History at Merton is a vibrant subject with an outstanding tradition. The large size of each year group within a small and friendly college makes it easy for students to find colleagues with whom to debate their work. The college tutors teach many of the general options in British and world history available in the history syllabus, but for more specialised courses, and for their final-year thesis, students have tutorials with experts in other colleges. For five decades history undergraduates have prepared for Finals with their tutors at an Easter reading party; for the past 20 years this has been held in Cornwall.
We place no restriction on the choice of papers by students except that we teach the 'Approaches to History' rather than the 'Historiography: Tacitus to Weber' option in the first year, as we think it more stimulating.
Among the leading historians who have studied and taught at Merton College are Richard Cobb, Sir Rees Davies, Anthony Fletcher, Robert Gildea, Sir Martin Gilbert, Rodney Hilton, Dame Olwen Hufton, Sir Ian Kershaw, Robert Paxton, John Roberts, Lyndal Roper, Conrad Russell, Hugh Trevor-Roper and Stuart Woolf. Merton undergraduates who have begun successful careers as academic historians more recently include Adrian Bingham, John Cooper, Clare Griffiths, Beth Jackson and James Thompson.
Average intake: Eight, and six in joint schools