What can I study at Hertford College as a visiting student?

Your main source of learning is through tutorials.

In your application form you will need to choose two subjects to study in tutorial per term. If at the stage of the application you are unable to narrow this down – do not worry.  We need to know at the application stage what major topic you want to pursue e.g. History or Politics.  The exact topic can be narrowed down in discussion with the Tutor for Visiting Students once you have been accepted.

 You will see from the list of subjects studied by former visiting students that the range of potential options is  diverse and exciting.

Very broadly visiting students can study 

  • Courses within the humanities and social and political sciences. You are not limited to only the subjects offered at Hertford to our regular undergraduates.  For example, Hertford does not offer history of art to our full time undergraduates but teaching for this subject can be found for visiting students.  
  • Some maths courses such as linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis and statistics for those who have a very solid background in this subject.
  • Some courses from the human science syllabus such as anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, sociology, conservation, human ecology, health and disease, cross cultural perspectives on gender.  These options change year by year.
  • There are limited places for certain economics courses such as economics of  industry, public economics, history of economic thought and philosophy & methodology of economics.

We do not organise tutorials for visiting students in, the natural sciences, or in management and business. Teaching is not available for the majority of economics courses on the economics syllabus, apart from those listed above.

Choosing your tutorial topics:

Sources of Information 

  • Your home university academic advisors
  • Oxford University Faculty websites for course syllabi
  • List given below of subjects studied by former visiting students at Hertford
  • Hertford College Tutor for Visiting Students.

We suggest you consult with your home university academic advisors before you choose subjects to study to ensure that the subjects you choose fit in with your degree requirements.  It is a good idea to choose topics that link in with your major so that you have a good body of background knowledge to bring to your studies here. 

At Hertford we encourage students to choose from the courses we teach as part of our degree courses to our own undergraduates.  Please browse the subject websites given below to see what is on offer. 

If you have a particular interest in area not listed as a course we can also see if there is someone researching that area in the university who would be happy to teach you.  The Tutor for Visiting Students at Hertford, Dr Josephine Reynell,  can help you  with advice on tutorial choices

Subject Web Sites

History of Art www.hoa.ox.ac.uk 
Modern Languages www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/
Oriental Studies www.orinst.ox.ac.uk
Politics and International Relations www.politics.ox.ac.uk

Help with ideas - recent examples of tutorial topics taken by visiting students in Hertford College

Here is a list of tutorial topics taken recently by former visiting students. It is not comprehensive – it just gives you an idea of some of the topics which have proved popular. 


Anthropology of Children
Cultural Representations and Beliefs
Anthropology of Development
Anthropology of Gender
Anthropology of Gender: Third WorldFeminisms
 Medical Anthropology (need a good background in anthropology for this)
Anthropology of Japan
Anthropology of Ritual
Anthropology of Space 


Ancient Greek – The Illiad
Ancient History 
Horace – Odes Book One
Latin – the Aeneid

English Literature (but also includes Russian and South American) 

Arthurian Legend
Dystopian Literature 
Shakespeare’s Comedies
Shakespeare’s Tragedies
Shakespeare’s Histories
English Literature 1740-1832
18th Century Literature 
Literature of Jane Austen
Literature between the two World Wars 
Women’s Writing 1700-1900
Women Writers in Modernism
19th Century Literature with a Focus on George Eliot
Thomas Hardy
Victorian Literature
Victorian Gothic Literature 
Lesbian Literature 
Modern British Drama
Modern Literature
Novels of Virginia Woolf
Post- Colonial Literature
Toni Morrison
Creative Writing 
20th century poetry
Magical Realist Literature
Russian Novels


Contemporary Film


Britain’s North American Colonies from Settlement to Independence 
Britain at the Movies: Film and National Identity since 1914 
Historical Perspectives on International relations from WW2 to the present day 
Cultural Aspects of Victorian Britain 
Medieval History
British history 1500-1700 
French Revolution
History of the British Isles 1685-1830
The Reformation
Industrial Revolution 
Victorian History
Rise of the modern working and middle classes from 18th century
Imperialism and nationalism 1830-1980  with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (only for students with a solid grounding in history)
Irish history since 1800
Scientific and intellectual history of Victorian Britain
20th century intellectual history
Slavery and the Crisis of Union  (research intensive  - only for students majoring in history)
Modern Iran

Human Sciences

Cognition and Culture
Ecology of Disease




Beginners Analysis
Differential Equations
Probability and Statistics
Linear Algebra


Feminist Philosophy
Mill: Utilitarianism
Kantian Ethics
Philosophical Logic
Philosophy  of Science
Philosophy of Social Science
Philosophy of Mind
Knowledge and reality
Philosophy of Religion


History of Photography


Comparative Government
Modern British Government
British Politics and Government in the 20th century
International Relations
International Relations between the Two World Wars
International Relations in the Cold War
Marx and Marxism
Middle Eastern Politics
Post Soviet American Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Politics and History of  North Korea
Political Sociology
Political Thought from Plato to Rousseau
Political Thought from Bentham to Weber
Politics in Europe
Politics in Latin America
Revolutionary Politics in Latin America
Social Policy
Theory of  Politics
Weber:  Theories of the State

Religious Studies

Theory and Method in the Study of Religions
Medieval Mystics
Buddhist Studies


Sociology of Industrial Societies
Sociology – History of British Feminism
Deviance and Sub-cultures
Social Class