Women Making History celebrates women’s contribution to scholarship and to progressive change at Oxford, 100 years since the first women were awarded degrees at Oxford in 1920.
The year 2020 is a landmark year in the history of Oxford University; in October, we mark a century since the first women collected their degrees in the Sheldonian Theatre. To mark this centenary and celebrate the contribution of women to Oxford, we have launched Women Making History: 100 years of Oxford degrees for women. The centenary provides an opportunity to take stock of our progress in promoting women’s education and advancing gender equality and diversity.
October 1920: the first degrees
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the formal admission of women at Oxford University. Find out more about this milestone, and what it means in the context of the University's overall history:
Timeline: 100 years of women's history at Oxford
This timeline marks some of the significant moments since 1920, when women at Oxford were first awarded the University degrees that they had earned. Women have made extraordinary contributions to academic excellence and University life at Oxford, despite considerable resistance. Most of these inspiring women are well known and many have been pioneers in their field. From remarkable achievements in science and politics, to important victories for women's movements, such as suffrage and childcare, explore the powerful story of these women and their struggle for gender equality at Oxford University and beyond in the last 100 years. View timeline.
You can also download another version of the timeline.
To learn more about women’s history at Oxford from 1878 to 1920, explore the interactive timeline on the Education and Activism website, featuring a comprehensive digital collection of original documents from the former women’s colleges and the Bodleian Libraries.
Celebrating 100 years of women in Oxford Medical Sciences
100 years since women were admitted as full members of the University of Oxford, women now hold vital posts at all levels of this institution. Medical Sciences Division asked 100 of these women to take part in a project to showcase diversity of roles they now hold. Launching on Thursday 11 February, each day they will be bringing you a new group of incredible women working across the Medical Sciences Division, each reflecting on their journeys, their place in Medical Sciences and their vision for the next 100 years.
History of women at Oxford
- The website Education and Activism: Women at Oxford 1878-1920 features a digital library of thousands of documents and images, including a wide range of original documents, of women who attended the University of Oxford between 1878 and 1920.
- To celebrate the centenary year of women’s degrees, on 23 September 2020 Annie Rogers and Ivy Williams were commemorated with blue plaques by the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board. Both women were among the first to matriculate and graduate with full degrees in 1920.
- Listen to the special podcast series Oxford Women in Computing: An Oral History, uncovering the history of Oxford’s female computing pioneers.
- Visit Degrees for Women: A Centenary Exhibition, the online exhibition launched by St Anne's College exploring key events in the early history of women students at Oxford.
- Find out about student life at St Hilda's College in 1920 through the letters of Margot Collinson's held at St Hilda's Library & Archives.
- The centenary of women’s full membership of Oxford University: celebration and critical reflection.
- A Short History of Women’s Education at the University of Oxford.
- BBC Bitesize: 'They couldn’t go on the river with a man on their own' - the changing lives of Oxford’s female students.
- Visit the exhibition Celebrating Women at Mansfield, celebrating 40 years since Mansfield College became fully co-educational.
- Read the blog post from Baroness Ruth Deech, former Principal of St Anne's College, takes us back in time to the decades-long struggle for more childcare at Oxford.
- Watch Dr Elizabeth Baigent, Reader in the History of Geography at the University of Oxford and former Research Director of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, talking about the contribution of women to Oxford's School of Geography.
Women at Oxford today
- Meet the outstanding women contributing and inspiring other women in improving health knowledge at The Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health (NDWRH).
- Read about the recent University progress on gender equality.
- Women in Oxford Medical Sciences: read more about the careers of women who have previously worked and studied within the medical sciences at Oxford, and advanced women in science through either explicit initiatives or their own pioneering careers.
- We celebrated Women's History Month by speaking to a group of remarkable women about life here now.
- Wonder Women: Celebrating and showcasing the depth and breadth of Oxford(shire)’s entrepreneurial women.
- Meet Eleanor Stride, one of Britain’s leading scientists in Biomedical Engineering.
- Read the interview with Dr Peggie Rimmer, one of the leading voices of CERN’s computing revolution.
- Discover five Oxford female scientists from different generations who are breaking barriers in their field.
- A spotlight on 100 amazing women who have graduated from Experimental Psychology.
- The Oxford Student series 'Womxn on the Move': Naomi Kellman, founder of the Civil Service’s BAME Network and Target Oxbridge.
- Dr Elizabeth Baigent, University Reader in the History of Geography and SCIO Senior Tutor, discusses the forthcoming online centenary conference: 'Must it be a man?' An examination of women's contribution to the University of Oxford.
- ‘Women have been making history at Oxford for over 100 years. What’s next?’: read the responses from women across the Social Sciences Division.
Visit our dedicated Centenary Events page to see a full list of events taking place at Oxford throughout the year.
Women Making History is shining a spotlight on the diverse women who have contributed to Oxford, as well as the women who are shaping its future today. In the coming months, we will explore and share stories of Oxford women as scholars, students, researchers, academics, clinicians, technicians, librarians, archivists, activists, artists and much more. If you have a story about an Oxford woman that you think should be told, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #WomenatOxford.