Dr Peter Claus

Access Fellow, Fellow by Special Election

Work on the history of the City and East end of London followed my doctoral research on the Corporation of London. This developed into an interest in unofficial forms of urban social investigation in the metropolis along with a commitment to outreach, public history and the democratisation of the archive.

As a former mature student, I have a particular interest in pioneering teaching strategies that enthuse students from non-traditional backgrounds, international students or students from cultural or ethnic minorities. I have taught courses at every level, from school students to postgraduate.

This holistic approach to the study, practice and teaching of history has prompted an accessible and comprehensive market-leading introduction to historiography published by Pearson Longman in 2012 and will be republished by Taylor & Francis as a second edition in 2017. Both editions were co-authored with John Marriott and built on engagements with diverse historical constituencies, our specialist research and my teaching of undergraduates at Pembroke College, Oxford.

At Pembroke, I am chiefly responsible as Access Fellow for a professional network of universities, schools and third-sector organisations that encourage pupils from challenging socio-economic circumstances to enter Oxford and other competitive universities. The ‘Hub’ model for widening access will be launched in February 2017 as a collegiate initiative under the banner of OxNet. It is a regional and community based approach to attracting pupils from the lowest social quintiles to apply for the least popular subjects (and others) in Oxford, Cambridge and other research intensive universities. The international dimension of OxNet has been pioneered in a relationship with the BLAST programme in Tufts, Boston and with the Karta Initiative in respect to rural India. 

I am also part of the innovative, cross-disciplinary and trans-national Ordered Universe Project concerned with the interdisciplinary Readings of Medieval Science: Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253) and bringing cutting-edge research into the classroom.


Teaching activities

  • British History VII (since 1900)
  • British History VI (1815-1924)
  • General History (1815-1914)
  • General History (1856 - 1914)
  • General History (1941 - 1973)
  • Imperial and Global History (1750-1914)
  • Approaches to History
  • Disciplines of History
  • The First Industrial Revolution, 1700-1870

Detailed Biography



College & university roles and committees

Governing Body

Academic Committee

Research interests

I am currently writing a monograph on the nineteenth century City of London and retain an interest in the history of the East End, the history of skills and educuation (particularly state policy). I also have an interest in late-Victorian metropolitan Jewry:


Peter Claus and John Marriott, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, Practice (Pearson Longman, 2012), 2nd edition (Taylor & Francis, 2017, forthcoming).

Citizens of the Market: Community, Commerce and Capitalism in the Victorian City of London (proposal).