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   Format of the Handbook                                            2

1. Introduction to the Study of History and English in the Second and
   Third Years                                                        3

2. Regulations                                                       4

3. Plagiarism                                                        7

4. Final Honour School Course Structure                             12

5. Possible Scheduling of Papers                                    14

6. Interdisciplinary Papers (Bridge Papers)                         15

7. Extended Essays and Theses                                       23

8. Examinations                                                     24

9. Libraries and Museums                                            28

10. University Rules Governing IT Use                               31

11. Representation for Joint School Students in the Faculties       33

12. Where to Get Help                                               34

13. Feedback and Student Complaints Procedures                      36

14. Students with a Disability                                      37

15. Programme Specifications                                        38

                           Format of the Handbook

Three types of print are used in the Handbook:

      bold print is used for examination regulations, and for the texts,
      documents or subjects which are prescribed for individual papers, and
      which have the status of examination regulations;

      ordinary print is used for all descriptive material, including course
      descriptions. Course descriptions are guides to the content of courses, and
      do not have the status of examination regulations.

      italics are used to alert students to particular points of which they should be


From the beginning of the second year your engagement with the material you
study – historical evidence, literary texts, critical theory and historiography –
deepens considerably. Advice on how this might affect your work in either History
or English can be found in the Final Honours School handbook for each subject
which you will be given with this booklet. As far as the Joint School is concerned,
the main change is that, in your second year, you will take two interdisciplinary
‘Bridge’ papers. These are among the most novel and exciting courses in the
Oxford undergraduate syllabus, as stimulating and challenging for the tutors from
each subject as they are for the students. They are described in more detail in
Chapter 6. At the beginning of the year, there will be a special lecture-class to
introduce you to some of the issues raised by interdisciplinarity, critical theory and
historiography. You will be notified separately about this.

As in the first year, you will need to use this handbook alongside those from the
two parent schools:

      the Handbook for the Final Honour School of History which appears on
      the History website at

      and the English Undergraduate Handbook: Schools Edition, which can
      also be found on the English intranet pages (Weblearn) at:

Note: If you check details online, make sure you are looking at the right version of
the handbook. They are numbered by the year you take Finals – which will be the
academic year after you are given this booklet, of course.

                    2. EXAMINATION REGULATIONS

These are the University’s rules for the examination of the course. For a more
user-friendly summary of the course structure see Section 4.

The Regulations are updated annually, so you should check the new issue of the
Handbook each year in case there have been alterations to your course structure.
New regulations will normally include a date with which they take effect
e.g. from October 2009 for first examination in 2010. The most likely changes are
to the options offered, and you will always be informed of any significant
alterations by your tutor or by a direct communication from one or other Faculty.


     Special Regulations for the Honour School of History and English

       1.    The Honour School of History and English shall be under the
joint supervision of the Boards of the Faculties of History and English
Language and Literature and shall consist of such subjects as they shall
jointly by regulation prescribe. The boards shall establish a joint committee
consisting of three representatives of each faculty, of whom at least one of
each side shall be a member of the respective faculty board, to advise them as
necessary in respect of the Honour School of, and the Preliminary
Examination in History and English.

      2.   No candidate shall be admitted to the examination in this school
unless he has either passed or been exempted from the First Public

      3.    The Chairmen of Examiners for the Honour School of History
and for the Honour School of English Language and Literature shall consult
together and designate such of their number as may be required for the
examination for the Honour School of History and English, whereupon the
number of examiners shall be deemed to be complete.


Each candidate shall offer seven papers as set out below. Papers will be of
three hours’ duration, except where otherwise indicated.

      The subjects of the examination in the Honour School shall be:

      (i) and (ii) Two compulsory interdisciplinary papers, which are
examined by extended essay. The list of papers will be published in the
University Gazette by the beginning of the first week of the Trinity Term one
year before the examination and which will be available thereafter from the
English Faculty Office and the History Faculty Office.
      Note: If fewer than four students opt for any one course, that course may be
cancelled, in which case those students will be notified and reallocated.
      Further details of the interdisciplinary papers will be available from the
English Faculty Office and History Faculty Office.

      Candidates should note that no more than three out of the total of seven
Final Honour School papers can be extended essays. Candidates should also
note that some English and History papers are examined only by extended
essay and should bear this restriction in mind when making their choices.

    (iii) A period of British History not taken in the First Public

      (iv) and (v) Two subjects from Course I or Course II of the Honour
School of English Language and Literature. Candidates may offer papers
8(d), Victorian Literature (1832-1900), 8(e), Modern Literature (1900 to the
present day), or 9, Introduction to Medieval Studies: Old English Literature
so long as they have not offered equivalent papers in a First Public
Examination in English or its joint schools.

      (vi) and (vii) Either two papers from the Honour School of History,
consisting of
      either       (a) Special Subject (which comprises a three hour paper
                   and an extended essay),
      or           (b)Two of the following:
      1.     a Further Subject,
      2.     a General History Period
      3.     an additional British History period not taken in the First Public
      or     one additional subject from the Honour School of English
             Language and Literature, plus one subject from the Honour
             School of History which shall be either a Further Subject, a
             General History period or an additional British History period.

       The individual detailed specifications and prescribed texts for the
Further and Special Subjects as specified for the Honour School of History
will be given in the Handbook for the Honour School of History. This will be

published by the History Board by Monday of Week 1 of the first Michaelmas
Full Term of candidates’ work for the Honour School.

      Depending on the availability of teaching resources, not all Further and
Special Subjects will be available to all candidates in every year. Candidates
may obtain details of the choice of Further and Special Subjects available for
the following year by consulting the supplement to the Handbook for the
Honour School of History. This will be issued by the beginning of the fourth
week of the first Hilary Full Term of candidates’ work for the Honour School
and will contain full specifications and prescribed texts for any Further or
Special Subjects specified for History introduced for the following year, and
any amendments to the specifications and prescribed texts of existing Further
and Special Subjects approved by the History Board.

      An extended essay shall not exceed 6,000 words including footnotes and
notes but excluding bibliography and should conform to the standards of
academic presentation prescribed in the course handbook. For
interdisciplinary extended essays the candidate should obtain written
approval from the course convenor for the proposed essay title, not later than
Friday of the fourth week of the Michaelmas Full Term immediately
preceding the examination. Notification of whether or not approval is
forthcoming will be given by the Friday of Week Six of that term. Essays on
approved interdisciplinary titles should be submitted to the Chairman of the
Examiners for the Joint School of History and English at the Examination
Schools, Oxford, by the Friday of Eighth Week of the Hilary Full Term
preceding the examination.

     An optional additional thesis may also be offered providing that no
more than one thesis can be submitted if extended essays are offered.

