Cambridge or Oxford for History?

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Anonymous #1
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We all know that these universities are, overall, of the same reputation when it boils down to it.

We all know that for Maths, one has to absolutely apply to Cambridge.

And, for Politics, the PPE course at Oxford graduates more MPs and PMs than its rival.

However, for History, which university would you say is more reputable in this field? Which one has the competitive advantage here?
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Anonymous #1
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stereotypeasian
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https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...%20demystified
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Anonymous #1
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I’m sorry I don’t see how this is related to my question?

I’m not looking to apply to Oxford, my question pertains to the combination of words that I wrote above and not to assumptions made when reading them.
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stereotypeasian
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m sorry I don’t see how this is related to my question?

I’m not looking to apply to Oxford, my question pertains to the combination of words that I wrote above and not to assumptions made when reading them.
it was to help you as it was someone who chose Oxford as shown in the passage below :

"and why Oxford?

The big advantage of studying History at Oxford in my opinion is the vast amount of choice you are given in terms of what you want to study. Oxford’s history department is the largest in Europe and they have specialists in most historical fields. So whatever it is you’re interested in chances are Oxford will have someone who will teach it.

I’d always recommend looking at the course structure of any degree and what modules they offer to get a sense of what it is you’ll actually be studying. Every module I’ve studied at Oxford is one that I’ve chosen to do. To give an example in your first year, you take a module called an ‘Optional Subject’ and within that you can choose from around thirty different subjects which vary massively from studying the venerable Bede, to the Haitian Revolution or radicalism in 1970s Britain. This is only for first year, later on in your degree you’ll get even more topics to choose from. Most other universities in your first year will have a lot of compulsory modules over which you will have no choice.

You will also probably have some very general modules going over vast areas of history. For instance at York (which was my insurance choice the first time I applied) there was a paper going all the way from the Fall of Rome to the fall of the Berlin Wall. If more broad and general ways of studying history are what you’re looking for then this approach may appeal to you more, but personally I like to get to grips with smaller chunks of history and really feel like I know my way around inside of them."
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historicism
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(Original post by Anonymous)
We all know that these universities are, overall, of the same reputation when it boils down to it.

We all know that for Maths, one has to absolutely apply to Cambridge.

And, for Politics, the PPE course at Oxford graduates more MPs and PMs than its rival.

However, for History, which university would you say is more reputable in this field? Which one has the competitive advantage here?
For History, any difference in reputation or prestige is negligible in my opinion. Both are consistently ranked closely and at the top of UK and world rankings. For example, last year QS ranked Cambridge #2 and Oxford #3. This year, they switched places, with Harvard remaining at the top.

Oxford is slightly more competitive by offer rate, though Cambridge's standard offer is a little higher. Oxford also has more options for joint honours courses, though Cambridge does offer History and Politics as well as History and Modern Languages. There are no doubt some differences in the teaching and assessment methods and the module options available.

You should base your decision on which course, university and city you prefer. I went for Oxford because I wanted to study History and Economics.
Last edited by historicism; 2 years ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by stereotypeasian)
it was to help you as it was someone who chose Oxford as shown in the passage below :

"and why Oxford?

The big advantage of studying History at Oxford in my opinion is the vast amount of choice you are given in terms of what you want to study. Oxford’s history department is the largest in Europe and they have specialists in most historical fields. So whatever it is you’re interested in chances are Oxford will have someone who will teach it.

I’d always recommend looking at the course structure of any degree and what modules they offer to get a sense of what it is you’ll actually be studying. Every module I’ve studied at Oxford is one that I’ve chosen to do. To give an example in your first year, you take a module called an ‘Optional Subject’ and within that you can choose from around thirty different subjects which vary massively from studying the venerable Bede, to the Haitian Revolution or radicalism in 1970s Britain. This is only for first year, later on in your degree you’ll get even more topics to choose from. Most other universities in your first year will have a lot of compulsory modules over which you will have no choice.

You will also probably have some very general modules going over vast areas of history. For instance at York (which was my insurance choice the first time I applied) there was a paper going all the way from the Fall of Rome to the fall of the Berlin Wall. If more broad and general ways of studying history are what you’re looking for then this approach may appeal to you more, but personally I like to get to grips with smaller chunks of history and really feel like I know my way around inside of them."
Yes, but, comparatively, to Cambridge, which department is stronger …? As in the entire department and its reputation and its academics and its affiliations etc.

I'm not asking which undergraduate course is better or of the merits of the Oxford history department standing by itself.

Thank you for answering anyway. Your intention was to help and I think you for that. I just think that you misunderstood a bit.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by historicism)
For History, any difference in reputation or prestige is negligible in my opinion.

Oxford is slightly more competitive by offer rate, though Cambridge's standard offer is a little higher. Oxford also has more options for joint honours courses, though Cambridge does offer History and Politics as well as History and Modern Languages. There are no doubt some differences in the teaching and assessment methods and the module options available.

You should base your decision on which course, university and city you prefer. I went for Oxford because I wanted to study History and Economics.
I see -- please also refer to my reply directly above this one.

It's just that for me the Faculty of History at Cambridge seems to host a lot more academics/researchers i.e. is bigger. Does that contribute to the strength of the faculty? I know you went to Oxford and this is an achievement of course, but could you try to answer very objectively in accordance with my reply directly above.

Thank you for this input nonetheless, I appreciate it.
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JDCoey
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(Original post by historicism)
For History, any difference in reputation or prestige is negligible in my opinion. Both are consistently ranked closely and at the top of UK and world rankings. For example, last year QS ranked Cambridge #2 and Oxford #3. This year, they switched places, with Harvard remaining at the top.

