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MA History

Course Description

Whether you’re interested in the making of the modern world or witchcraft through the ages, at Essex we give you the freedom to explore the history that excites you. Our geographic spread, topic diversity and social reach give you an unrivalled opportunity to pursue your historical passions and discover new ones.

Our MA History is rigorous, flexible and wide-ranging, so that you can to choose the modules and thesis topic which best suit your interests.

Alongside four optional modules which enable you to explore the latest in historical research in our specialist areas, you also study a practical module in research techniques, and write a 20,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Historical research at Essex concentrates on the period from 1500 to the present, and covers a wide geographical area that includes British and European history, as well as Latin America, the USA, China, Russia and Africa.

Our Department of History has developed a strong research and teaching profile, with the majority of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We provide you with opportunities to explore local history, and have strong links with the Essex Record Office, one of the best county record offices in the UK.

Alternatively you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

Public History Pathway

Further your understanding of, and 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, and will involve classes led by scholars who are currently involved in documentary, heritage, oral history and school curriculum projects.

You will be given the opportunity to create, participate in, and/or critique a current piece of public history as part of your coursework assessment on the Public History Workshop module, and your dissertation will demonstrate an engagement with the methods and/or theories of public history, analyse an example of public history, or be an example of public history.

Cultural and Social History Pathway

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’.

This pathway offers you modules which deal with a range of areas, themes and periods, placing you at the cutting-edge of historical thought on issues such as gender, race, class, consumption, modernity, mentalities and identities.

Local and Regional History Pathway

Local (or 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, drawing on the rich national and comparative literature in these fields, with a primary focus on the period from 1800 to the 20th century.

You also design and conduct a substantial independent study on a chosen historical topic or in the field of local, community or family history.

Visit the MA History page on the University of Essex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

UK entry requirementsA degree with an overall high 2:2.

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