      The optional additional thesis shall be as under the regulations of the
History syllabus except that it shall not be less than 8,000 words and shall not
exceed 10,000 words, including footnotes and notes, but excluding the
bibliography, and shall be on an interdisciplinary theme. For regulations VII
4 and 7 of the history syllabus regulations read ‘Honour School of History and
English’ instead of ‘History’.

                                    3. PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism in the research and writing of theses


   Plagiarism is a form of intellectual theft, and as such is a serious offence.
Plagiarism is the presentation, as if it were your own work, of material from
another source. Such sources include printed publications, information or text from
the internet, unpublished essays and theses written by other people, and lecture
handouts. The most common form of plagiarism is the use of a passage copied
unchanged and unacknowledged from another author; but you will be guilty of
plagiarism too if you disguise your borrowing in the form of a close paraphrase, or
if you present the ideas or arguments of others without due acknowledgement.
Plagiarism also includes the citation without due acknowledgement from secondary
sources of primary materials that you have not consulted yourself. Collusion, in
which you collaborate with one or more other people in the composition of an
essay or thesis which is then presented as the work of only one of those authors,
also constitutes plagiarism.


   Plagiarism is a serious offence. It is dishonest in that the plagiarist is claiming
credit for work and writing that he/she has not done. It deprives the author of the
plagiarized passage of credit for the work that he/she has done. And if undetected
in essays and theses submitted for assessment, it devalues the achievement of
honest students who have done the work themselves but get the same marks as the
student who has cheated. Furthermore, the plagiarist remains dependent on the
opinions of others, and therefore fails to develop the independence of mind that is
required of a historian, and indeed of anyone with an Oxford degree.

   The University and the Faculties of History and English respond to plagiarism
very severely. Students found guilty of plagiarism in any piece of work will be
penalized. Even inadvertent plagiarism – the result, for example, of careless note-
taking, where you have copied down what another author has written, and then
transferred that wording to your own essay or thesis without realizing that it is not
your own – will be punished.


   Everything you write at Oxford – tutorial essays, extended essays, theses – will
inevitably involve the use and discussion of material written by others. If material

written by others is duly acknowledged and referenced in your work, no offence
will have been committed. And it is not of course necessary to provide a full
reference for every fact or idea that you mention in your work: some things – such
as the date of the Battle of Hastings, for example – can be said to be common
knowledge. Such legitimate practices must however be clearly distinguished from
plagiarism, which is the appropriation without proper acknowledgement of
material that has been produced by someone else. What therefore should you do if
you need to make use of or discuss information or ideas from another (published or
unpublished) source? There are two ways in which you can proceed.

For example, this is a passage from Barry Windeatt’s Troilus and Criseyde (The
Oxford Guides to Chaucer; Oxford, 1992, p. 196):

          At the very centre of the poem’s structure Troilus is at last impelled inside
          the curtained bed of Criseyde, which stands inside the ‘litel closet’ within
          Pandarus’ house in the walled and besieged city of Troy. The most intimate
          experience of Troilus lies not only at the centre of it its structure as a poem
          but at the centre of a succession of containing and enclosing structures in the
          fabric of its setting at Troy, within which the physical union of Troilus and
          Criseyde is a climax not only intrinsically but also as the fulfilment and
          completion of a pattern. It is towards this central episode that the poem
          moves with a ‘centrifugal’ energy which, once the centre is passed, becomes
          a centripetal force, and this is given form and shape through the setting and
          background of the action. 1

Legitimate use of this passage:

          Like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or indeed Beowulf, Troilus and
          Criseyde is a poem susceptible to a number of different approaches to its
          structure. The move ‘fro wo to wele, and after out of ioie’ (I, 4), announced
          at its opening, focuses on the fortunes of the poem’s main protagonist as a
          key element in its construction. The ‘Troy…ioye’ rhyme in this stanza (I, 2
          and 4) is a recurrent one in the poem and draws attention to the central role
          that location also has in Troilus. As Barry Windeatt notes, as the poem
          approaches its structural centre, the Trojan locations narrow down to ‘the
          curtained bed of Criseyde, which stands inside the “litel closet” within
          Pandarus’ house in the walled and besieged city of Troy’ 1. As he also
          observes, this central episode, in which the first physical union of Troilus
          and Criseyde takes place, is in fact part of a structural sequence, which
          places this union at the heart of the poem – and one might say, almost at the
          heart of Troy - and then moves after it to an increasing fragmentation of
      B. Windeatt, Troilus and Criseyde, Oxford Guides to Chaucer (Oxford, 1992), p. 196.

      location and action. But it is arguable that the fact that Chaucer puts ‘wele’
      and human love at the structural centre of Troilus, is as important as what he
      puts at its end.

   This illustration both quotes from and paraphrases parts of the passage in
question, but it acknowledges its debts, in footnote (for the quotation) and in the
text (for the paraphrase). It also incorporates the material within a set of arguments
that are either not dependent on Windeatt’s material or develop it in an original
direction, and it adds in its own original examples or insights.


     What Chaucer puts at the heart of his poem is worthy of note. At the very
     centre of Troilus and Criseyde Troilus is at last brought inside the curtained
     bed of Criseyde, which stands within the ‘litel closet’ within Pandarus’ house
     in the walled and besieged city of Troy. The intimacy of this scene is further
     intensified by the fact that it completes a structural pattern in the poem in
     which what might be seen as centrifugal and centripetal elements are involved
     The poem moves towards this central episode so that it forms a climax in the
     work; after this centre is passed, the centripetal movement takes over.

   This version is almost entirely derivative of Windeatt’s original passage. It
quotes some of it directly or with minimal variation and puts other parts of it into
close paraphrase. It contains no new material, nor does it add to the sum of the
ideas in the original. It offers no acknowledgment of its source, and gives the
impression that its author intends this argument and choice of illustrations to be
taken as original to him or her. Every time you use another’s ideas, you must give
them credit – even in your weekly essays. Certainly, should you be found guilty of
plagiarism in any piece of work you submitted towards completion of the
requirements for a degree of the University, you would be subject to disciplinary

   When you conduct research for a thesis, you should always consult the primary
materials, as far as possible, rather than depending on secondary sources. The latter
will often point you in the direction of original sources, which you must then
pursue and analyse independently.           There may, however, be occasions on
which it is impossible to gain direct access to the relevant primary source (if, for
example, it is unprinted and located in a foreign or private archive, or has been
translated from a language with which you are unfamiliar). And of course, when
you are preparing a tutorial essay, there is rarely time to check the primary sources
cited by other authors. In these circumstances, you may cite the primary source
from the secondary source; but make sure that you always acknowledge in a

footnote where you found the quotation you are using. This should be in the
following form, here in a Welsh-language example:

      ‘In order to buy this [the Bible] and be free of oppression, go, sell thy shirt,
thou Welshman’. 2

  When choosing your thesis subject it is important to check that you can gain
access to most of the primary materials that you will need, in order to avoid the
type of dependence discussed here.

