In the Department of History, you can choose from a selection of degrees and an exciting array of modules that allow you to explore the historical topics that you love. Our postgraduate degrees include MA History, MA in History, MA Power and Identity, MA 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.
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.
What does it mean to be powerful or powerless? Across different times and places, how have people and groups used or abused power, and how have they gained or lost it? In a world threatened by the rise of far-right groups, invigorated by mass protests such as Black Lives Matter or #MeToo, and rocked by political, economic, and cultural crisis, the MA History, Power and Identity traces the historical roots of some of today’s most urgent fights for power.
In addition to this, you will be able to choose from a range of optional modules.
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.
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.
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:
“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.”