Whether you’re interested in the making of the modern world or witchcraft through the ages, at Essex we give you the freedom to explore the history that excites you. Our geographic spread, topic diversity and social reach give you an unrivalled opportunity to pursue your historical passions and discover new ones.
Our MA History is rigorous, flexible and wide-ranging, so that you can to choose the modules and thesis topic which best suit your interests.
Alongside four optional modules which enable you to explore the latest in historical research in our specialist areas, you also study a practical module in research techniques, and write a 20,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.
Historical research at Essex 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.
Our Department of History provides you with opportunities to explore local history, and we have strong links with the Essex Record Office, one of the best county record offices in the UK.
Alternatively you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:
Public History Pathway
Further your understanding of, and expertise in, a variety of public history contexts, ranging from museums and documentary films to conflict resolution and computer games.
This pathway makes the most of our status as an institution at the cutting edge of communicating history to the general public, and will involve classes led by scholars who are currently involved in documentary, heritage, oral history and school curriculum projects.
You will be given the opportunity to create, participate in, and/or critique a current piece of public history as part of your coursework assessment on the Public History Workshop module, and your dissertation will demonstrate an engagement with the methods and/or theories of public history, analyse an example of public history, or be an example of public history.
Cultural and Social History Pathway
Explore the varied ways in which understandings of the relationship between evidence and interpretation, language and the material world, economies and identities, have been challenged and changed by the ‘cultural turn’.
This pathway offers you modules which deal with a range of areas, themes and periods, placing you at the cutting-edge of historical thought on issues such as gender, race, class, consumption, modernity, mentalities and identities.
Local and Regional History Pathway
Local (or micro) history, as well as community and family studies, has played an increasingly important part in the development of historical analysis.
We reflect on these developments, drawing on the rich national and comparative literature in these fields, with a primary focus on the period from 1800 to the 20th century.
You also design and conduct a substantial independent study on a chosen historical topic or in the field of local, community or family history.
Our staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests.
We take the time to get to know you as an individual, welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views.
We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, so many of our students have gone on to teach in higher education institutions. Others have found employment in archives, research, managing research funds, other forms of educational provision, the Civil Service, the National Health Service, and management.
Within our Department of History, we offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation. Themes of particular research interest include:
Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.
We also work with the university’s Careers Services to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
A 2.2 Degree in History or a related subject such as: Archaeology, Anthropology, Art History, Foreign Language with Literature content Law, Literature, Politics or Sociology.
Will consider applicants with an unrelated degree but relevant work experience in for example museums or libraries.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.
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.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.