Guidance for note-taking

  The best way to ensure that you do not engage in plagiarism is to develop good
note-taking practices from the beginning of your career in Oxford. When you are
working on a primary source, whether for essays or for the thesis, keep a full
record of author, title, editor if appropriate, place and date of publication, and page
numbers (for printed sources), and of the library/archive where it is held, plus any
other details, shelf marks and page/folio numbers necessary for unpublished
sources. Make sure that you distinguish clearly in your notes between passages that
you have copied directly from another source, and summaries or paraphrases that
you have composed yourself.

   When you are working on a secondary source, always record the author, title,
place and date of publication at the head of your notes. For shorter pieces in books
and journals, record also the full details of the publication in which the essay or
article appears. Material derived from electronic media should also be carefully
sourced (keep a note of the URL for anything obtained from the internet, for
example, and the date you accessed it). When taking notes, do not simply copy
down what the author says word for word: summarize the argument in your own
words, and include page-numbers of the sections you take notes on so that you (and
your eventual readers) can identify the source precisely later. If you think you
might want to quote a sentence or phrase from another author in your essay or
thesis, put it in quotation marks in your notes from the outset, so that there can
never be any confusion between your wording and that of the other author. And if
you find in a secondary source a quotation from a primary source which you want
to use later, make sure you record also all the detail necessary to enable you to cite
it properly in your own work, as indicated above.

   2 Thomas Jones, Hen Gwndidau Carolau a Chywyddau, cited and translated in G. Williams, Wales and the
Reformation (Cardiff, 1997), p. 358.


  The Proctors regard plagiarism as a serious form of cheating, and offenders
should expect to receive a severe penalty. Where plagiarism is identified in an
extended essay or thesis, for example, a mark of zero may be returned, a
punishment that will have a devastating result on the final degree classification.
Even the lightest penalties for plagiarism will almost certainly have the effect of
pulling down the candidates’ overall examination result by a class. The examiners
do check all submitted work for plagiarism, and will use electronic forms of
detection if necessary to identify it.

You can find further guidance on plagiarism on the Education Committee
website, at www.admin.ox.ac.uk/epsc/plagiarism/index.shtml


Final Honour School

Seven papers must be offered:

Paper 1 and Paper 2 (Bridge Papers)
Any two of:
     (a) Literature and the Public in England, c. 1350–1430 (cancelled MT09)
     (b) Representing the City, 1558-1640
     (c) Postcolonial Historiography: Writing the (Indian) Nation

Both of these papers must be examined by means of an extended essay of 6,000

Details of these papers are given in chapter 6.

Paper 3 (History)
A period of British History not taken in the First Public Examination.

Details of these papers may be found in the Handbook for the Final Honour School
of History and on the History website at:

Paper 4 and Paper 5 (English)
Any two subjects from Course I or Course II of the Honour School of English
Language and Literature (except that candidates may only offer papers 8(d),
Victorian Literature (1832-1900), 8(e), Modern Literature (1900 to the present
day), and 9, Introduction to Medieval Studies: Old English Literature, if they
have not offered equivalent papers in a First Public Examination in English or its
Joint Schools). You should note that some of these papers are examined by
extended essay.

Details of these papers may be found on the English pages (Weblearn) at:

Paper 6 and Paper 7
       – Two papers from the Honour School of History which shall consist of
either a Special Subject (one three-hour paper and an extended essay), or two of the
following: a Further Subject, General History Period, or additional British History
period (though with only one Further Subject allowed).

        – one additional subject from the Honour School of English Language and
Literature, plus one subject from the Honour School of History which shall be
either a Further Subject, a General History Period, or an additional British History

Details of Special Subjects in History may be found in the Handbook for the
Final Honour School of History and on the History website at:

Details of Further Subjects in History can be found in the Handbook for the
Final Honour School of History and on the History website at:

Details of General History papers can be found in the Handbook for the Final
Honour School of History and on the History website at:

       Overall you may not submit more than three extended essays. You should
bear this in mind when making your choices as some papers in English, and Paper
(b) of the History Special Subjects are examined only by extended essay.

       In addition, an optional thesis may be offered as under the regulations of the
history syllabus. For more information see chapter 7.


The framework of the course is set, but there is a good deal of room within it for
you to combine options in ways which reflect your needs and interests. You may
opt for compatibility or for diversity of papers; you may also choose to weight the
course slightly more towards either History or English through your choice of
Papers 6 and 7.

It helps, when deciding the order in which you take papers within a particular year,
to pay some attention to the conventions of the lecturing timetable. The exact
timetabling of your papers will necessarily depend upon the availability of tutors –
and, perhaps, on when other students in your college are taking the paper you have
selected. In every case, you will need to draw up your timetable in consultation
with your college tutors in History and in English.

It may help you to know that History Further Subjects, British History and General
History papers are typically studied in the second year (Further Subjects are only
taught in Hilary Term, though you may take one in Hilary of your third year).
Special Subjects are only taught in Michaelmas Term, normally in the third year.
For English, Course I papers 1 to 6 are normally studied in the second year, and
papers 7 to 11 in the third year. Course II papers are more variable and you should
liaise closely with your tutors in working out a manageable timetable. You may
find that you take papers in different years or different terms from main-school
students in either subject. It is not unusual for joint-school students to study one or
more papers through fortnightly tutorials alongside another paper.


These papers are taught centrally in the second year of the course by weekly
seminars. You must take two of the three papers offered. The sign-up procedure
takes place in the Trinity Term of your first year. At the start of that term the
Convenor of the Joint School circulates a letter to the Senior History Tutor and the
Senior English Tutor in each college concerned. The Tutors are then responsible
for distributing forms to students, asking them to mark their choice of Bridge
Papers, and returning them to the appropriate administrator in the English or
History Faculty. Any option attracting fewer than four students will be withdrawn
for the year in question, and students opting for it will be obliged to take the other

In your third year, you will be offered a further class, early in Michaelmas Term,
focusing on how to devise an extended essay topic in the subject.

The Bridge Papers available in 2009–10 are:

      (a)     Literature and the Public in England, c. 1350-1430 (taught in
              Michaelmas Term) Cancelled in MT09
      (b)     Representing the City, 1558-1640 (taught in Hilary)
      (c)     Postcolonial Historiography: Writing the (Indian) Nation (taught in

(a) Literature and the Public in England, c. 1350-1430.
This course explores the interface between the methodologies of historical and
literary disciplines by focusing on the issue of ‘the public’. How far can we deploy
the idea of the public in this period? How might a public consciousness have been
constructed and maintained, and what might have been its material forms?

