History Skills Workshops

Oxford University’s Faculty of History offers free online History Skills Workshops to state secondary school, sixth form and FE college pupils in years 12 & 13 from across the UK.

New for 2021 we are offering an expanded selection of workshops this year thanks to teacher feedback - 

  1. History Research Skills 

This workshop aims to introduce students to the skills that they will need to undertake successful independent research. Our Graduate Outreach Tutors (all of whom are currently working on in-depth and specialist historical research projects) will discuss and engage students with the research process from choosing a question to writing up. 

  1. Thinking Big: concepts and historiography

This workshop is designed to encourage students to engage critically with historiography and different concepts. Students will explore why engaging with how we write history is an essential and exciting part of being a historian and discuss what we mean by conceptual clarity. 

  1. Primary Sources: the HAT

This workshop aims to demystify the History Aptitude Test (HAT) and build student’s confidence and ability to analyse primary sources in depth. Students will explore the different kinds of sources that Historians use in their research and have a chance to put their analysis skills into practice as we work through a past HAT paper. 


Each workshop has four aims:

  • To inspire curiosity about the past and enthusiasm for studying history.
  • To work with teachers to enrich the history curriculum.
  • To help students to develop the analytical, critical, and imaginative skills that Russell Group universities look for in applicants for humanities degrees.
  • To inform and encourage students to consider applying to read history at university, including at the University of Oxford.

Practical information

History skills workshops last about an hour. They are designed to develop the academic skills of students in Years 12 & 13.

We welcome requests for online workshops, which will normally be delivered via Microsoft Teams. All workshops are free to state schools in the UK. To enquire about booking a workshop for your school please get in touch - outreach@history.ox.ac.uk

All history skills workshops are interactive. As part of a presentation, students will debate how historians should interpret thought-provoking primary sources, and will have time to ask questions about history, applying to university, and Oxford.

The workshops develop the skills that are tested by Oxford University’s undergraduate admissions process, including the History Aptitude Test (HAT) and admissions interviews. To find out more about applying to study history at Oxford, see: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate-admissions

Workshops are taught by historians who are researching PhDs at Oxford and who have been trained to work with schools. Ambassadors are also able to put you in touch with admissions co-ordinators at Oxford who can provide further individual guidance to potential Oxford applicants.

For state secondary schools across the UK. Funded by the University of Oxford.

The History Faculty’s outreach programme seeks to challenge educational inequalities across the UK.

To find out more, email outreach@history.ox.ac.uk.

For information about other Oxford University outreach activities, including UNIQ summer schools, Oxplore digital learning resources, and teacher conferences, see: ox.ac.uk/access.