Oxford University History Skills Workshop

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

Oxford University’s History Faculty offers History Skills Workshops to state secondary schools across the UK.

Each workshop has five aims:

  • To inspire students’ curiosity about the past and enthusiasm for studying history.
  • To develop students’ abilities to analyse primary sources in depth.
  • To work with secondary school 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 Oxford University.

Practical information

History skills workshops last between 50 and 90 minutes, and are ideal as an after-school activity. Please let us know beforehand how long you would like the session in your school to be.

Workshops are designed to develop the academic skills of keen students in Years 10-13. Able students in younger year-groups, other teachers, and (if appropriate) parents are welcome – whatever works for you.

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. It would be helpful if you could estimate how many students may attend beforehand.

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

If your school is able to host a workshop, we ask that you also invite history teachers and their students (especially those in Year 12) from nearby schools. All workshops are free to state schools in the UK. We hope to see as many teachers and keen students from your area as possible.

Workshops are taught by Outreach Ambassadors, who have been trained to work with schools and who are researching PhDs in History at Oxford. 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.   

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.

Teacher Feedback:

The close reading of a source and working through it with students worked really well. It modelled high level thinking - so much more than we could do - and really gave the students a sense of the standard of Oxford and the fascination of the history.

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