The first seminar looks at the idea of the public by addressing questions of ‘public’
writing, demography, the texts and processes of parliament, and administration in
the localities. Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules and the alliterative poem Mum and
the Sothsegger are studied alongside parliamentary documents, and historical and
theoretical criticism, including Habermas’s concept of ‘the public sphere’.

Seminars two and three examine the relationship between kingship and the public
by examining Ricardian and Lancastrian constructions of monarchy in the light of
the deposition of Richard II and the accession of Henry IV. Chronicles,
parliamentary petitions and addresses are studied alongside Richard the Redeless,
Piers Plowman, Gower and Hoccleve. Amongst the issues discussed are: the

relationship between political and literary critiques of kingship; counsel and
representation, and attitudes to royal and public finances.

Seminars three and four tackle issues of authority and religion by examining the
increase in lay literacy and devotional piety during the emergence and suppression
of Wycliffism. It explores how the boundaries between heresy and orthodoxy are
established and negotiated. Wycliffite writings are studied alongside Piers
Plowman, chronicle evidence, parliamentary statutes, and Hoccleve.

Seminars five and six explore representations of the third estate: the growth in
peasant political consciousness, including the political use of the English
vernacular, the representation and recovery of ‘peasant’ voices, and the
relationship between writing and dissent. Texts produced during, and in response
to, the 1381 uprisings are studied alongside Gower, Piers Plowman, and shorter
‘political’ poems.

The concluding seminar reviews the material studied for seminars two to seven by
returning to the idea of the public. Through a theoretical focus on what we
understand by ‘interdisciplinarity’ which is steered by essays by Strohm, Patterson
and Pocock, we look at what happens in the exchange between literature and
history; what, if anything, distinguishes a text from an event, and how the practice
of interdisciplinarity affects the procedures and methodologies of the parent

Throughout, guided reading is provided to critical works by historians and literary
scholars, and each seminar is co-taught by one tutor from History and one from

(b)   Representing the City, 1558-1640

The course will seek to examine the issue of identity in the early modern
metropolis: how Londoners understood their city, and their relationship to it, as
well as to each other. It will do so by looking at identities as expressed in a great
variety of genres: plays, civic pageants, pamphlets, sermons, diaries, historical
chronicles, maps, and visual representations.

1. London’s Spaces Past and Present
In the first session, you will look at the topography of the city, and use it as means
of exploring Londoners’ sense of identity. How far did Londoners identify with
their city, and its constituent communities? What were the implications of rapid
urban growth for metropolitan identity? What did Londoners understand of their
past, and how did the sense of the past shape their approach to current issues?

2. The Royal Chamber
The second session will look at the implications of London’s capital city status.
Using royal entries and the texts of lord mayor’s shows, it will explore the
ambiguities and tensions in the relationship between city and court, and the ways in
which those tensions could be articulated within the constraints of genres dedicated
to the celebration of a basically harmonious relationship.

3. Manufacture, Trade, and Consumption: The Dilemmas of Wealth
The third session will look at the ways in which economic change was presented
and understood in the city. It will stress ambivalent responses: the tension between
celebration of commerce and the possibilities for social mobility and charitable
endeavour that it entailed on the one hand, and the anxieties generated by the
culture of acquisitiveness and rampant consumerism.

4. Status Anxieties: Merchants, Gentlemen and Craftsmen
The fourth session will take further some of these themes by looking at the status
anxieties induced by a city undergoing rapid growth and social change, particularly
stressing the tensions between court and city, gentry and merchants articulated
within the city comedies, though it will seek to demonstrate the complex
relationship between the literary representations and the fluidity of social realities.

5. Sex in the City
Gender relations were a key site for the articulation of the anxieties induced by
rapid urban change. The fifth session will show how the peculiar position of
women in the city made them appear potentially threatening and how these
concerns focussed on the commodification of sex, and female participation in the
culture of consumption.

6. Godly London?
In the sixth session, you will assess the place of the religious loyalties of
Londoners in the articulation of identity. The roles both of Biblical archetypes for
the city and of providentialist discourses in discussions of contemporary London
will be examined. How far did such discourses resonate with ordinary Londoners?

7. Outcast London
The seventh session will address the more poorly integrated. How did Londoners
understand the marginal members of their community: vagrants, the poor, and
criminals? What was the relationship between literary representations and social
reality, and how are the dissonances to be explained?

8. Strangers and Citizens
In the final session, you will have a chance to address the problem of the reception

of the alien. How did early modern English men and women respond to ‘asylum
seekers’? What was the relationship between the stereotypical alien and the
experiences of ordinary Londoners?

(c) Postcolonial Historiography: Writing the (Indian) Nation

This paper will place the terms ‘nation’, ‘history’ and ‘writing’ under interrogation
by examining texts relating to ‘India’ (also a name/concept to be explored). It will
identify projects concerned with reconstructing the Indian past in both literature
and history (focussing primarily on the colonial and post-Independence periods,
roughly 1800-2000), with a view to showing how the vision of the Indian nation –
what has been called the ‘idea of India’– is vitally dependant on how this past is
viewed. Indian historiography is therefore a contested terrain. The survey will
necessarily be selective, but will try to identify the key intellectual figures,
movements and trends, and events that constitute this terrain. Further information
will be circulated to those students who have signed up for this option in the course
of the year.

Course Work

A minimum of four pieces of written work per student is required in the course of
the term, at least one of which will be marked and returned by the end of third

Reviewing the Course

Each Bridge Paper is reviewed at the end of the term in which it runs, by means of
questionnaires distributed to all students by the course tutor. The responses are sent
directly by the students to the Joint School Convenor and will remain anonymous
(although more open feedback to tutors or to the Joint School Convenor is
welcome at any stage). Criticisms will be responded to promptly, either by the
Joint School Convenor or through discussion among the Convenor, Bridge Paper
organizers and tutors.


Examination of the Bridge Papers happens by extended essay. You must write to
request the approval for your proposed essay title from the Convenor of the Joint
School of History and English no later than Friday of the fourth week of
Michaelmas Term in your third year (this will allow time for you to benefit from
the class on devising a topic for an extended essay). The essay must be on an
interdisciplinary topic relevant to the Bridge Paper concerned. (Please note that

you may not write within exactly the same terms of reference on a topic which you
have written on directly in the course of your essay work for the paper concerned.)
The Convenor will notify you by the end of Week 6 of that term whether or not
your title has been approved. Following the class, you will be allowed a total of
two meetings, totalling not more than an hour, with one of the bridge paper tutors,
to discuss bibliography and the planning of the essay. Tutors may not read any
draft of your essay. The essay must be submitted by 12 noon on Friday of 8th
Week of Hilary Term to Examination Schools.

