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 has developed a strong research and teaching profile, with the majority 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.
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 our Employability and Careers Centre 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.
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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.
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.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.
Home to over 13,000 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.
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.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder 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 a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective 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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