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History and Politics at Oxford - Course Outline

First Year


Students need to take four exam papers and a short piece of evaluated coursework.

  • Either any one of the four periods of general history or any one of the seven periods in the history of the British Isles
  • Theories of State (Hobbes, Aristotle, Marx, Rousseau)
  • One optional subject: choice of Approaches to History, Quantification in History, Historiography: Tacitus to Weber or any other optional subjects or any one of the seven foreign texts
  • Introduction to Political Institutions


Four written examinations
First University examinations

Second and Third Year


  • The course has seven components:
  • A period of general history
  • A period of the history of the British Isles
  • Any two of the five core subjects in Politics: British Politics and Government since 1900, Comparative Government, International Relations, Theory of Politics, Political Sociology

Either of the following combinations:

  • An optional subject in Politics (either a further subject or a core paper not yet taken) and special subject in History (two papers)
  • Two optional subjects in Politics and a further subject in History
  • One optional subject in Politics and a further subject in History and one special subject in Politics
  • Each student needs to offer a thesis in either Politics or History, which substitutes either for the period of British or for a Politics optional subject or general history.


Final University exams
Six written papers and a thesis in Politics or History

A Weekly Timetable

Students shall be expected to attend approximately five lectures a week during the first year, participate in research in libraries; regular meetings with tutors do discuss work and write at least one essay per week. Students will be required to submit a thesis that enables students to do a piece of independent research during second and third year of the course. Students are in charge of their timetable that means if they are well organized, they can easily fit in various other activities for which the university students are renowned.

Entrance Requirements

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

Candidates interested to apply for this course need to have History to A-level, Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any academic equivalent. Politics, Sociology or Government and Politics can be useful to students who desire to pursue this course; however, they are not required for admission.

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