Examination Criteria

Because of their interdisciplinary nature, special criteria are used in assessing the
Bridge Papers. These are reproduced in the pages that follow.

Bridge Paper Extended Essay Assessment Criteria

   incisiveness of engagement with the question;
   range of issues addressed;
   depth and sophistication of comprehension of issues and implications of the
   directness of answer to the question.
   coherence of argument;
   analytical clarity and power;
   intellectual penetration and sophistication of conceptualization;
   originality of argument.
   relevance of deployment of information;
   depth, precision and detail of evidence cited;
   range of material deployed;
   accuracy of facts.
   Organization & Presentation
   clarity and coherence of structure;
   clarity, fluency and elegance of prose;
   correctness of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
   sensitivity to both relevant historiography and literary critical approaches;
   appreciation of genre, language, and stylistic devices as well as historical

These criteria will inform the following mark bands.

Numerical Class Criteria
86+       I     Work at this level will excel across the full range of criteria,
                featuring a highly sophisticated and critical understanding of
                the implications of the chosen topic, and of its context in the
                secondary literature. The essay will be well-written, focused
                and cogent, raising and addressing its own question(s), which
                will be important ones, and analysing relevant texts and
                sources incisively and precisely. It will demonstrate a
                confident grasp of both the challenges and opportunities
                presented by interdisciplinary work, and will deal both
                penetratingly and accurately with the disciplinary
                assumptions of both History and English, and also with
                relevant critical theories and historiographical debates. The
                choice of topic, the argument and the selection of evidence
                will be exceptionally well-tailored to the demands of a 6,000-
                word essay.
80-85     I     Essays at this level will excel in virtually all the criteria. They
                may perhaps fall short of the very best in respect of minor
                errors, or organization of material.
75-79     I     Essays at this level will excel in more than one area, and be at
                least highly competent in other respects. It will feature a
                sophisticated and critical understanding of the implications of
                the chosen topic, and of its context in the secondary literature.
                 The essay will be well-written, focused and cogent, raising
                and addressing its own question(s), which will be worthwhile
                ones, and analysing relevant texts and sources incisively and
                precisely. It will demonstrate a firm grasp of both the
                challenges and opportunities presented by interdisciplinary
                work, and will deal accurately with the disciplinary
                assumptions of both History and English, and also with
                relevant critical theories and historiographical debates. First-
                class answers at this level will combine sophistication or
                originality of the argument, approach or interpretation, and a
                particular wealth of relevant evidence. The choice of topic,
                the argument and the selection of evidence will be well-
                tailored to the demands of a 6,000-word essay.

70-74   I      Essays in this range will be very highly competent across the
               range of criteria, and probably excel in at least one group.
               They will show the qualities listed in the mark band above,
               but relative weaknesses in one area may be compensated by
               conspicuous strengths in others.
60-65   IIi    Essays at this level will demonstrate considerable
               competence across the range of criteria. They will in general,
               be clearly-written, focused and cogent. They will address a
               suitable interdisciplinary question, by analysing a respectable
               range of relevant texts and sources. They will show
               appropriate awareness and understanding of the relevant
               secondary literature in both History and English, together
               with an adequate sense of the implications of interdisciplinary
               approaches. A given essay may do better justice to either the
               historical or the literary aspects of its topic, but it will merit a
               mark in this range if both aspects are present and at least one
               of them is handled to a high standard.
60-64   II.i   Essays in this range will be competent across the range of
               criteria and manifest the features listed above in that they
               should address a suitable interdisciplinary question,
               deploying a respectable range of relevant texts and sources,
               and showing awareness of the relevant literature in both
               disciplines, but marks in this range may be given if the
               treatment of one of the disciplines is less cogent than that of
               the other. An essay that raises some organisational or
               evidential problems, but is distinguished by sophisticated or
               original engagement with an interdisciplinary problem, may
               also merit a mark in this range.
50-59   IIii   Work at this level will generally show evidence of some solid
               competence in expounding information and analysis. It will
               address an interdisciplinary question; it will comment on at
               least some primary sources/texts; and it will show some
               awareness of the secondary literature in both History and
               English. But it is likely to be flawed in two or more of the
               following ways, however: imprecise addressing of the topic;
               inconsistent presentation and referencing; unclear writing;
               unduly unbalanced emphasis on either the historical or the
               literary aspects of the question; narrow range of sources;
               limited         awareness/understanding               of        the
               historiographical/critical context; poorly-chosen topic; failure
               to integrate parts of the material into an effective
               analysis/argument; errors of fact.

40-49      III    A third-class essay will fall down on a number of criteria. As
                  a minimum, it will address an interdisciplinary question,
                  using at least some source material and showing some
                  understanding of the literary and/or historical context. It will
                  tend to have a larger number of the flaws listed in the box
                  above, and/or will manifest them to a worse degree.

30-39      Pass   Provided that the essay addresses a recognisably
                  interdisciplinary question and engages with at least one
                  source, it will typically be worthy of a pass mark. Essays in
                  this category will typically feature many of the flaws in the
                  IIii box, but to a more serious degree. They may also be
                  badly written, full of error, and/or incoherent, as pieces of
Below 30   Fail   An essay that does not address an interdisciplinary question
                  and/or does not base any of its content on the analysis of a
                  source, will be deemed to fail. Other reasons for failure may
                  include plagiarism, gross inaccuracy, gross failure of
                  expression, or grossly short weight.

