Department of History

Masters study

Landscape view of air pollution in front of orange sunset

Plot your journey through the past

When you study for a Master’s degree in history, you’ll have the platform to build on your undergraduate studies, whether your qualification is in history or another related subject, and further develop your passion for understanding the past.

In the Department of History, we have a selection of degrees and an exciting array of modules which allow you to explore the historical topics that you love. Our postgraduate degrees include MA HistoryMA War Culture, and Society, and the Postgraduate Certificate in History.

In these degrees, you’ll study a selection of core modules, and be able to choose options covering themes such as public history, oral history, the history of food, slavery, war and medicine, and conflict and memory.

If there is a particular strand of history that you are keen to explore further, you may instead choose modules that lead you down a more specific pathway, for example, public history, cultural and social history, or local and regional history.

When you study a Master’s degree at Essex, you’ll be taught by expert academics who are active researchers, and also engage audiences beyond academia as a community of current affairs commentators, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, policy advisers, and museum consultants who ensure what you learn is relevant and reflects the world we live in.

Interested? Let's talk a bit more about our courses.

 

Browse our degrees

Watch the course: Legacies of Conflict: Britain, United States and Russia

At the beginning of March 2021, members of our Department involved in teaching our MA War, Culture and Society gave a free course, Legacies of Conflict: Britain, United States and Russia. This online course comprised daily sessions and covered topics including the long term impacts of the Russian Civil War, bombing in the Second World War, and the lessons of the Vietnam War in the United States.

Each 90-minute session was delivered by one of our expert academics and gave participants the chance to meet the tutors, ask questions and discover what studying history at postgraduate level is really like.

Watch each of the sessions as well as the final Conclusions webinar:

 

Eilish Peters, Dr Alix Green, Louise Willsher and Tom Bacon
Tom and Eilish's postgraduate placement

Two Masters students have collected oral histories from volunteers at a local charity in order to document the role of the voluntary and community sector on people's lives locally.

Read more
 

Let's talk about our courses

MA History

Our MA History is a rigorous and flexible programme providing you with the opportunity to study a diverse range of topics at the cutting-edge of historical knowledge, and spanning the period from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

In your core modules, you'll examine key concepts in history and understand recent developments in historical study, especially the so-called 'cultural turn'. You will also gain a practical preparation for undertaking historical research, which you will complete by doing a dissertation at the end of your degree. In addition to this, you will be able to choose from a range of optional modules.

 

Explore MA History

MA War, Culture and Society 

Our MA War, Culture and Society is innovative and interdisciplinary at its core as it draws on the expertise of scholars from across the humanities, social sciences and health sciences.

On this degree, you'll engage with diverse perspectives on war and conflict in the modern period, whilst considering the effects of war at different scales, from the individual to the state and the local to the global, and on different groups. You will develop diverse expertise in the complex relationship between war, culture and society, with a core module on Approaches to War, Culture and Society. You will also gain a practical preparation for undertaking historical research, which you will complete by doing a dissertation at the end of your degree.

Take a look at the exciting variety of optional modules which are available on this course.

 

Explore MA War, Culture and Society

Postgraduate Certificate History

You can also take our MA History course as a Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate Certificate takes 9 months of full-time study or 21 months on a part-time basis.

Take a look at the exciting variety of optional modules which are available on this course.

 

Explore Postgraduate Certificate History
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
What makes cultural history distinctive? Explore relationships between the economic and the cultural, and language and experience on our MA History.
What makes cultural history distinctive? Explore relationships between the economic and the cultural, and language and experience on our MA History.
What is the human experience of war? How does it affect communities and societies? Explore major historical debates on our MA War, Culture and Society.
What is the human experience of war? How does it affect communities and societies? Explore major historical debates on our MA War, Culture and Society.

Which benefits will I receive as a masters student in the Department of History?

Unrivalled career preparation

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

You'll benefit from our excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, and will receieve support in preparing you for life after Masters study – whether you choose to embark upon your career journey or decide to undertake further PhD study.

At Essex, you will also have access to our helpful and supportive Careers Service. The Careers Service offers you the chance to develop your employability through unique experiences and opportunities such as helping you to find placements and internships, and opportunities like the Big Essex Award. We recommend getting up to scratch with all the additional ways we, at Essex, can support your development.

 

Explore opportunities from the Careers Services

Fee discounts and funding opportunities

We'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex, if you're one of our graduates, studied abroad with us, or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees.

There may also be funding opportunities through our Department. Check our scholarships and funding page for more information.

Specialist facilities

In the department of History, there are a variety of facilities you can benefit from:
  • 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
  • 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
Student looking downwards
Applying for your Masters degree

Applying to Essex is simple and straightforward. We'll give you all the important information you need to make your application. Our online application form takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Find out more
“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
Get in touch
Get in touch
Department of History
Lisa Willis Senior Student Administrator