Postgraduate Course

MA History

MA History

Overview

The details
History
October 2021
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
History

Whether you’re interested in culture and society, politics and power, or war and conflict, in the Department of History at Essex we give you the freedom to explore the history that excites you. Our global expertise and topical diversity 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 a dissertation topic which best suit your interests. Historical research at Essex concentrates on the period from 1500 to the present, and covers a wide geographical area that includes Britain and Europe, Russia, Latin America, the USA, China and Africa.

In addition to two compulsory modules, one that deals with recent developments in the study of history and the other providing you with practical steps to undertake historical research, you take three optional MA modules which enable you to explore the latest in historical research in our specialist areas. You also write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice. Our Masters degree also 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.

Why we're great.
  • Take the opportunity to explore the history that excites you – choose from a wide range of regions and periods
  • Work alongside scholars who are leading the way in public history, finding new ways to engage with audiences outside of academia
  • More than two-thirds of our research is rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

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.

Specialist facilities

  • 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 19th and 20th-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

Your future

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 primary and secondary school teaching.

Within our Department of History, we offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation. Themes of particular research interest include:

  • Cultural and social history
  • War, culture and memory
  • Public history
  • Urban history
  • Digital history
  • Oral history
  • Histories of class, race and gender
  • The history of medicine
  • The history of crime
  • The history of food
  • Slavery and slave societies

    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.

  • Entry requirements

    UK entry requirements

    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.

    International & EU entry requirements

    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.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

    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.

    Additional Notes

    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.

    Structure

    Example structure

    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.

    Teaching and learning disclaimer

    Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

    The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

    Dissertation

    Your dissertation is the centrepiece of your Masters work. It gives you the opportunity to develop and to demonstrate your skills as an academic researcher and scholarly author, as you investigate and interpret a topic of your choosing.

    View Dissertation on our Module Directory

    Research Methods in History

    This module provides you with a rigorous and practical preparation for undertaking historical research in Britain in the period since the 16th century. You will understand the structures of archival and library provision in the UK, have acquired practical skills of project management, and familiarised yourself with some of the key institutions and sources you will need to use in research. There will also be a visit to the Essex Record Office, UK Data Archive and Albert Sloman Library Special Collections.

    View Research Methods in History on our Module Directory

    The Public History Workshop

    How is the past transmitted and constructed in numerous public contexts? This module enables you to compare contemporary presentations with those from a previous era. You’ll examine the different genres and spaces through which history is, and has been, conveyed, from the museum, to the documentary, to the war memorial, school textbook, Hollywood epic and even computer game.

    View The Public History Workshop on our Module Directory

    Approaches to Cultural and Social History

    This module focuses on the theoretical and methodological implications of the 'cultural turn'. You’ll be introduced to key concepts, and will explore debates about the meanings of terms such as 'subjectivity', 'identities' and 'discourse'. You will also explore the possibilities opened by cultural approaches, as reflected in new and emerging debates and themes such as childhood, public and private, sex, the psyche, and memory.

    View Approaches to Cultural and Social History on our Module Directory

    War and Medicine

    Both medicine and the military are social phenomena. From the middle of the 19th century, medicine came to play an increasingly central role in the emergence of modern mass and industrialised warfare. In addition to the maintenance of discipline and morale, medicine also provided administrative and technical support to what became known as the 'total' wars in the 20th century. This module examines the relationship between medicine and the military in the 'modernisation' of societies during the 19th century and 20th century. It asks to what extent medicine contributed to the 'rationalisation' of military management?

    View War and Medicine on our Module Directory

    The Cold War and the Remaking of British Citizenship, 1945-89

    Teaching

    • Core modules can be combined with optional modules to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding across several topics
    • You study five taught modules and prepare a 20,000 word dissertation
    • You can attend all departmental and research group seminars

    Assessment

    • You must submit one 5,000 word essay for each assessed module

    Dissertation

    • Receive expert supervision as you develop a 20,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice

    Fees and funding

    Home/UK fee

    £8,760

    International fee

    £18,800

    EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

    Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

    What's next

    Open Days

    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:

    • tour our campus and accommodation
    • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
    • meet our students and staff

    If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

    Applying

    You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

    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.

    Colchester Campus

    Visit Colchester Campus

    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.

     

    Virtual tours

    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.

    Exhibitions

    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.


    Find out more

    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.

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