Our course provides a wide-ranging and sound academic grounding in the disciplines of philosophy and history. You identify the relevance of philosophy to other forms of enquiry, for example social, political, cultural and in particular historical, and learn to actively connect these two fields of study. This is facilitated by the shared interests of our two departments and our strong commitment to interdisciplinary study.
You study topics including:
- Political philosophy
- Philosophy of religion
- culture, identity, citizenship
- multiculturalism and
- human rights
Our School of Philosophy and Art History has been ranked in the Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014).
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).
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
Our expert staff
Our staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests. We take the time to get to know you as an individual, welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views.
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
- A comprehensive student support system which will direct you to the best source of advice and support in the case of personal or academic difficulties
- Access a variety of philosophy textbooks and journals in the Albert Sloman Library
- We have several Special Collections in history, including the Essex Society for Archaeology and History Library, the Harsnett Collection, the Hervey Benham Oral History Sound Archive, the Bensusan Collection, and the Colchester Medical Society Library
- Access a variety of textbooks and journals in our Albert Sloman Library which houses materials on Latin America, Russia and the US that are of national significance
We know that the world of work is changing. Employers want graduates who can think laterally logically and creatively about practical problems and are effective communicators.
At Essex, we are serious about providing you with a teaching environment in which you develop the skills you need to flourish in the discipline, and to be prepared for the jobs you aspire to in the future.
Our students are in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including law, PR, project management, journalism and the media, teaching, librarianship, the Civil Service, banking, the police and fashion design.
A degree in Philosophy and History at Essex provides you with:
- The ability to analyse and solve difficult problems
- The ability to think clearly, creatively, and self-critically
- The ability to work in a team, taking a collaborative approach to problems
We also work with the university’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We are world-renowned for our combination of Continental and Anglo-American philosophy.
- Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK.
- Top 30 for overall student satisfaction for History in the National Student Survey 2021
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching takes the form of lectures and seminar sessions or discussion classes
- Seminars allow your lecturer to explain new arguments and ideas in more detail, while giving you sufficient time for questions, collective discussion and active engagement with the material
- We believe that discussion is the lifeblood of philosophy, and we try to keep our classes as small as we can for this purpose
- In the second and final-year of your degree, we add an additional contact hour to each module
- Usually assessed by 2,000-3,000 word essays
- Most modules weighted 50% coursework and 50% exams
- First year marks do not count towards your degree class