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History

Visiting Students have a choice of broad ‘outline’ courses, and more narrowly-focussed ‘further’ courses. Course descriptions are provided for ‘outline’ courses only. Outline courses can be either primary (Major) or secondary (Minor) courses. Further courses are normally primary (Major) courses, and students may choose one per year to be taken in Hilary Term.

Availability of courses does vary. Every effort will be made to provide you with your preferred options, but please be aware that we may need to withdraw courses should the need arise. The exact content of your courses will be decided in consultation with your Director of Studies at St Edmund Hall and may depend on the teaching resources available at the time.

Outline Courses

British HistoryStudents may choose from seven course options within the subject area of British History, divided according to historical period (roughly from the 4th century to modern day). These are outline courses, with a wide chronological span of British history, and introduce students to broad developments within the period.
British History: c.300 – 1087Many of the fundamental characteristics of western society took shape in these centuries. Out of the collapse of Roman civilization, new forms of social and religious organisation emerged. The forging of ethnic and political identities brought into being the entities that we now call England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
British History: 1042 – 1330Medieval society with its warriors and kings, bishops and peasants, can seem alien to us, but these three centuries saw the emergence of essential pre-conditions for modern society. The whole spectrum of human activity was transformed, through increasing collectivization – in villages, towns, churches, and under governments – and by greater pluralisation in ways of life.
British History: 1330 – 1550For England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales this was a period of dramatic conflict and change which presents many fascinating paradoxes.
British History: 1500 – 1700The two centuries from 1500 to 1700 are rich in memorable incident. This course will offer the opportunity to build from a core political and religious narrative, to encounters with stimulating historical debate and finally to a more general grasp of the social and political structures of the early modern British Isles.
British History: 1685 – 1830This course begins with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which entrenched parliament at the centre of British government. At the beginning of the period, commerce and manufactures were flourishing; by the end of the period Britain was ‘the first industrial nation’. These developments made Britain an object of fascination, sometimes, of admiration, for other Europeans.
British History: 1815 – 1924This course covers a period in history of great political and institutional change. It is a guiding principle of this course to make equal provision for the study of politics and society, where ‘society’ is broadly defined to include culture and the economy.
British History: since 1900This course covers the history of the British Isles throughout the twentieth century. The topics covered are open-ended, since the course has no terminal date, and it allows students to examine contemporary Britain historically.
‘General’ (i.e. Global, Asian, American and European) HistoryGeneral History, like British History, is divided into course options which are designed to introduce students to long-term developments in distinct periods of history. The courses naturally have a much wider geographical scope. The approach to the courses therefore differs from that adopted for British History in being more thematic and comparative, requiring students to devote attention to the concepts which historians use to study developments across a number of societies simultaneously. General History I: 285–476; General History II: 476–750; General History III: 700–900; General History IV: 900–1150; General History V: 1100–1273; General History VI: 1273–1409; General History VII: 1409–1525; General History VIII: 1500–1618; General History IX: 1600–1715; General History X: 1715–1799; General History XI: 1789–1871; General History XII: 1856–1914; General History XIII: 1914–1945; General History XIV: 1941–1973; General History XV:  Britain's North American Colonies from settlement to Independence, 1600–1812; General History XVI:  From Colonies to Nation: the History of the United States 1776–1877; General History XVII: The History of the United States since 1863; General History XVIII: Imperial and Global History, 1750-1914

(Course descriptions for the General History courses can be found on the History Faculty website.)

Further Courses

Course descriptions can be found on the History Faculty website.

  • Anglo-Saxon Archaeology c. 600-750: Society and Economy in the Early Christian Period
  • The Near East in the Age of Justinian and Muhammad, 527–c.700
  • The Carolingian Renaissance
  • The Viking Age: War and Peace c. 750–1100
  • The Crusades
  • Culture and Society in Early Renaissance Italy, 1290–1348
  • Flanders and Italy in the Quattrocento, 1420–1480
  • The Wars of the Roses, 1450– 1500
  • Women, Gender and Print Culture in Reformation England, c. 1530-1640
  • Literature and Politics in Early Modern England
  • Representing the City, 1558-1640
  • Court Culture and Art in Early Modern Europe, 1580–1700
  • The Military and Society in Britain and France, c.1650-1815
  • The Metropolitan Crucible, London 1685-1815
  • Medicine, Empire and Improvement, 1720 to 1820
  • The Age of Jefferson, 1774–1826
  • Nationalism in Western Europe, 1799-1890
  • Intellect and Culture in Victorian Britain
  • The Authority of nature: Race, Heredity and Crime, 1800-1940
  • The Middle East in the Age of Empire, 1830-1971
  • British Economic History since 1870
  • Nationalism, Politics and Culture in Ireland, c.1870–1921
  • A Comparative History of the First World War,   1914–1920
  • China since 1900
  • The Soviet Union, 1924–1941
  • Culture, Politics and Identity in Cold War Europe, 1945–1968
  • Britain at the Movies: Film and National Identity since 1914
  • Scholastic and Humanist Political Thought
  • The Science of Society, 1650–1800
  • Political Theory and Social Science c.1780-1920
  • Post-Colonial Historiography: Writing the Indian Nation