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History (Ancient and Modern) at Oxford - Course Outline

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in History. The course is well designed and tailored to impart high standard education in the field of history. The course encourages students to improve their knowledge and skills. The course work is divided between tutorials, lectures, classes and private study.

First Year


Students need to take four courses as mentioned below.

  • One period of either Roman or Greek history
  • The world of Hesiod and Homer, or Augustan Rome, or one of the History optional subjects
  • One of the periods of General (non - British) history provided by the History Faculty
  • A text-based paper on Herodotus, or Approaches to history or Sallust, or Historiography: Tacitus to Weber, from the History syllabus or Latin/Greek language paper


Four written papers
First University examinations

Second and Third Years


Students need to take six courses.

  • A period of Roman or Greek history
  • A period of General history or a period of the history of the British Isles
  • Further subjects comprising work on primary sources, archaeological or textual
  • A wide choice of further subjects from the syllabus of History, or an ancient further subject, comprising: Athenian democracy in the classical age, society and culture and Politics from Nero to Hadrian, Religions in the Roman and Greek world c31 BC-AD 312, Art under the Roman Empire AD 14-337, The Greeks and the Mediterranean world 950-500 BC
  • Special subjects (consisting of work on primary sources, archaeological or textual). A broad choice of special subjects from the History syllabus; or an ancient special subject, comprising: Alexander the Great and his early successors; Cicero: thought and politics in the late Republic
    Either the special or the further subject should be ancient (they may both be ancient, if students wish)
  • Disciplines of history
  • Thesis
  • Optional Greek/Latin language paper

Assessment (Second Year)

Final University exams
Six written papers (or five written papers plus one extended essay) and one thesis

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 38 - 40 comprising core points
  • Or any other equivalent

It is advised for candidates to have History to A-level, Higher level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any academic equivalent. A Classical Civilization, a Classical Language and Ancient History may be useful to students in completing this course. However, they are not required fro admission.

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