                      7. EXTENDED ESSAYS AND THESES

Up to three of your papers may be examined by submission of a 6,000 word essay.
Since some English papers and Paper B for the History Special Subjects are only
examined by extended essays, in making their decisions candidates need to be
careful that they do not exceed the maximum number of pieces of submitted work.
Extended essays on the Bridge Papers must not exceed 6,000 words, including
notes, but excluding bibliography and should follow the guidelines on presentation
as given by the History Faculty. See the FHS History handbook for further details,
available at:

Students may also submit an optional additional thesis. If you submit such a thesis
it must be on an interdisciplinary theme, it must be not less than 8,000 words and
not more than 10,000 words in length (including notes, but excluding bibliography)
and it will be examined under the regulations of the History Faculty. A form asking
you to state that the essay is your own work can be collected from the History
Faculty Office and is available on weblearn:

Please note that because the optional thesis is examined under History regulations,
the mark obtained may not be substituted for a mark below 50 obtained on any
other paper, as is permitted under the regulations of the English Final Honour

                             8. EXAMINATIONS

You will be sent detailed instructions about the conduct of examinations at the
beginning of the term in which you are due to take them. Students can also refer to
the History Faculty’s FHS Handbook for guidance, which contains specific criteria
used by markers of History papers:
and to the online English handbooks for their criteria, at:


           First:                Average mark of 68.5 or greater.
                                 At least two marks of 70 or above.
                                 No mark below 50.
           Alternative route     At least 50% of the papers must
           to a First:           have a mark of 70 or above.
                                 The average mark must be 65 or
           Upper Second:         Average mark of 59 or greater.
                                 At least two marks of 60 or above.
                                 No mark below 40.
           Lower Second:         Average mark of 49.5 or greater.
                                 At least two marks of 50 or above.
                                 No mark below 30.
           Third:                Average mark of 40 or greater.
                                 Not more than one mark below 30.
           Pass:                 Average mark of 30 or greater.
                                 Not more than two marks below

1.2   Before finally confirming its classifications, the Examining Board may take
      such steps as it considers appropriate to reconsider the cases of candidates
      whose marks are very close to a borderline, or in some way anomalous, and to
      satisfy themselves that the candidates concerned are correctly classified in
      accordance with the criteria specified in these Conventions.


1 Overweight, Late and Shortweight Extended Essays and Theses
  Under the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations, 16.6 and
  16.8, work submitted either late or exceeding the word-limits prescribed may
  attract academic penalties.

a Late Work: for work submitted late without Proctorial sanction, the Board has
  adopted the following tariff:
                Late submission                      Penalty
    Submitted on the day when submission          -5 marks
    was due, but after the deadline
    Up to 1 week late                             -10 marks
    Up to 2 weeks late                            -20 marks
    More than 2 weeks late                        Fail

b Over-length Work: the Board has adopted the following tariff:

     Percentage by which            Penalty            Example: theses with max.
     the maximum word               (up to a             word limit of 12,000 –
       limit is exceeded          maximum of -         number of words that into
                                      10)                  which percentage
           Up to 2%                   -1 mark              1-250 words over
       Over 2% and up to             -2 marks             251-500 words over
       Over 4% and up to             -3 marks              501-750 words over
        Each further 2%          -1 further      Each further 250 words over
   Note: The percentages approximate the number of words, but were rounded
   up or down.

c Short-weight Work: there are no formal penalties for this, and candidates are
  reminded that the word-limits are not a target, but a maximum. However, theses
  and essays which are significantly shorter than the maximum are likely to be
  inadequate in their coverage and content, and will be so marked. As a rough
  guideline, less than three-quarters of the maximum is likely to be inadequate
  (9000 words for theses, 4500 for essays).

   These penalties are imposed by the Board as a whole, not by markers; and
   consideration is given to their effect on each candidate’s overall classification.

2 Shortweight Exam Scripts
  If too few questions are attempted in a script, the maximum mark achievable
  should be lowered by the proportion of the paper missing. This rule applies
  where no attempt has been made to answer a question. Where some attempt has
  been made, examiners should mark what is there.

3 Failure to comply with rubric
  Where a candidate has failed to answer a compulsory question or failed to
  answer the required number of questions in different sections, markers mark as
  if the candidate had complied, but flag the script. All such cases are scrutinised
  by the Board so that appropriate and consistent penalties are applied.

(Theses, Dissertations, Extended Essays, Course Essays)

    Students are required to follow the guidelines on presentation in the on-line
Handbook relevant to their course. Markers will assess the quality of student
presentation against those provisions.
Penalties for falling short of the required provisions range from the loss of a mark
for some sloppiness to more substantial deductions for systematic failures.
The most significant of these failures relates to referencing. Seriously inadequate
footnoting may amount to a prima facie case for plagiarism, because the marker
will not be able to assess the source of the candidate’s information and ideas, or to
distinguish between the intellectual contribution of the candidate and those of
his/her sources.
    The following tariff will be applied by markers, although they will also use
their discretion in assessing the extent and range of inadequacies. All presentation-
failures will be checked by the relevant Examination Board for consistency of

1.    Minor Infringements: for each of the following: BA: –1 mark:
      unclear prose; poor grammar, spelling, punctuation
      inadequate prefatory & structural apparatus: omission or inadequate
         presentation of candidate-number, word-count, title, contents,
         abbreviations, pagination, structural articulation
      inadequate formatting:
      inconsistent demarcation of paragraphs or presentation of quotations;
      noticeably inconsistent use of capitalization, italics, date-forms.
      sloppy forms of referencing material:
      failure to follow, or inconsistency in following, Faculty guidelines regarding
         the form of footnote-references and bibliography (e.g. on quotation-
        marks, italics, commas, dates, volume numbers, roman and arabic
        numerals, the distinction between articles and books)
      imprecise referencing: occasional references missing; occasional page-
        numbers missing, or too widely drawn to identify precisely the material

2.    Poor referencing practices: for each of the following: BA –3 marks:
      no bibliography
      missing bibliographical information:
      items consistently missing from notes or bibliography;
      consistently imprecise referencing: many references missing;
      page-numbers often missing or too widely drawn (as above);
      failure to distinguish between information and ideas derived from the work
      of others, and those which are author’s;
      perhaps only direct quotations footnoted.
      Markers may judge that inadequacy in the consistently imprecise category
      needs to be more severely penalized, and in extreme cases it may amount to
      a question of plagiarism. Markers will give a mark which includes a
      presentation-penalty and notify the Chair of the Exam Board about the
      possibility of plagiarism.

3.    Footnotes
      If footnotes are entirely lacking (or almost so) from a piece of submitted
      work, the presumption must be that this piece of work will fail. A special-
      subject extended essay (based on a definite repertoire of sources and
      reading) might just pass, but would still lose ten marks. Exam Boards will
      exercise discretion in such cases.


Every year the FHS Board of Examiners in History & English write a report on the
conduct of the examinations and academic performance. Your tutor will usually
have a copy of the previous year’s report but past reports are available on the
History Faculty website, together with the main school History report, at
The report for the preceding summer is usually posted on the website by the
beginning of Hilary Term. There are summaries on performance in individual
outline papers within the main school reports for both History and English.
You can find Examiners’ Reports for English papers on the Faculty’s WebLearn
pages at http://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/humdiv/engfac/undergradu
You are strongly encouraged to read the reports as they will provide useful hints on
how to prepare for your forthcoming exams.

