2020 applicants
School of Philosophy and Art History

Masters study

Male student in Art Exchange gallery placing artwork on the wall

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 Chat to our students and staff
Our Philosophy and Art History courses are now in Clearing

Learn about what Clearing is, how to contact and apply to us, and what life is like at the University of Essex.

Learn more today
Why choose us?
  • 6th among art history departments in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014)
  • Top 20 for art history (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
  • 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.

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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.

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"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