The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions, ranked ninth nationally for research excellence following the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
We offer supervision for our PhD History in a range of topics with a focus on: class, race and gender formation; nationalism; wars and revolutions; international relations and oil diplomacy; the history of medicine; the history of crime; popular culture and consumption; slave societies; the history of ideas and print culture; the history of the Roma and Sinti in Europe; and historical censuses and surveys. We also have particular expertise in the following geographical areas: Britain (including local and regional history), Europe, the United States, Russia, Brazil, Southern Africa and Britains Asian Empire. We take pride in providing excellent research training and careful supervision in a friendly atmosphere, with good staff-student relationships.
We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, so many of our graduates have gone on to teach in higher education institutions. Others have found employment in archives, research, managing research funds, other forms of educational provision, the Civil Service, the National Health Service, and management.
We also offer an MPhil and a Masters by dissertation in this subject.
Your research degree gives you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. You develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. A PhD can open doors to many careers. Your supervisor
Within our Department of History, the support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months. How you will study
When studying within our Department of History, during your first year of study you will undertake a critical literature review and identify a research question. You will identify sources and set out a methodology for their use. You will be required to present two supervisory board papers.
During your second and third years, you will carry out research and prepare draft chapters which will be presented at the two supervisory boards that are held each year. At all times you will be in regular contact with your supervisor.
In your final year, you will have completed all your research and be writing up your thesis. Finalising your PhD
Within our Department of History, your PhD thesis is generally completed within three to four years and has a length of around 80,000 words.
Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination, in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex. Seminars and conferences
Within our Department of History, the research of our PhD students often attracts attention, with many giving papers at seminar series and conferences like the Social History Society.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
For research study within our Department of History, we normally require a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. A well developed research proposal is also essential.
If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.
The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
For up-to-date information on funding opportunities at Essex, please visit: