October.  Please refer to the University’s webpages for detailed information on how to apply.

Places available at Jesus College

In a total College entry of about 100 undergraduates, 8 are offered places in a typical year to read History and related joint schools.

Academic requirements

Academic requirements for this course can be found here.

Selection criteria

The specific selection criteria are given on the History Faculty’s website here.

Admissions tests

All candidates must take the History Admissions Test (HAT) and the computer-based Thinking Skills Assessment: Section 1 (TSA S1) as part of their application.  The registration deadline and test dates are published on the University’s website. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including how to register and guidance on how to prepare, can be found here.

Written work

All candidates are required to send in an essay on an historical topic, written in their own time as part of their normal school or college work. The deadline to submit written work is 10 November 2024. Further information on the written work requirements can be viewed here. Please note that a submitted essay in Economics is not required.


Submitted written work and UCAS personal statements are likely to form starting-points for discussion in your interview. The tutors are not so much interested in the level of your knowledge as in your ability to think analytically, and (in the case of History) historically.

Deferred Entry

Please refer to the Departmental website for subject-specific advice.

The Tutors have no objection in principle to offering a place to a candidate who wishes to defer entry for a year, provided this intention is made known at the outset. You must apply for deferred entry at the time of application to Oxford: you cannot change your mind after an offer has been made.

You should be aware that applicants who are offered places for deferred entry will generally be among the very strongest of the cohort for their subject, and the College limits its offers of deferred places in order not to disadvantage candidates applying in the following year. In some cases, an applicant for deferred entry may be offered a place for non-deferred entry instead.

Joint Schools

History can be studied as a single discipline and is also available as a joint course as follows:

Economics cannot be studied as a single discipline for a degree, but it is available as a joint course as follows:

The Faculty of History offers a range of taught graduate courses at master’s level and two research programmes leading to the degrees of Master of Letters or Doctor of Philosophy.

In addition to the traditional fields of historical research, in political, social, and cultural history, History at Oxford embraces more specialised areas, such as medieval history, economic and social history, the history of science, medicine, and technology, and the history of art. For a full list of the postgraduate courses offered by the Faculty of History, please click here.

The Department of Economics has around 200 graduate students. As a research based community, the Department puts great weight on developing its graduate students. The following degrees are offered at postgraduate level:

  • DPhil Economics
  • MPhil Economics
  • MSc Economic and Social History (joint with the History Faculty)
  • MPhil Economic and Social History (joint with the History Faculty)
  • MSc Economics for Development (joint with the Department of International Relations)
  • MSc Financial Economics (joint with Saïd Business School)

Although a History degree is not vocational in any strict sense (and many students undertake the course for reasons of sheer intellectual pleasure) it does equip students with a set of transferable skills applicable to many careers. Historians are used to the sifting of large quantities of often conflicting information; they are skilled in the evaluation of differing interpretations; they are trained in presenting complex issues in a lucid and convincing fashion; their verbal and critical skills are highly developed. These qualities have enabled generations of Oxford historians to excel in a wide range of careers. Oxford historians typically move on to careers in business, the law, investment banking and consultancies, advertising, accountancy, the civil service, publishing, journalism and the media, global charity work, museums, librarianship and archive work, and teaching.

Please use the links below for further information:


One good way of broadening your historical horizons is to read one of the History magazines below:

History Today 
BBC History 

If you have any questions about entrance requirements, or about applying to study at Jesus College, please contact the Admissions Officer: