History (and Joint Honours) at Magdalen

The History course at Oxford offers students an exceptionally broad and diverse range of choices, with the opportunity to study options on any part of British, European and World History from the declining years of the Roman Empire to the present day. Our students are encouraged to think widely around their option selections and to encompass a variety of approaches to their work.

Magdalen’s history tutors are enthusiastic and creative teachers who are dedicated to the development of the tutorial system in a manner that will benefit and intellectually stimulate each individual student. Magdalen is fortunate to have four history tutors, a tutor in ancient history, and usually one or two research fellows in history. With such a large team, Magdalen’s history students can be tutored on the majority of the outline courses and many of the specialised papers within the College, and each year group forms a cohesive cohort who benefit from working and learning together for the whole of the three years.

History can be studied as either a Single Honours or a Joint Honours course. Of the Joint Honours courses offered at Oxford, Magdalen admits students to read History and Politics, History and Modern Languages, and Ancient and Modern History. The Joint Honours courses provide the advantage of being able to study two different subject areas that interest you. Exploring the ways in which your chosen options relate and interconnect will provide the satisfaction of each discipline enriching the study of the other.

Graduates of Magdalen’s history school have made successful careers in a wide range of occupations including politics, law, business and finance, media, the third sector, foreign office and civil service, and of course higher and secondary education. It is clear that employers in many different fields value the intellectual qualities required of historians: a clear and flexible mind, the ability to absorb and analyse widely differing kinds of information, linguistic skills and imaginative flair. Former students include the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption, the human rights barrister Dinah Rose, the historian Niall Ferguson, the TV presenter Louis Theroux, the film director Justin Hardy, and the dot-com entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox.

The history tutors will be happy to talk with prospective students about History and each of the joint degrees at the Magdalen open days.

Magdalen’s four history tutors are:

Professor Laurence Brockliss (European and British history, 16th-18th centuries)
Professor John Nightingale (medieval European and British history)
Professor Nick Stargardt (19th and 20th century European history)
Professor Sîan Pooley (19th and 20th century British history)