Students Staff

MA History

PG student profiles

Louise Rodwell

Get an insight into the experience of studying postgraduate history at Essex and the support you can expect to receive by reading the profiles of some of our current and former students.

We offer a popular MA History course, which can be taken with your choice of four different pathways. Our course is modular and gives you a wide choice of optional modules. With all of our pathways you will complete taught modules and also conduct independent research which culminates in a 20,000 word dissertation. You can choose to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.

You can also take our course as a Postgraduate (PG) 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 PG Certificate takes 9 months of full-time study or 21 months on a part-time basis.

A variety of scholarships and funding for postgraduate study is available.

Full course details

You can study our courses full- or part-time:

See our current student pages for a list of postgraduate history modules or search our module directory. Please note that some optional modules may not run evey year.

What our students say

In this video, MA History student, Elijah Bell explains why he chose Essex to continue his studies in History.

Your choice of pathways

MA History

Our flagship MA History is rigorous, flexible and wide-ranging, offering you a high degree of choice in terms of the modules you take and the thesis subject you can choose. You take a practical module in research techniques (Research Methods in History) which will lay the essential groundwork for your 20,000-word dissertation, which you can undertake on a theme of your own choosing. In addition to the research methods module, you will take four other optional modules.

You can alternatively choose to take one of our three specialist pathways:

  • MA History (Cultural and Social History Pathway)

    This pathway offers you modules in cultural and social history, dealing with a range of areas, themes and periods, which place you at the cutting-edge of historical thought on issues such as gender, race, class, consumption, modernity, mentalities and identities. You explore the varied ways in which understandings of the relationship between evidence and interpretation, language and the material world, economies and identities, have been challenged and changed by the 'cultural turn'.

  • MA History (Local and Regional History Pathway)

    This pathway introduces you to the concepts and approaches used in local, community and family history. Local/micro history, as well as community and family studies, has played an increasingly important part in the development of historical analysis. We reflect on these developments with our modules that draw on the rich national and comparative literature in these fields, with a primary focus on the period from 1800 to the twentieth century.

  • MA History (Public History Pathway)

    This pathway, which includes the compulsory Public History Workshop module, will be suitable for you if you are interested in furthering your expertise in a variety of public history contexts, ranging from museums and documentary films to conflict resolution and computer games. This pathway makes the most of our status as an institution at the cutting edge of communicating history to the general public.

PG events

Book a place at a postgraduate event to find out about studying at a top 20 UK research university. Staff will be available to answer your questions and you can speak to students about life at Essex.

PG funding

Postgraduate funding

We offer scholarships and bursaries to talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University of Essex scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations.

How to apply

Student reading application information

Find out more about how to apply for our postgraduate courses. We know that this can be quite different to your experience of undergraduate applications, so we explain the process and what you need to do.

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.