Postgraduate Course

MA History, Power, and Identity

MA History, Power, and Identity

Overview

The details
History, Power, and Identity
October 2022
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
History

What does it mean to be powerful or powerless? Across different times and places, how have people and groups used or abused power, and how have they gained or lost it? In a world threatened by the rise of far-right groups, invigorated by mass protests such as Black Lives Matter or #MeToo, and rocked by political, economic, and cultural crisis, this MA traces the historical roots of some of today’s most urgent fights for power.

We look at the ways and means by which power has operated in the past to consider who has power, why it might be shared, and how it is resisted. We examine different sites of power, from bodies to institutions, and its multiple workings, from slavery and torture to consumer decisions and food sustainability. The struggle for power can be reflected in racism, sexism, and homophobia – attacks on people’s identities to reinforce the dominance of one group or ideology. Yet those identities are also sources of pleasure, celebration, and resistance, whether through conflict or cooperation. Power can also be shared within communities, whether to bolster the dominant group or to provide more social equity.

This MA explores urgent questions about how systems of power shaped, and continue to shape, people’s lives, opportunities, and identities, including:

  • What is power, and how have these meanings changed over time?
  • When and why do people cooperate with power or resist it?
  • What are the sites of power and its contestation?
  • How has power and conflict shaped the experiences of race, gender, class and sexuality in diverse past cultures?
  • Can we fundamentally reimagine the ways that power might be shared more equitably within society?
  • In our Department of History you are taught by award-winning academics from all over the world: our corridors are truly cosmopolitan. We also provide you with opportunities to explore local history and have close ties with the Essex Record Office, one of the best county record offices in the UK.

    Why we're great.
    • Our staff offer particular expertise in historical research related to social justice and human rights
    • You will gain a unique understanding of the foundations of the power structures that impinge on our lives today
    • With our specialist knowledge of public history, you will work alongside scholars at the cutting-edge of historical communication
    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 management.

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

    • Class, race and gender formation
    • Nationalism
    • Wars and revolutions
    • International relations and oil diplomacy
    • The history of medicine
    • The history of crime
    • Popular culture and consumption
    • Slave societies
    • The history of ideas and print culture
    • The history of the Roma and Sinti in Europe
    • Historical censuses and surveys

    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.

    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

    Components and modules explained

    Components

    Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

    Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

    Status What this means
    Core
    You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Core with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Compulsory
    You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Compulsory with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Optional
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

    The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

    Modules

    Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

    In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

    Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

    HR 100  4  FY

    The department or school the module will be taught by.

    In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

    The module number. 

    The UK academic level of the module.

    A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

    A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

    A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

    The term the module will be taught in.

    • AU: Autumn term
    • SP: Spring term
    • SU: Summer term
    • FY: Full year 
    • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
    • PS: Spring and Summer terms
    • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Dissertation
    (80 CREDITS)

    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

    COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

    History, Power, and Identity
    (20 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

    Making History, Sharing History: Sources, Methods, and Audiences for Historical Research
    (20 CREDITS)

    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 Making History, Sharing History: Sources, Methods, and Audiences for Historical Research on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

    Option(s) from list
    (60 CREDITS)

    Fees and funding

    Home/UK fee

    £9,200

    International fee

    £19,740

    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.

    2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

    • Saturday, November 13, 2021

    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.

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    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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