Part-time qualifications in local history

Undergraduate and graduate programmes for adult learners

Enrich and extend your knowledge with a part-time Oxford University course

Our part-time local and social history courses concentrate on cultural and social aspects of history, on different strata of society, and on teaching you how to do research using local and national archives. 

Teaching takes place in smaller groups than many full-time degree courses, and (depending on the course) is held during evenings, weekends, short residencies or online. Tutors and students get to know each other in an informal, supportive and friendly environment.

Whether you're just returning to study, or are a committed lifelong learner – we have a flexible, part-time course for you.

Interested in studying history? Then take a look at our undergraduate and graduate programmes in history.

Undergraduate study

Undergraduate Diploma in English Social and Local History

Taught mainly through residential weekends and online tutorials, the two-year part-time Diploma makes excellent use of Oxford’s historical resources, with activities including a tour of the city’s pre-Reformation college chapels and work on 18th-century crime and punishment at Oxford Castle.

Find out more about the Diploma.

Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History (online)

The Advanced Diploma is a one-year part-time course providing training in key concepts and methods of historical studies. It is delivered entirely online, so you can work at home with access to the course material, your tutor and fellow students. 

The course will help you improve the key skills you need for historical research, especially the manipulation of information using spreadsheets and databases. With the help of your tutor, you will produce your own piece of local historical research. 

Find out more about the Advanced Diploma

Postgraduate study

MSc in English Local History

This two-year part-time master’s degree is designed to combine a systematic training in historical research techniques with the study of a range of major local historical themes and the chance to undertake an individually-researched dissertation. It will be relevant to teachers, archaeologists, environmental planners, archivists, librarians, museum professionals and indeed anyone wishing to pursue the subject for its own sake.

Find out more about the MSc in English Local History.

DPhil in English Local History

The part-time research doctorate (DPhil, equivalent to a PhD) is normally studied over four to six years (twice the full-time length). The MSc in English Local History is recommended as preparation for the DPhil and students building on MSc work usually complete more quickly.  

Find out more about the DPhil in English Local History

Student spotlights

Garyfallia Katsiara

Garyfallia Katsiara

Garyfallia enrolled on our Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History which she completed entirely online from her home in Athens.

Shaun Morley

Shaun Morley

Shaun’s time at the Thames Valley Police put him in good stead for investigating English Local History.

Margaret Broadbent

Margaret Broadbent

Aged 80, Margaret Broadbent wanted a new focus in life - and our Diploma in English Local History ticked the boxes.

João Gomes Ramos

João Gomes Ramos

To help fill the gaps in his historical training for his future PhD, Portuguese lawyer João enrolled on our online Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History.

Vicky Davison

Vicky Davison

Recently retired and living in Melbourne, Vicky was looking for a new intellectual challenge when she enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in Local History online.

Dr Caroline Withall

Dr Caroline Withall

Caroline studied history at university, but later trained as a litigator, eventually becoming Director of Legal for a regulatory body. But the law didn't hold her interest as much as her first love - history.