Students Staff

Critical theory

AHRC funding

PhD student in library

Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

We are the largest centre of research on Frankfurt School critical theory in the UK. Many of our staff and students actively researching philosophers such as Adorno, Habermas and Honneth, as well as a range of related traditions.

Axel Honneth special issue

A special issue of the journal Critical Horizons, which examines Axel Honneth's 2014 work Freedom’s Right: The Social Foundations of Democratic Life, includes contributions from four members of our staff: Dr Fabian Freyenhagen; Dr Timo Jütten; Dr David McNeill; and Dr Jörg Schaub. These four contributions are available by open access.

Critical theory minicourses

Our ongoing philosophy minicourse series frequently focuses on critical theory topics. Recently invited speakers include Professor Amy Allen from Dartmouth College, who examined the relationship between critical theory and psychoanalysis.

Postgraduate research in critical theory

Many of our PhD students work on issues related to critical theory and we regularly offer an MA module on the Frankfurt School and Critical Social Theory.

Critical Theory Colloquium

Every week during term time, academic staff and graduate students interested in critical theory meet at our Critical Theory Colloquium to discuss classic texts or recent work in critical theory, as well as their own works in progress. Readings for the Colloquium will be made available on our Moodle page or be sent to Colloquium participants by email via Moodle (so please sign up to our Moodle page if you want to participate).

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study

We are internationally recognised as a leading centre of postgraduate study in philosophy, both at Masters and PhD level.

PhD study

Postgraduate research study

By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of our internationally recognised staff.


Image by Carlos Martins, Natureza morta 2 (1977), copyright the artist, image courtesy of ESCALA

Phenomenology is a central concern in our School. Each year we offer at least one MA module in phenomenology and many current PhD students are exploring phenomenological approaches to subjects such as perception and ethics.

German philosophy

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophy

Classical German philosophy is a major area of research and teaching at Essex. Many of our academic staff are experts on Kant and the post-Kantian tradition including Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche.