Our commitment to groundbreaking historical investigation is reflected in more than two-thirds of our research being
rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).
Our Department was founded in 1972. Since then we have developed a strongly individual character. We pride ourselves on being
a Department that refuses intellectual straitjackets. We enjoy the mix of areas and specialisms found along our corridors.
We have always been known for our friendly atmosphere, with good staff-student relationships and innovative teaching and learning
methods that are reflected in consistently high student satisfaction ratings.
Wide-ranging research interests
The pattern of appointments to our Department has deliberately brought together a group of scholars with a wide range of approaches
and fields: Britain, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia are all represented, as are the relations between them. More than two-thirds of
our research was rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the REF 2014.
Gareth explains why Essex, and History at Essex, is unique!
Gareth tells us why he enjoyed about studying in our Department of History and how he felt he was encouraged to be bold and experimental in his learning.
Although most of us have published specialist works which deal with particular countries and localities, we prefer not to study one
country or region in isolation. Our concern in our teaching and research is with the larger historical issues. Concern with these necessarily leads
to a comparative approach. Even where we study a particular phenomenon – whether racial segregation in the Americas or violence in early
modern Europe – we are conscious that the best history is informed by knowledge of the phenomenon in other periods and societies.
Our Department belongs to the Faculty of Humanities, which was set up by our University's founders precisely to break with intellectual
parochialism of all kinds. We have never wavered from this commitment, to which our scholars specialised in non-European history make a
particularly decisive contribution.
History at Essex has strong links with the Departments of Sociology, Government,
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and Art History, and also with the
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre which offers courses in American (US) studies, Latin American studies, European studies and liberal arts.
We are also interested in theory, but are not theoretical in any dogmatic sense. Students interested in using concepts – whether derived
from sociology, psychoanalysis, political economy or philosophy – in their research will find a congenial and testing environment here.
In line with our commitment to comparative history and global perspectives, our teaching and research team is international. Our
corridors are cosmopolitan. Several members of staff are from overseas, and they bring with them contacts and concerns that complement
those of their colleagues from Britain. A high proportion of our postgraduate student body in particular is international, and as an
international student you'll find that a number of your teachers were themselves once overseas students, and that they are aware of
both the difficulties and excitement of study away from your home country. All undergraduate students at Essex also have the opportunity
to study abroad.
At the cutting edge
By describing ourselves as 'at the cutting edge', we do not mean merely that a number of our scholars are leaders in their fields,
nor that history at Essex incorporates dimensions not found elsewhere. We mean that the nature of much of the work undertaken in the
Department is breaking new ground.
From the global to the local, undergraduate study in history at Essex
lets you plot your own intellectual journey through the past while honing the research and critical
thinking skills prized by today’s employers.
We are a leading centre for history postgraduate study at both Masters and PhD level. Become part of our active research
community and benefit from the expert teaching and supervision of our academic staff.
Watch our videos
Watch a taster lecture, hear our students’ opinions of their study experience and see our staff talking about their latest research. Our
videos will show you the passion and enthusiasm that we offer.
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).