Study with us
Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel
Our Centre for Curatorial Studies Co-Director, Dr Gavin Grindon has helped Banksy curate a Museum of Colonialism
at the heart of The Walled Off Hotel which the artist has opened in Bethlehem.
We are internationally recognised as a leading centre of postgraduate
study in art history, curating and museumship at Masters
and PhD level. We are ranked 6th among art history
departments in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014)
with more than three-quarters of our research considered ‘world leading’ or
We have expertise across art history and theory, from the renaissance to
modern and contemporary art, with a range of specialisms including art from
Latin America and curatorial studies.
Access art works first-hand
Our campus is an hour away by train from the London art world, and is home to
Art Exchange gallery, with Colchester’s iconic
Firstsite gallery located nearby.
Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA)
is the largest of kind in Europe and offers a unique opportunity to have
first hand access through exhibitions and its state-of-the-art teaching and research space:
Active research community
As a graduate student at Essex, you are part of an active research community.
Our postgraduates organise and participate in our annual international
graduate conference, edit two
postgraduate journals, Rebus and
Arara, and contribute to
graduate seminars co-organised
with philosophy postgraduates in our School.
Throughout the academic year, we invite art historians, theorists,
curators and philosophers to present papers in our
research seminar series or
to give our minicourses.
There are also regular conferences, symposia, artist and curator talks,
and performances organised in collaboration with our Essex Collection of
Art from Latin America, Art Exchange and Firstsite.
Why art history at Essex?
Why study art history at Essex?
ESCALA teaching and research space
Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA)
Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America
is central to teaching and research within our School.
Many of our postgraduates use this collection and its archive for their research,
and regularly contribute to its online catalogue and public programme, as well as curating
exhibitions and gaining work experience.
ESCALA boasts a unique state-of-the-art teaching and research space for
students to access the collection:
Our University’s Art Exchange gallery.
Our collection was founded in 1993 by two of our Emeritus professors,
Dawn Ades and
Valerie Fraser, reflecting
our longstanding commitment to researching art from Latin America.
Our Colchester Campus Art Exchange gallery runs a programme
of exhibitions of contemporary art, artist and curator talks, allowing you the opportunity to see art works
first hand and gain experience working with exhibition projects.
Art Exchange also hosts exhibitions organised by our curatorial students from the
Centre for Curatorial Studies.
Firstsite gallery, Colchester (photo: Richard Bryant).
Firstsite is a large and iconic exhibition venue
in the centre of Colchester and runs an ongoing programme of contemporary art exhibitions,
as well as film screenings, talks and music events. It also homes an exhibition space of our
Essex Collection of Art from Latin America.
Free language courses
Reading texts in their original language can be real advantage for postgraduate research. Our University’s
Languages for All scheme allows you to learn an additional language
alongside your course at no extra cost.
Centre for Curatorial Studies
Our Centre for Curatorial Studies is a research and teaching unit focusing on
contemporary curatorial practice and theory, and contemporary museology.
We offer Masters courses for those interested
in curatorial careers in galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, and welcome proposals for
PhD research on curatorial topics.
Visting us from abroad
Our School welcomes students from international universities who wish to
study abroad at Essex. We provide a friendly,
supportive and academically challenging environment for study.
A period of study at Essex entitles you to our study abroad loyalty discount,
which reduces your first-year tuition fees for your first period of postgraduate study at Essex by
ten per cent.
Our MA courses offer in-depth study across a range of specialisms in art history from the renaissance to the present, including curating and Latin
American art, and are an excellent preparation for PhD study and careers in the art world.
Our Centre for Curatorial Studies is a research and teaching unit based in our School that focuses on contemporary curatorial theory and practice and contemporary museology.
Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the
Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of
our internationally recognised staff.