School of Philosophy and Art History

Masters study

Female looking at art exhibits through a glass cabinet

Transgressing boundaries and challenging tradition

Our radical approach cuts across traditional boundaries, fostering dialogue between different schools and disciplines.

Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Art History at Essex takes an approach to the study of art and visual culture that is at once non-traditional and rigorous.

Our MA modules are intensive, taught in small groups by our expert academic staff, and provide a thorough preparation for undertaking independent research and PhD study. Students also complete a supervised dissertation for submission at the end of the course.


Explore our Masters courses
Why choose us?
  • Top 10 in the UK for research quality in both philosophy and art history (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 5th among UK art history departments in the 2017 Times Good University Guide and the 2018 Complete University Guide
  • Gain the expert knowledge and practical skills for pursuing a career or PhD study

So, what do we have to offer?

Art history study

Our MA Art History and Theory is made up of core and optional modules covering a range of subjects from contemporary art to the Renaissance.

Our MA in Curating offers a theoretical, historical and practical foundation in curating and exhibition design more broadly.

Philosophy study

Our MA Philosophy pathway gives you a free choice of module options, or you may wish to specialise in a specific area of European philosophy by choosing either the continental philosophy or critical social theory pathways, giving you an advanced grounding in that area.

Interdisciplinary study

Drawing on the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the school, the philosophy and art history pathway of our MA Philosophy course enables you to get a thorough grounding in philosophical aesthetics and profit from the wide-ranging expertise of our staff in both disciplines.

"Studying philosophy has been one the most worthwhile and fulfilling things I’ve done. The lecturers and staff within my school are always willing to help and encourage students. From my experience, they invest a good deal of time and energy into creating a positive atmosphere for students to study and settle into."
James Hudson MA Continental Philosophy