Department of History

Masters study

Female history student taking a photo of historical resources

Plot your journey through the past

We offer a popular MA History course, which can be taken with your choice of four different pathways. Our course is modular and gives you a wide choice of optional modules.

With all of our pathways you will complete taught modules and also conduct independent research which culminates in a 20,000 word dissertation. You can choose to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.

You can also take our course as a Postgraduate (PG) Certificate. If you choose this route, you will undertake the same taught modules but will not complete a dissertation. The same choice of pathways is available. The PG Certificate takes 9 months of full-time study or 21 months on a part-time basis.

In the Department of History our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our academics are actively engaged in historical endeavours which make an impact beyond academia. As poets, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, policy advisers, museum consultants and media pundits, we can ensure what we teach reflects the world we live in.

Explore our Masters courses
Why choose us?
  • Small class sizes to enable topical peer discussion
  • Flexible degrees with options to specialise in a specific area of history
  • Vital research skills development to prepare for your career or future PhD study

So, what do we have to offer?

Choice of Masters pathways

Our flagship MA History is rigorous, flexible and wide-ranging, offering you a high degree of choice in terms of the modules you take and the thesis subject you can choose. Alternatively, you can focus your study on a more specific area by following a pathway in public history, cultural and social history, or local and regional history.

An exciting programme of events

Our historians are among world leaders in their field and we offer a wide range of events, conferences and seminars throughout the year to enable you to learn more about your historical passions and to develop new ones within the field.

Preparation for your future

Our modules help you become an independently-minded historian – meaning you’ll be equipped with some of the skills most in demand from employers, from critical thinking and weighing evidence to in-depth analysis and persuasive writing.

We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, and support you in preparing for life after Masters study – whether you choose to embark upon your career journey, or decide to undertake further PhD study.

“The department offered a range of interesting postgraduate courses and the staff were very knowledgeable and supportive throughout the application process, which gave me confidence in my decision. I have really liked the small class sizes which allow you to get to know your peers easily; this has enabled some excellent discussion to take place. Studying at Essex has made me more confident and has helped refine some of the skills that I learnt at undergraduate level. The atmosphere at our Colchester Campus is fantastic and I have lots of fond memories of studying here.”
Laura Wesley MA History