We offer supervision for our PhD in History in a range of topics from the period c.1500 to the present day, with particular focus on themes linked to our seven research clusters and three centres. Our research clusters cover several themes, including: Africa and its diaspora; early modern perspectives; cultures of class; women, gender and sexuality; health, medicine and community; political cultures and citizenship; and war, memory and life stories. We also house centres for Bibliographic History, Public History, and Digital History, enabling us to offer students additional expertise in these specific areas
We also have particular expertise in the following geographical areas: Britain (including local and regional history), Europe, the United States, Russia, Brazil, Southern Africa and Britain’s Asian Empire. We take pride in providing excellent research training and careful supervision in a friendly atmosphere, with good staff-student relationships.
We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide and many of our graduates 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.
We also offer an MPhil and a Masters by dissertation.
Please note, part-time research study is also available.
Within our Department of History, the support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory panel meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress with your supervisor and other panel-members and agree your plans for the next six months.
If you are studying within our Department of History, you will have access to our extensive facilities to aid your learning and research. In particular, our Albert Sloman Library has excellent physical and onlinecollections in British and European history: its holdings in the areas of Latin America, Russia and the US are of national importance. Its Special Collection has a number of collections of interest to historical research, including the libraries of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History and of the Royal Historical Society and the Bibliographical Society.
The History Data Service is based in the UK Data Archive at Essex. This national service provider for the acquisition, dissemination and preservation of digital resources for historians is particularly strong in nineteenth and twentieth-century economic and social history.
Within our Department of History, the research of our PhD students often attracts attention, with many giving papers at seminar series and conferences like the Social History Society.
With the skills and knowledge you acquire from studying within our Department of History, you will find yourself in demand from a wide range of employers.
You will need a Masters degree, or equivalent, in history or a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
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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A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
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.
When studying within our Department of History, during your first year of study you will undertake a critical literature review and identify a research question. You will identify sources and set out a methodology for their use. You will be required to present two supervisory panel papers.
During your second and third years, you will carry out research and prepare draft chapters which will be presented at the two supervisory panels that are held each year. At all times you will be in regular contact with your supervisor.
In your final year, you will complete your research and write up your thesis.
Within our Department of History, your PhD thesis is generally completed within three to four years and has a length of around 80,000 words.
Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination, in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex.
£16,230EU 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.
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 encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four 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.
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