Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Global leaders in arts and humanities

Our Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers a unique, research-led student experience across a broad range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes.

Our schools and departments cover a huge range of disciplines and we are dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary approaches, so our students see how subjects interconnect. We have an excellent reputation for the quality of student experience and are committed to helping our students develop the skills they need for the future. Our schools and departments also consistently achieve excellent results for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

We seek to build on our excellent reputation for the quality of student experience while helping our students develop the skills they need for their future careers. We include the development of relevant employability skills in degree programmes and are keen to help students gain work experience in their area of interest through internships, voluntary activity, group projects and increased links with regional business and creative industries.

Our graduates go on to a huge range of roles including teaching, the media, journalism, tourism, publishing, local government, voluntary agencies and research. We have seen our graduates go on to jobs at leading cultural institutions and organisations including the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern, the Royal Academy and The National Trust.

Our academics are leading major research projects ranging from the art of Latin America through to the English Civil War and the issues surrounding mental capacity. Our Faculty's outstanding reputation for research was confirmed by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with Essex ranked in the top 20 for research excellence in Philosophy, and top 10 for research excellence in Art History (REF 2014).

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Essex is top 30 in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022)
Internationally recognised for our research across the humanities
Supportive departments with dedicated teaching staff
Excellent Facilities including the Art Exchange gallery, theLakeside Theatre and the Media Centre
Interdisciplinary approaches
Top 10 for overall student satisfaction for American Studies in the National Student Survey 2021
We're ranked 72nd for Law in the THE World University Rankings (2022)
9th in the UK for drama, dance and cinematics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022)
Ranked 22nd in the UK for Philosophy in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021)
Colchester Campus squares busy on market day
Student in Library
Professor Alison Rowlands
Houses in Haiti
American flag and the White House
Silberrad Student Centre
Two men filming a sceen
Female student writing on a whiteboard
A world class reputation
  • Top 175 for Arts and Humanities in the THE World University Rankings by Subject 2022.
  • Ranked 28th in the UK for Law in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021).
  • 7th in the UK for hospitality (The Guardian University Guide 2022).

Our Schools, Departments and Research Centres

School of Law

In the School of Law, we teach the law that matters. We are freer, more daring and more experimental than many traditional law schools and our Human Rights Centre is a recognised international leader.

This school is also home to the following Institute:

Department of History

The Department of History offers research - led and innovative teaching in a friendly environment. The department specialises in people's histories that help to connect the past with the present and with ourselves. History courses at Essex explore the history of people and cultures spanning Britain, Europe and the globe.

This department is also home to the following Research Centre:

Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

The Literature, Film and Theatre Studies department has expertise in journalism, drama, English literature, creative writing, film and screen media, and courses are taught by writers, film makers, journalists and leading academics. As a interdisciplinary department, students have the opportunity to follow specialised pathways, but are also able to combine interests across subject areas.

This department is also home to the following centres.

East 15 Acting School

East 15 equips the theatre professionals of the future by providing training and industry-enriched experiences that deliver outstanding outcomes for their students. Their courses provide rigourous training for those seeking a career in stage, TV, film and radio.

Edge Hotel School

The Edge Hotel School is the first UK hotel school of its kind. It provides industry-led hospitality and events management degrees with hands-on experience in a real 4* hotel on campus. You can choose from a 2 year course, or a 3 year course.

Edge Hotel School have a diverse academic community where different levels of industry-relevant experience and academic expertise, are brought together by shared passions and interests.

School of Philosophy and Art History

We have brought two fields of study together within our School of Philosophy and Art History to open up exciting new possibilities for dialogue and collaboration while preserving the distinct identities of each discipline.

This school is also home to the following Centres and Institutes:

Essex Pathways Department

Our Essex Pathways Department is a gateway to the University of Essex. It helps students without standard entry requirements to grow in confidence, unlock their potential, and nurture their ambitions so they can progress in academic study.

Graphic showing Essex tanked in top 175
Essex ranked in top 175 in the world for arts and humanities

Essex has improved its position yet again in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by subject: arts and humanities, due largely to our strong international outlook. Read what Professor Andrew Le Sueur, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, had to say.

Read the article
Faculty related news
Tenth Dora Love Prize gets underway
13 Jan 2022
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13 Jan 2022
Essex lecturer scoops UK’s top innovation award
26 Nov 2021
Faculty related events
SPAH Seminar Series Week 16: Dr Catherine Grant
The Future of Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Book Launch
SPAH Seminar Series Week 17: Dr Daniele Lorenzini