Oxford is slightly more competitive by offer rate, though Cambridge's standard offer is a little higher. Oxford also has more options for joint honours courses, though Cambridge does offer History and Politics as well as History and Modern Languages. There are no doubt some differences in the teaching and assessment methods and the module options available.

You should base your decision on which course, university and city you prefer. I went for Oxford because I wanted to study History and Economics.
Ooo, I'm considering Hist and Econ - how have you found it?
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historicism
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I see -- please also refer to my reply directly above this one.

It's just that for me the Faculty of History at Cambridge seems to host a lot more academics/researchers i.e. is bigger. Does that contribute to the strength of the faculty? I know you went to Oxford and this is an achievement of course, but could you try to answer very objectively in accordance with my reply directly above.

Thank you for this input nonetheless, I appreciate it.
I haven't actually been to Oxford yet, I'm an offer holder though.

If you're purely interested in the reputation of the History faculties at the respective universities, I'm not really qualified to help you. You probably need to consult an actual academic.

The size of a faculty is generally considered to be one of the indicators of its strength. Other factors, such as citations, relating to the universities' research output are considered by rankings like QS. In fact, the QS rankings are much more reliable as an indicator of general prestige and reputation than of the actual experience of studying as an undergraduate. As I mentioned, Oxford and Cambridge are very closely rated by such rankings for History.

Sorry I couldn't be of more use!
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JDCoey
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Good evening, I had similar thoughts of trying to suss out which uni was the 'history one', and made a post for it here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6429358
It has a few replies if you wanted to check them out. From what I have gathered, Cambridge is appreciated as more reputable for history, however I believe the study of history at both is nearly synonymous in terms of quality of teaching. Are you thinking of applying this year?
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historicism
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(Original post by JDCoey)
Ooo, I'm considering Hist and Econ - how have you found it?
I'm actually an offer holder for entry in October, but if you have any questions about applying then you're welcome to PM me
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peaerhead7997
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The difference between the courses at the two is usually really small; even for Maths. There's a widely held belief on TSR that Oxford maths doesn't touch Cambridge maths but after looking through the courses, they're really similar and I could see how someone might prefer Oxford's course because it focuses more on pure. What that means for your choice, is that you shouldn't pick based on which is perceived better in general, pick the one which has the course you prefer or the place you like more.
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Marcus...
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Oxford >
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by historicism)
I haven't actually been to Oxford yet, I'm an offer holder though.

If you're purely interested in the reputation of the History faculties at the respective universities, I'm not really qualified to help you. You probably need to consult an actual academic.

The size of a faculty is generally considered to be one of the indicators of its strength. Other factors, such as citations, relating to the universities' research output are considered by rankings like QS. In fact, the QS rankings are much more reliable as an indicator of general prestige and reputation than of the actual experience of studying as an undergraduate. As I mentioned, Oxford and Cambridge are very closely rated by such rankings for History.

Sorry I couldn't be of more use!
Alright -- thank you so much!
(Original post by JDCoey)
Good evening, I had similar thoughts of trying to suss out which uni was the 'history one', and made a post for it here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6429358
It has a few replies if you wanted to check them out. From what I have gathered, Cambridge is appreciated as more reputable for history, however I believe the study of history at both is nearly synonymous in terms of quality of teaching. Are you thinking of applying this year?
Exactly! I am trying to suss out which is the 'history one'.

The replies on your post help in terms of what you were asking for, they don't help in this specific case though.

I applied early this year and got an offer from Cambridge.
(Original post by peaerhead7997)
The difference between the courses at the two is usually really small; even for Maths. There's a widely held belief on TSR that Oxford maths doesn't touch Cambridge maths but after looking through the courses, they're really similar and I could see how someone might prefer Oxford's course because it focuses more on pure. What that means for your choice, is that you shouldn't pick based on which is perceived better in general, pick the one which has the course you prefer or the place you like more.
The difference is really small in terms of everything, it's a difference albeit.
(Original post by Marcus...)
Oxford >
Based on your latest posts, your reply is obviously biased and hence will not be taken into consideration.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m sorry I don’t see how this is related to my question?

I’m not looking to apply to Oxford, my question pertains to the combination of words that I wrote above and not to assumptions made when reading them.
I hate people who type so poshly like you do, it’s as though you’ve accessed an online thesaurus haha. Don’t be so snobby, they were only trying to help.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I hate people who type so poshly like you do, it’s as though you’ve accessed an online thesaurus haha. Don’t be so snobby, they were only trying to help.
If you read further, I did recognise and thank them for their intentions to help -- no worries.
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JDCoey
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Well done on your offer!

My opinion (founded only by prospective research) is that Cambridge holds sway with respect to being the 'history one'.

On the topic would you have any advice for a prospective Cambridge history applicant?
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Sophhhowa
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Both are very good and I don’t think there’s a clear winner. Look at the course breakdown as I believe they are quite different. Which do you prefer? Pick that one.

If you still can’t decide then look at the admissions process and the university as a whole, do you prefer the city feel of ox or the more towny feel of cam. For ox if you do badly in the HAT you’re out and won’t even get interviewed while cam look at everything together although usually cam expect more academically. Despite this I’ve heard ox do look at GCSEs more as AS levels have been removed
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Anonymous #3
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wait so what is the purpose of this thread if you already have an Cambridge history holder (on UCAS you are only allowed to one of either one of Oxford or Cambridge which I am guessing you know) so there must have been a reason why you were more attracted to Cambridge's history rather than Oxford history
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