Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in history or another humanities or social science subject.

Months of entry


Course content

Sussex has been one of the main contributors to the flourishing of intellectual history in Britain and is today a leading centre in the field, both in scholarship and teaching. It was one of the first universities in Britain to create a course in intellectual history and it remains one of the few to offer postgraduate courses in this exciting discipline.

This MA gives you the opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of the interrelations between philosophy, political thought, science, religion and economics in the early modern and modern period across Britain and Europe. You study the major transformations of the reflective and intellectual life of both thinkers and doers, whose ideas are approached through their literary texts as well as their practical contexts.

In addition, the MA’s aim is to prepare you for more advanced study. To this end, and to put the whole programme of study into broader perspective, you take four intensive pro-seminars in methods and approaches to intellectual history. This provides methodological research training in addition to detailed knowledge of the major research areas of intellectual history as it is currently practised internationally.

On this MA, you benefit from the activities of the Centre for Intellectual History. The Centre arranges seminars and symposia on the latest research and is home to significant research projects and editorial projects (including the Newton Project).


Each module is assessed by a 5,000-word term paper written in the vacation following the end of the module in question. All students write a 20,000-word dissertation, which is submitted towards the end of the summer vacation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

Most modules are taught in weekly small-group seminars, for which you prepare written work and oral presentations. Lectures, workshops and conferences organised by the History Department give you further access to the latest historical research and debate.

Taught modules provide training in appropriate research techniques, including the development of skills in using concepts and sources likely to play a part in the research project for the dissertation.

You may, on certain courses and subject to the approval of the course convenor, write any or all of your assessment exercises in a language other than English. Please note that all teaching is in English.

The range of options may vary depending on demand and the availability of faculty.

Autumn term: Religion and Enlightenment • War and Empire.

Spring term: Toleration and Persecution • The China Dream.

Summer term: you work on a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice, agreed with your supervisor. Part-time students are expected to begin background reading for the dissertation in their first summer term.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/history-art-history-and-philosophy/intellectual-history-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation50 (20000 words)

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
44 (0)1273 678001