                      9. LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

   The availability of books is supremely important, and undergraduates at Oxford
are fortunate in having access to libraries and museums of an unrivalled scale and
variety. To search for books and journals, use Oxford’s discovery tool, SOLO:
or OLIS, the library catalogue (http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/olis/).
Increasingly many journals are also available electronically via Oxford University
eJournals (http://ejournals.bodleian.ox.ac.uk). Databases with full-text sources,
such as historical newspapers, are accessed via OxLIP+ http://oxlip-
plus.bodleian.ox.ac.uk). The following libraries and museums are particularly
useful to undergraduates in History and English:

1.   The History Faculty Library. This is housed in the Old Indian Institute
     Building in Broad Street, and is designed particularly for service to
     undergraduates. It provides reading rooms and lends books, and holds
     multiple copies of popular works. It covers most subjects available in the
     History School. Some books covering the period after 1945 are housed in the
     Social Science Library (see 4. below).

     Hours of opening:

     Term (Weeks 0-9)          9am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
                               10am-1pm (Sat)
     Vacation:                 9am-5.30pm (Mon-Fri)
                               (Closed Christmas, Easter, and the last two weeks of

     Enquiries: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

     History Librarian: Ms Isabel Holowaty
     HFL Librarian-in-Charge: Ms Valerie Lawrence

2.   The English Faculty Library. The English Faculty Library (efl) was
     founded in 1914 and exists primarily to serve the needs of all those reading
     and teaching English at Oxford, as well as other readers requiring access to
     its collections. It is a lending library. For many years it was housed in the
     attic of the Examination Schools before moving into the purpose-built St
     Cross Building in 1965.

     Hours of opening:
      Term (Weeks 0-9)     9.30am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
                           10am-1pm (Sat)
      Vacation             9.30am-5.00pm (Mon-Fri)
                           (Closed August)
                           Closed Saturdays, but 10am-1pm Saturday of 0th Week

     Enquiries: enquiries@efl.ox.ac.uk

     Librarian: Sue Usher
     Deputy Librarian: Kerry Webb

3.   The Bodleian Library. One of the greatest libraries in the world, this is a
     national copyright library owned by the University. It does not lend books,
     which must be consulted in the Library reading rooms. There is a large
     collection of books frequently used by undergraduate historians on open
     shelves in the Radcliffe Camera (upper floor), and history periodicals and
     reference works are also kept in the Upper Reading Room of the Old Library.
     Undergraduates may also order books which are kept in the Library’s stacks:
     the Bodleian’s huge collections are particularly useful for work on Further
     and Special Subjects in the second and third year, and for independent

     Opening Hours:
      Radcliffe Camera:    Term:         9am-10pm (Mon-Fri)
                                         9am-4pm (Sat)
                           Vacation:     9am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
                                         10am-4pm (Sat)
      Old Bodleian:        Term:         9am-10pm (Mon-Fri)
                                         10am-4pm (Sat)
                           Vacation:     9am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
                                         10am-4pm (Sat)
                                         (Closed Christmas, Easter, and August Bank
                                         Holiday weekend)

4.   Social Studies Faculty Library is located in the Manor Road Building. For
     details of its services please see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ssl. Like the
     History and English Faculty Libraries, this lends books to undergraduates. It
     holds some books covering the period after 1945, and books relevant to the

     study of political and social thought and to the social sciences from which
     students may draw inspiration.

     Social Studies Librarian:      Ms M. G. Robb

5.   College Libraries. Each college has its own library, for use by members of
     that college. These libraries contain good, sometimes excellent, history and
     english collections, maintained primarily (but not exclusively) for
     undergraduates. Access to and borrowing from college libraries is normally
     restricted to members of the college only. Opening hours are determined by
     colleges individually.

6.   Specialized University Libraries. There are several other specialized
     University libraries which undergraduate historians are encouraged to use for
     relevant books:
       The Rothermere American Institute, South Parks Road (American History)
       The Rhodes House Library, South Parks Road (for Commonwealth
       The Indian Institute Library, in the New Bodleian Library, Parks Road
         (Indian History)
       The Bodleian Japanese Library, at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies,
         Winchester Road (St Antony’s College)
       The Sackler Library, St John Street (History of Art)
       Department of the History of Art Slide Library, Littlegate House, St Ebbes
       The Radcliffe Science Library, Parks Road (for the History of Science)
       The Taylor Institution Library, St Giles’ (for medieval and modern
         continental Europe)

     Opening hours are published by the individual libraries.

7.   Museums. Oxford also has outstanding museums, which are rich resources
     for the study of the history of art, archaeology and visual and material
     culture. These include:
       The Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street
       The Pitt Rivers Museum, Parks Road
       The Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street
       Christ Church Picture Gallery, Christ Church

     Opening hours are published by the individual institutions.


By the beginning of your second year, you should have familiarized yourself with
electronic mail, word-processing, and the use of OLIS. During the second and third
years, there are many opportunities to enhance your IT skills through the
University, and students will need to put them to use in the writing of extended
essays for example.

Students should be aware of the extensive networked databases offered through
OxLIP+ [http://oxford1.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com:8331/V/]; access through
machines in College Libraries and Computing Rooms, Faculty Library, and
Bodleian. You may also use OxLIP+ on your own computer. Click on ‘Title’ for a
full list. Among the most useful is the Royal Historical Society Bibliography of
works on the history of Britain, Ireland, and the British Overseas. This database
comprises 250,000 records (books, journal articles, and articles in books)
searchable by subject matter and time period. Students may find it helpful for
supplementing bibliographies on British history provided by tutors or for checking
references to articles. Other important networked resources for historians include
the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Historical Abstracts (summaries of
many articles searchable by subject as well as author), the Bodleian pre-1920
catalogue (for earlier works, and probably particularly useful for those thinking of
writing dissertations). Another useful resource is provided by the somewhat
discouragingly entitled Web of Knowledge, which offers a high-level journal
awareness service including the opportunity to search for book reviews. Many of
the resources available online have to be accessed using a computer connected to
the University network; for remote access, login to OxLIP using your Oxford
Single Sign On details.

There are some useful gateways which will take you to the numerous online
resources. Among the most useful are NISS, HUMBUL and the Institute of
Historical Research in London. Students can access these from the History Faculty
web-site at http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/links/general.htm The web-site also
contains the Handbooks for the Preliminary Examination and for the Final Honour
School, the current Lecture List, and bibliographies for the great majority of
courses on the syllabus. For some subjects, there are also links to electronic
versions of the set texts.

