Making an application

All applications for undergraduate study at Oxford must be made through UCAS. The deadline for applications to Oxford is 6pm on 15 October 2024.

You must also register for the HAT, which is independent of your UCAS registration. Details of HAT registration and the date of the test will be released as soon as possible.

Applicants for some of the Joint School courses are required to take additional tests, which may have a different deadline and application process:

  • History and Economics – register for the TSA 
  • History and Modern Languages – register for the MLAT

Details for registration and the date of the tests will be released as soon as possible.

Applicants for all History courses must submit written work by 10 November 2024. Written work must be submitted to your application college. Applicants for Joint School courses may be required to submit more than one piece of written work.

This section is tailored to applicants for History courses, but you should also read the University pages before making an application.

 

Your GCSE grades will be used in assessing your application, but there is no minimum requirement. We are looking for students with the best academic potential and recognise that performance at school is influenced by socio-economic factors. We therefore use contextual data to help us assess your achievements in your circumstances and compare them fairly with other applicants. Detailed information about the contextual data used is available, but is mainly information about your school, your neighbourhood,  any experience in the care system, and eligibility for free school meals. This data is combined with your GCSE results to give a numerical score, called the cGCSE score, which is used in the assessment process.

If candidates do not have a contextualised GCSE score, they will be included in the ranking using the information available.

 

All courses

You are strongly advised to take history as one of your subjects, but it is not an absolute requirement. You will need substantial experience in history in order to make a competitive application (the HAT is a history test, you have to submit written work on a historical subject, and interviews will be on history). This can be gained from other subjects, but you should think carefully about your history experience if you aren’t taking history. Being interested in history isn’t enough!

 

History

As long as you have sufficient history experience, it really doesn’t matter what other subjects you take.

Ancient and Modern History

You don’t need to have studied a classical language

History and Economics

As well as history, you are also strongly advised to study maths at the equivalent of A Level, in order to cope with the economics side of the course

History and English

You must take English (Language or Literature) at the equivalent of A Level

History and Modern Languages

You must study the language of your course at the equivalent of A Level, unless you apply for a Beginners’ course. The Beginners’ course allows students to study the language from scratch, and no previous qualification is needed.

History and Politics

There are no specific requirements, but it will help if you have studied politics, sociology, or government at the equivalent of A Level. The politics side of the course involves quantitative analysis, so maths will also be helpful.

If you are only studying vocational qualifications, such as BTEC, you will not be able to make a competitive application.

You are most welcome to apply if you are studying a vocational qualification that is the equivalent of an A Level, such as BTEC Level 3, alongside two A Levels, provided you meet the requirements of the course.

 

A range of international qualifications are accepted. If your qualification is not listed on this page, you need to undertake further study if you want to apply. You can take any of the international qualifications, or UK qualifications accepted.

 

The offer for all history courses is:

  • 3 As at A Level
  • AA or AAB at Advanced Highers
  • 38 at International Baccalaureate (including core points) with 666 at HL
  • A D grade (distinction) will be required in any vocational qualification.

Required grades for international qualifications are listed under each country on international qualifications page.

 

The Foundation Certificate in History run by the Dept of Continuing Education at Oxford is accepted for application to the History course. Students with the Foundation Certificate can apply for direct entry into year two (applying for Senior Status).

It's unlikely that students with other foundation courses will be able to make a competitive application (you must be able to demonstrate that the foundation course must cover the same content, to the same standard, as an A Level for an application to be considered competitive).

 

We are looking for the following qualities:

  • Enthusiasm for history
  • Evidence of historical imagination and understanding, particularly the ability to speculate and compare
  • The possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • The capacity to engage with alternative perspectives and/or new information
  • Capacity for hard work
  • Accuracy and attention to detail

 

If you are applying for a Joint School course, these criteria only apply to the History side of assessment.

 

Use your personal statement to introduce yourself as a historian, and tell us why you want to study history at university. We want to know what you think about your academic activities, in school and beyond, and see how they have shaped your understanding of history. Let us know about books you have read, programmes and podcasts you listen to, museum or historical sites you have visited, and how they have influenced you. The information you include in your personal statement will probably be used in interviews, so please be sure that if you include, for example, a specific book, you have read it thoroughly!

 

If you are applying for a Joint School course, you should explain why you want to study both subjects, but tutors understand that the personal statement is generic and can’t be specific to the Oxford course.

 

In terms of studying on a course, your college doesn’t matter. All courses and exams are run centrally by the History Faculty and all students have the same options and choices. You may be taught in college, by tutors at your college, for your first term or two, but after that your teaching depends on which options you take. It’s probably more helpful to think of your college as where you’ll live while you are in Oxford, and as a community you’ll be a part of.

 

Your choice of college on your application will not affect your chances of getting an offer. The Faculty has oversight of all applications and works to ensure that the best students for Oxford are offered places. If offered an interview, it might be at a different college to the college you put down on your application, or you might be asked for a second interview at a different college.

 

Yes! Applications from mature students are welcome, but tutors need to see evidence that you have studied for formal academic qualifications in the previous three years. These could be A Levels, or other school-leaving qualifications, or the Foundation Certificate in History run by Oxford’s Dept for Continuing Education.