Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Emily Foster

Hi! My name is Emily and I’m coming to the end of my first year studying History here at Corpus Christi. I come from London, and went to a state school there before applying here.

There’s way too much that I love about studying here to fit on just one page, but even solely in terms of academia, the course is amazing, and gives you a huge amount of choice as to what you want to study. In the first year of the history course here you take 4 modules, and I’ve covered topics from the Roman Empire to the English Reformation, including looking at how to approach history through the study of gender, archaeology and art.

Historians get some of the lowest contact hours of any course here; for first years that usually means just one or two tutorials that you usually have to submit an essay for, and a couple of lectures a week. Though I still get nervous sometimes before a tutorial, there really is nothing to worry about; tutors are there to help you, and it’s so easy to build up an individual relationship with them working in groups of usually between one and three. Tutors allow you to explore your subject, and challenge you to develop your own opinions, but they are also a port of call if you run into any difficulties. So long as you've completed the work set before them, tutorials are one of the most valuable parts of studying here at Oxford, and I know that since coming here both the standard of my essays and my own confidence in them have grown massively!

Speaking of the work, I know that it was at the forefront of my mind before I got here, and I’m pretty sure everyone hears horror stories, but these really are just stories. Whilst the work here is more intense than that of other universities, it’s also completely manageable, and leaves you plenty of time to get involved with extra-curricular activities. As a historian, a lot of my working day is independent study, which means you can pick when and where you want to work most the time! The tutors here at Corpus are really lovely and approachable, so if you are struggling with anything you can always have a chat with one of them.

Outside of work, there is definitely no shortage of clubs and societies to join, both within Corpus and in the wider university. As well as more conventional sports clubs here are also more out-there choices; if you ever wanted to try amateur midnight ice hockey now is the time! There’s also the Peer Support scheme which is pretty self-explanatory, and lets you get involved more with university welfare. University is the perfect time to try new things, and with everything from drama to the Tolkien Society to an amazing LGBTQ+ Society right on your doorstep, it’s so easy to get involved and make new friends.

Corpus is the most wonderful, friendly, welcoming place I could ever have hoped to end up studying. If there’s any doubt in your mind at all about applying, I’d really encourage you to go for it. I so nearly missed out on this incredible experience out of worrying that I wouldn't fit in, or be able to keep up with the work, and at the end of the day I now realise that those fears were totally unfounded. Corpus feels like a home away from home already!

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want a chat about anything Oxford/Corpus/History related, please do send me an email!

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