Our Centre

Learn languages

Icon of speech marks

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.

Here at the Interdisciplinary Studies Centre, we aim to:

  • encourage and promote collaboration between various study disciplines, and encourage new and unpredictable cross-disciplinary alliances
  • offer exciting courses with interests spanning the US, Europe, Latin American and the humanities.

We offer modules from several University schools and departments covering literature, art, philosophy, history, politics, sociology and law.

Essex founded on the principle of interdisciplinarity

Since its inception, our University has promoted interdisciplinarity. Our compact campus was designed to bring schools, departments and centres into close physical and intellectual proximity, and so encourage the exchange of ideas. The blueprint for Essex came in a series of BBC Reith Lectures, A University in the Making, given by our founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Albert Sloman, in 1963. From the start it was intended that the education our University offered would be something more than the “intensive study of a limited field” and that students should have a “sense of the whole range of human achievement”. You can hear more about Sir Albert Sloman's vision in our Creating a University podcast series.

“…specialisation should come only after some acquaintance with what the Spanish philosopher, Ortega, has called “the system of vital ideas which every age possesses and by which it lives”.”
Professor Sir Albert Sloman, founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex

The Enlightenment module

We administer the first-year module, The Enlightenment, which attempts to trace the common foundation of the human sciences in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It will provide you with the questions, approaches and methods that are employed across the humanities.

UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

ISCessex blog

Study with us

Frontrunner Monét Lewin gives an insight into life as an ISC student at Essex. Check out the ISCessex blog to find out more about Monét’s experiences and read her advice on how to get the most out of your time here.

Christina’s blog

emma-whittington

Cristina shares her experiences as a European Studies undergraduate with ISC. Read about her studies in English and Romanian and see what advice she offers to those considering an interdisciplinary course.

Graduate profiles

Leila Bow

Our graduates acquire an exceptionally diverse range of skills during their time at Essex and have entered a wide variety of industries. Their stories demonstrate the versatility of an interdisciplinary qualification.