We admit around 11 undergraduates a year to read History, along with a further two or three (in varying combinations) for the Joint Schools of Ancient and Modern History, History and English, History and Modern Languages, and History and Politics.
St Hugh’s has three Tutorial Fellows, including Professor George Garnett, Dr John Parkin and Professor Senia Paseta, as well as Dr Nicholas Perkins, an English Fellow who specialises in Medieval Literature.
What we are looking for is the ability to think imaginatively, a willingness to argue, a real interest in ideas, and a commitment to the subject. We have no preference for particular subjects at A-level, International Baccalaureate or Pre-U. Most candidates will usually have been studying History, but even this is not essential. However, languages (both modern and classical), English Literature, and Economics have, in their different ways, proved useful preparations for the course. We welcome both pre- and post- qualification applications; and we generally admit a few people each year from Scotland, Ireland, and further afield.
St Hugh’s provides excellent facilities for studying History: the library has unusually large and up-to-date holdings in all periods (one of the tutors is Library Fellow), and there is an active, sometimes rumbustious History Society. We encourage our undergraduates to travel in vacations. We participate in the History Faculty’s exchange programme with Princeton University, so most years one of our second year historians spends a semester at Princeton. In previous years several of our historians have gone on to undertake research in History and related fields; others have got jobs in journalism, television, law, teaching, the Foreign Office, the UN, the City, Brussels, management and management consultancy, publishing, etc. The world has proved to be their oyster, with historical training at St Hugh’s providing them with the essential bit of grit.
To encourage the study of History in schools, the College has, for many years, offered an annual prize for the best essay on an historical subject by a Sixth Former. Details of The Julia Wood Prize can be found on our website.