Find your own critical voice with us and view history through the eyes of different people. We encourage you to become a true researcher telling hidden histories that might otherwise be forgotten.


Undergraduate Degrees in History at Essex

Embarking on an undergraduate degree in history not only nurtures your passion but also cultivates essential skills applicable in various professional settings. At Essex, we excel in modern history, offering a diverse exploration of topics from South-African slavery to revolutions in China.

You'll study alongside our expert lecturers, whose industry expertise includes using research on oral history to inform women's health programs and working on company archives to improve business strategy. History at Essex will not only teach you what happened in the past to inform the future but will also encourage you to think outside the realm of traditional ideas about history, fostering the development of skills essential for your future workplace.

Why Study History at Essex?

Work alongside historians with industry experience, such as Dr. Alix Green. Alix played a pivotal role in demonstrating the business value of archives for John Lewis by leveraging historical records. This showcased how an understanding of the company's past informed strategic decisions, making her an invaluable figure to study history with for practical insights into the impact of historical knowledge on business success.

Gain access to our library's Special Collection, where you'll have direct access to over 70 archives containing primary source materials and collections covering a variety of subjects and time periods. Examples include the First World War Centenary Community Collection, a £98 million conservation project of First World War heritage containing leaflets, postcards, catalogues, flyers, DVDs, and CDs produced by groups who received funding for national, local, and community history projects commemorating the centenary of the War.

The department hosts a diverse range of tailored events, allowing students to collaborate closely with tutors to achieve their academic and postgraduate goals. Reading groups and social events, including lake-side refreshments, pizza evenings, and coffee gatherings, foster connections among students of different years and staff. Additionally, various societies, such as the History Society and The Memory Studies Reading Group, contribute to an enriched student experience both inside and outside the classroom.

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Career prospects

Studying history at Essex opens up numerous rewarding career paths spanning a wide range of fields. With our degree you develop transferable skills that are highly employable, such as analytical thinking and presenting. Our graduates go on to pursue careers in areas such as:

  • Media
  • Government, 
  • Heritage organisations
  • Conservation - Education
  • Archival work
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Legal professions.

Find out more about careers and employability from the School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Although investment banking regulatory compliance may seem a world away from studying history, a lot of the skills and methods of working required are the same! They both require sharp attention to detail, the ability to assimilate large amounts of information and draw conclusions appropriately, and the ability to be proactive, delivery focused and work to hard deadlines.
Amy Foster - Compliance Manager Ba History

Masters degrees

Studying postgraduate history at Essex offers freedom and flexibility to develop areas of interest to you. With our MA History, you develop key skills, such as analytical thinking and research, through selecting modules and a dissertation topic that resonates with you and your unique interests. Our historical research community at Essex offers specialisms from the period of 1500 to the present day with a truly global approach. Currently, we cover history of the following areas:

  • Britain
  • Europe
  • Russia
  • Latin America
  • the USA
  • China
  • Africa.

You will undertake two mandatory modules—one delving into contemporary trends in historical study and the other offering practical insights into conducting historical research—you have the flexibility to select three optional MA modules.

As part of your master's, you undertake a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your interest. Our Master's degree not only facilitates the exploration of local history but also fosters robust connections with the Essex Record Office, renowned as one of the premier county record offices in the UK.

Why study here?
  • Explore the history that excites you and choose from a wide range of regions and periods to become part of our close knit MA community.
  • Your have the opportunity to build connections with Essex Records Office, renowned as one of the premier county record offices in the UK.
  • Learn with active researchers who are using their skills to make a difference to a range of different disciplines.
Book onto our Open Day

Book your place for one of our on-campus Open Days and we'll make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most out of your day.

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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.

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Our research degrees

We offer supervision for our PhD in History in a range of topics from the period c.1500 to the present day, with particular focus on themes linked to our three research clusters and our Centre for Public History. Our research clusters cover several themes:

  • Race, gender and identity; political cultures, class and citizenship
  • War, conflict and memory. We have particular expertise in the following geographical areas
  • Britain (including local and regional history), Europe, the United States, Latin America, Russia, Southern Africa and East Asia.

Whether your interested in specialising in plantation history, or modern war, or pandemic history, we have offer access to academics to nurture you through your area of interest. At Essex, you can enjoy a supportive learning environment characterized by excellent research training and attentive supervision, fostering positive staff-student relationships. Our strong connections with the global research community, along with a focus on specific geographical areas, enhance the depth and breadth of your academic experience.

Part-time research study options are available for those seeking flexibility in their academic pursuits. Join us in advancing your research journey with a program that values both scholarly excellence and a supportive community.

Start your application with us

Explore our history research by theme or your area of interest and find a supervisor that can support your through your studies. More information can be found about research degrees on our school pages. Our courses below will help guide you through the various research degree programmes we offer.

Explore funding opportunities Ready to apply? Start your application today
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Book your place for one of our on-campus Open Days and we'll make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most out of your day.

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We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.