Philosophy and Art History

Man sitting alone in the Art Exchange looking at five canvases of a brick wall

Radical approaches to philosophy and art

We have brought two fields of study together within our School of Philosophy and Art History to open up exciting new possibilities for dialogue and collaboration, while preserving the distinct identities of each discipline.

We offer a range of degrees in philosophy, art history and curating. You can study these areas separately, combined with each other, or alongside a wide variety of other subjects. The Interdisciplinary Studies Centre is also based in our school and offers degrees in American (US) studies, European studies, Latin American studies, global studies and liberal arts.

We take a broader and bolder view of art and ideas, both in history and theory, rooting our work in real-world experience. We are internationally recognised for teaching and research both in our unique combination of Anglo-American and European continental philosophy, and in art history and curating, from the Renaissance and 18th-19th century art to modern and contemporary art. Our courses allow you to take a single or multifaceted approach to your study while developing professional skills and experience for a wide range of careers.

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choose us?

93% of our art history students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2019)
Top 20 for art history (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
6th among art history departments in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014)
Experience artworks first hand with our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America - the largest collection of its kind in Europe
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) gives you the opportunity to encounter art first hand.
Male kneeling on the floor writing on large piece of paper containing collated notes and snippets
Dr Matt Lodder
two members of staff hanging art in a gallery
UoTY winners 2018
Dr Timo Jütten
"Our degrees in Philosophy and Art History are truly transformative. They open up new ways of thinking and doing. Join our close-knit community and learn for life."
Dr Timo Jütten Head of School School of Philosophy and Art History
Artwork above bed in a hotel room depicting forces member in pillow fight with civilian militant
Our research

Our school features a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and built environments, across cultures and media from the early modern period to the present. We are also internationally recognised for research across a broad range of topics in continental and analytic philosophical traditions.

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Latest news
Donated art collection includes top 20th century British artists
09 Oct 2019
Essex ranked in top 250 in the world for humanities
02 Oct 2019
New Essex graduate named one of UK’s top black students
19 Jul 2019
Two female students talking
Get in touch with us

If you would like any more information about Philosophy and Art History or have a question you would like to ask, please complete this short enquiry form.

Contact the School of Philosophy and Art History
Contact the School of Philosophy and Art History
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