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There is plenty of scope to undertake personal research as most of the libraries and other repositories are available to all. Members of staff are always willing to offer help and advice to newcomers. The internet increasing provides the opportunity to undertake some research from the comfort of your own home. Motivation may arise from family history research, out of personal interest in your local area or the opportunity to further explore a lifelong passion.
However, you will rapidly want to share interest with others and learn more!
A wide range of academic courses are available in Oxfordshire. The University of Oxford offers weekend and weekly classes on a variety of historical topics, as well as diploma, advanced diploma, Masters and Doctoral qualifications. The current full-time and part-time courses available in archaeology, local history and architectural history can be viewed online at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Some courses and are available on-line and are more flexible if a regular time cannot be committed each week.
The Open University's MA in History, introduced in 2009, focuses on local and regional history (see here). Oxford Brookes University offers full-time undergraduate and postgraduate history courses (see here) and Reading University (see here) is strong in archaeology and history, with a long- standing specialism in rural and agricultural history. See also Museum of English Rural Life.
For those living outside the county, courses can be found by searching the Workers Education Association, the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult learning and the British Association for Local History education section.