We admit 10-11 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 Economics, History and English, History and Modern Languages, and History and Politics.
St Hugh’s has three teaching Fellows, Professor George Garnett, Dr Jon Parkin, and Dr Alex Middleton. They cover medieval, early modern, and modern history respectively. The college also has two Senior Research Fellows, Professor Michael Bentley and Professor Senia Paseta. St Hugh’s undergraduates are completely free to explore the full, uniquely wide range of papers offered by the Oxford History Faculty.
St Hugh’s has a strong and distinctive tradition in History (not least as the college of the great Gladstone scholar Colin Matthew), and provides first-class facilities for studying the subject. The library has unusually large and up-to-date holdings in all periods, and there is an active and well-resourced History Society. We encourage our undergraduates to travel in vacations, and support them to do so. We aim to foster a sense of intellectual ambition and shared enterprise among our historians, and they tend to perform reassuringly well in their examinations. Every year a number of our students typically go on to undertake research in History and related fields; others find jobs in journalism, television, law, teaching, the Foreign Office, the UN, the City, banking, 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.
What we are looking for in prospective undergraduates is the ability to think imaginatively, a willingness to argue, a real interest in ideas, and a genuine enthusiasm about reading works of historical scholarship. We have no preference for particular subjects at A-level or in the International Baccalaureate. Most candidates have usually studied History, but even this is not essential. However, languages (modern and classical), English Literature, and Economics have, in their different ways, proved useful preparations for the course. We welcome pre- and post- qualification applicants, and candidates from Scotland, Ireland, and further afield.
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 here.