In recent years, Trinity historians have achieved some of the best Final Examination results in the University, and our history tutors’ aim is to ensure that each student is enabled to realise his or her fullest potential.
Trinity welcomes applications for History (a three year course) or for the following joint courses with History: History and Politics (a three-year course), Ancient and Modern History (a three-year course), and History and Modern Languages (a four-year course, with the third year spent studying abroad). The syllabus for each of these courses is the same at every College. The University’s Faculty of History organises lectures and classes for specialist options; the College organises the small-group teaching (tutorials or classes), so your College tutors play a key role throughout your course.
Our tutors particularly welcome applications from students who are passionate about some of the areas of history they have already studied, are enthusiastic about broadening their outlook and reading more extensively, and who can assess evidence and arguments both rigorously and imaginatively.
Trinity’s two permanent Fellows in History teach alongside several other tutors. Bryan Ward-Perkins works on the period from late Roman times to about 1100; his research is concentrated on the archaeology and history of the ‘dark ages’ and on early Christianity. James McDougall teaches European and World history from c.1700 to the present. His research interests focus on France, the Mediterranean, northwest Africa, and the Middle East.
Elina Screen teaches courses on early medieval Britain, Europe, and the Mediterranean, and works on the Carolingian world, Viking-age Scandinavia, and Anglo-Saxon coins. Hannah Smith (Fellow of St Hilda’s College) teaches the history of Britain and Europe from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth; she researches the history of politics and culture in early modern Britain. Aurelia Annat teaches courses on modern Britain and Ireland, and has particular interests in women’s history, and in gender, visual and spatial history.
The system of weekly tutorials, for which students write an essay, means that work is regularly and carefully assessed, and the History tutors meet students academic needs and interests on an individual basis. The wide-ranging research interests of Trinity’s History tutors mean that the College can teach most of the core courses of the History syllabus, also providing specialist teaching in diverse areas. Our students’ recent choice of special subjects demonstrates the wide range of interests they pursue, from ‘Luther and the German Reformation’ to ‘Britain from the Bomb to the Beatles’.
The college library is very well supplied with most of the books students will require for core courses, and with many for more specialist options. The main University library (the Bodleian) and the History Faculty Library are very close to Trinity, and other more specialist libraries are a short walk away.
Studying History provides students with skills of analysis and of expression (both orally and on paper) that are widely applicable in many different careers. Some of our students each year go on to further study; others enter careers including the civil service, the law, journalism, and teaching.