For those wishing for further information about electronic resources for historians,
including guidance on networked databases, training sessions will be offered in
Michaelmas term by the History Faculty Library staff. Ask a member of staff for
details and for registration. Slightly more advanced courses are available through
Jayne Plant in the Upper Reading Room of the Radcliffe Camera (tel: 277203; e-
mail: jep@bodley.ox.ac.uk). She will arrange short courses for small groups at
your request, although you may find these more useful in your second year when
you will be embarking on independent research for your undergraduate thesis. The
Faculties are also developing their own sections in the University’s Virtual
Learning Environment, http://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/site/human/modhist/undergrad/
for History and https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/humdiv/engfac
for English and students are encouraged to use this facility.

The attention of undergraduates is drawn to the University Rules for Computer
Use, available on the University website at
http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/oxford/rules/. All users of IT and network facilities are
bound by these rules.

                     IN THE FACULTIES

The most important committees concerning Joint School student matters are the
Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of each Faculty (made up of elected
representatives of all undergraduate colleges and tutors elected by the Board), the
Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC) of the English and History Faculties
(which oversee all academic matters relating to undergraduates) and the History
and English Joint Standing Committee. Students on the Joint School course in
History and English are represented at Joint Standing Committee by two student
representatives. For 2009-10 the student representatives are Daniel Clarke
(Mansfield College) and Nicole Redfern (Wadham College). New representatives
will be selected in Hilary Term.

These committees report to the Faculty Boards of History and English,
respectively, which make the final decisions, usually in consultation with their
wider Faculties. Undergraduate and graduate representatives can attend English
Faculty Board meetings for non-confidential matters. There is equivalent student
representation on the Humanities Divisional Board.

The best channel for making your views known is the JCC which has a great deal
of influence within the Faculties and has made very valuable contributions to
recent discussions on the syllabus, admissions, course documentation and reading
lists, and library facilities. Further details of how to raise issues at the JCC and the
system of representation are given in the Main Subject handbooks for History and

                         12. WHERE TO GET HELP

The person responsible for your course is the Chair for the Joint School in
History and English – currently Dr Ian Archer. If you have any queries which
cannot be answered by your college tutors in History and English you should direct
them to him. He is contactable at Keble College, by phone on (2)72764 or by e-
mail on ian.archer@keble.ox.ac.uk.

College Tutors are traditionally the first port of call for students with problems.
Your college may also have assigned you to a Moral or Personal Tutor who will
be responsible for your welfare and your academic progress. College Deans,
Chaplains and Senior Tutors are also there to give advice and help. Many
colleges have Tutors for Women Students, and sometimes other advisers and
counsellors. If your problem relates to someone who is teaching you, consult your
senior English or History tutor; if this is awkward or impractical, go to your Senior
Tutor or anyone else you feel you trust. If you feel your college’s complaints
procedure is unclear ask your JCR president to take up this issue. Many colleges
outline codes of good teaching practice and complaints procedures in their student

College Doctors and Nurses can be very helpful with a range of problems,
including study-related difficulties.

The University Counselling Service (F(2)70300) is very experienced in handling
the problems that beset students, as is the student-run Nightline service (F553456),
and Oxford Samaritans (F722122) are not just there as a last resort.

Harassment. The University has a clear policy on inappropriate behaviour which
is enshrined in a Code of Practice, part of which states:

A person subjects another to harassment where he or she engages in unwanted and
unwarranted conduct which has the purpose or effect of:

      a) violating that other’s dignity, or
       b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive
       environment for that other.
Harassment may involve repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour,
but a one-off incident can also amount to harassment.

Unacceptable forms of behaviour can include sexual harassment, racial or religious
abuse, and comments about sexual orientation. Harassment is a disciplinary
offence. The abuse of a position of authority (for example that of a tutor) is an

aggravating feature of harassment. The Faculties of History and English seek to
provide a supportive and positive work environment for all their members
and are fully committed to the implementation of the University Code. Each
Faculty has appointed two Confidential Advisers who can give advice to their
members and may be able to resolve the problem. Their names are posted on the
Faculty noticeboards; for English in 2009-10 they are Dr Helen Barr (LMH) and
Dr Glenn Black (Oriel), and for History are Dr Senia Paseta (St Hughs) and Dr
Karl Gerth (Merton). Most colleges have similar posts; if the cause of the problem
is within your own college, the Faculties do not have jurisdiction, and you should
consult your college adviser or some other appropriate person – your tutor, Senior
Tutor, Senior Adviser, Adviser to Women Students, if necessary the Head of

More generally:

Being a student these days isn’t always easy. Financial difficulties are widespread,
and many students find themselves under stress at some time during their academic
career. You may be worrying about money, you may be stressed-out at the prospect
of formal examinations, or you may have other personal or academic difficulties.
Don’t be too embarrassed to talk about them to somebody. Oxford is full of
sympathetic ears, and most problems you are likely to encounter will have been
experienced by many students before you. Don’t suffer in silence. Whatever your
problem, somebody in the University will know how to help you. Don’t let
difficulties build up: talk to someone.


Both the History Faculty and the English Faculty have systems through which
students can provide feedback on good things and bad things about Faculty-run
classes and lectures: feedback can provide valuable guidance on how to improve
things. Further details of how to provide feedback on lectures and classes run by
the History and English Faculties are detailed in each Faculty’s Main School
handbooks, available at:


Both Faculties also have ways of addressing student complaints should you be
dissatisfied with an aspect of Faculty teaching or provision – again these are
detailed in the Main School handbooks and websites. In addition you have the
right to complain about any aspect of University provision directly to the
University Proctors – they are the ‘independent ombudsmen’ of the University.
Refer to the Proctors’ and Assessor’s Memorandum or

                    14. STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY

        The History and English Faculties are committed to ensuring that disabled
students are not treated less favourably than other students, and to providing
reasonable adjustment to provision where disabled students might otherwise be at a
substantial disadvantage. For students who have declared a disability on entry to
the University, the Faculties will have been informed if any special arrangements
have to be made. Students who think that adjustments in Faculty teaching, learning
facilities or assessment may need to be made should raise the matter first with their
college tutor, who will ensure that the appropriate people in the Faculties are
informed. Further information on Faculty arrangements can be found in the main
school handbooks. General advice about provision for students with disabilities at
Oxford University and how best to ensure that all appropriate bodies are informed,
can be found on the University’s Diversity and Equal Opportunities Unit at

                      15. PROGRAMME SPECIFICATIONS

The Programme Specifications for the undergraduate degree in History and
English can be found at
The Programme Specifications are a formal statement of our official syllabus aims
and student outcomes. The Specifications provide some detail on the range of skills
and capacities fostered by the degree which might be useful for you in justifying
the study of History and English to employers, and show you the kinds of
expectations that your tutors have of students reading for the degree.

T:\Faculty office\Handbooks\Jt Schools Hbks\HENG\HEng FHS\Heng FHS Hbk 2009-10 draft.doc
Updated 15 October 2009


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