About the course
From African-American slavery to Stalin’s Russia; from households in Essex to witchcraft in Germany; from the history of disease to revolutions in China. Our specialism in the early modern and modern periods allows you to explore some fascinating areas of history.
On our BA History you explore challenging questions concerning the impact of political, social and cultural change on individuals, social groups, and regions. At Essex we’re about social conscience, wondering why, and understanding the bigger picture. We teach you to find your own critical voice, and to view history through the eyes of ordinary people, giving them the voice they often lacked at the time.
You have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of optional modules, including:
- Family and communal life in Victorian England
- The history of European medicine
- Colonialism and the British Empire
- Urban life in Germany
- Renaissance Italy
Our Department of History has developed a strong research and teaching profile, with most of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We provide you with opportunities to explore local history, and have strong links with the Essex Record Office, one of the best county record offices in the UK.
You can also explore more international topics; our corridors are truly cosmopolitan, with an international research team and a high proportion of international students.
Your education extends beyond our University campus. We support you extending your education by offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend your third year studying abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
We have exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan.
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
Our expert staff
Our staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. We welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views.
Our teaching and research concentrates on the period from 1500 to the present and covers a wide geographical area that includes British and European history, as well as Latin America, the USA, China, Russia and Africa.
- We have several Special Collections in history, including the Essex Society for Archaeology and History Library, the Harsnett Collection, the Hervey Benham Oral History Sound Archive, the Bensusan Collection, and the Colchester Medical Society Library
- Access the UK Data Archive, a national service provider digital resources for historians, which is particularly strong in nineteenth and twentieth-century economic and social history
- Attend an exciting programme of events
- Access a variety of textbooks and journals in our Albert Sloman Library which houses materials on Latin America, Russia and the US that are of national significance
Our courses help you develop the graduate capabilities that employers value. You gain skills in information finding and gathering; critical analysis; interpreting and evaluating large amounts of conflicting data; constructing and communicating ideas and arguments; time management; project management; and group work.
You improve your ability to understand foreign cultures and new ideas, to empathise imaginatively with others’ points of view, to grasp new systems quickly, and to write and speak cogently and persuasively. All of these skills are highly transferable to the world of work.
You have the chance to take advantage of a variety of paid and volunteer opportunities that provide work experience and develop your employability. Destinations have included the Essex Police Museum, the Rothschild Archive, the Marks Hall Trust, and local schools. You could also develop skills at the University by becoming a student ambassador, a student representative or a History Society events organiser. All such jobs include training and supervision.
A history degree prepares you for a wide range of careers. For example, some of our BA History graduates have found employment as a warden for the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, a planning support officer for a local council, a senior underwriting assistant at CNA Insurance Company Limited, a researcher at the House of Commons, a graduate trainee for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and as a library assistant for the University of Cambridge.
Other graduates of our Department are currently employed in teaching, librarianship, museum and archive services, the Civil Service, local government, law enforcement, charity administration, banking, law, industrial and retail management, media research, electronic publishing, marketing, IT, health service administration, counselling, social work, and many other fields, including work with Sage Publications, the Royal College of Physicians Library and UK Anti-Doping (the national body for drug prevention in sport).
We also offer MA and PhD courses for those interested in further study.
If you already have your results and want to apply for 2016 entry through Clearing, complete our Clearing application form
and we’ll get back in touch with you or give us a ring
to discuss your grades.
IELTS entry requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.