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Historical Studies

Taught programmes

Postgraduate Certificate in Historical Studies

Course Code | 000725

This course offers a unique opportunity for graduates of any discipline to pursue a taught postgraduate qualification in historical studies.

The flexible structure of the one-year, part-time course enables students to combine a focused study of key historical themes and concepts in British and Western European history with either a broad-based approach to history or with specialism by period or branch of the discipline (political, social, economic, art, architectural and local). The course culminates in research for a substantial dissertation.

  • Length of programme: This is a one-year part-time course taught in five weekend units with supplementary self-study material in three short-online modules.
  • Core and optional courses:

    • Unit 1: Princes, States, and Revolutions
    • Unit 2: European Court patronage c.1400
    • Unit 3: Religious reformations and movements
    • Unit 4: Memory and Conflict
    • Unit 5: Special Subjects

      A range of special subjects is offered each year, allowing specialisation across time periods and the historical disciplines. Examples include: the British Empire, the Medieval English Nobility, the History and Architecture of Oxford, Visualising Sanctity: Art and Culture and the Cult of Saints c.1150-c.1500, the Tudor Court, and the Great Indian Mutiny and Anglo-Indian relations in the Nineteenth Century.

      The first online teaching module provides a pre-course introduction to history and post-graduate study skills. The second focuses upon the analysis and interpretation of material sources, such as buildings and images and the third upon the analysis and interpretation of a range of documentary sources.

How to Apply

For application deadlines for the PGCert in Historical Studies, please see the Continuing Education website.

The standard set of materials you should send with any application to a taught course comprises:

In addition to the standard documents above, applicants to the PGCert in Historical Studies should provide one (1) relevant academic essay or other writing samples of 2,000 words, or a 2,000-word extract of longer work.

Please follow the detailed instructions in the Application Guide, and consult the Continuing Education website for any additional guidance.

Academic resources

Students have full access to the Rewley House Continuing Education Library, the  Bodleian Library and other University libraries such as the History Faculty Library and the Sackler (Art) Library. 

The course will also draw upon the resources of the University’s museums and art galleries.

Academic staff profiles

Dr Cathy Oakes

University Lecturer in Art History and Director of Art History at OUDCE, and Fellow of Kellogg College.

Dr Christine Jackson

University Lecturer in History at OUDCE and Fellow of Kellogg College.

Dr Elizabeth Gemmill

University Lecturer in Local History at OUDCE and Fellow of Kellogg College. Dr Gemmill is the Course Director for 2013/14.

Dr Tom Buchanan

Reader in Modern History and Director of History and Politics, OUDCE and Fellow of Kellogg College.

Dr Yasmin Khan

University Lecturer in 18th to early 20th century British History.

Dr Mark Smith

University Lecturer in Local History at OUDCE and Fellow of Kellogg College.

Professor Ashley Jackson

Professor of Imperial and Military History in the Defense Studies Department at King’s College London.

Mr Chris Day

Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford.

Dr Janet Dickinson

Honorary research follow in the History Department at Durham University as well as tutor with the Open University and OUDCE.

Graduate destinations

Masters’ programmes in historical disciplines, freelance historical research and writing, museum curatorship, teaching (including PGCE).


+44 (0) 1865 280154






Selection criteria

Selection criteria on the Historical Studies website External link


English language requirements

Higher level


Number of applicants


Number of places available



Statement of Provision

Historical Studies - Taught External link