More about University of Essex

A message from the University of Essex

We are Essex: home to the daring and the tenacious, a place for the ambitious and the bold.

We’re a close-knit, supportive and welcoming community, with a powerful and pioneering global outlook. With over 14,000 students from more than 130 different countries – making us one of the most internationally diverse universities on the planet – you’ll find the world in one place here at Essex.

As one of the top 2% of universities in the world, we’re proud to have provided excellence in research and excellence in education for over 50 years.

At Essex you’re taught by world-leading academics in a supportive and research-intense environment. Our trailblazing research continues to change the world for the better and we’re placed in the top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014), coming a fantastic fourth for social science, and housing the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. With significant growth in the number of students at Essex, we’ve recruited 150 new lecturers and academics over the past three years maintaining our strong student-staff ratio.

Don’t just take it from us though. We’re loved by our students too, who voted us top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction for three years in a row. Whether you study in the beautiful historic parkland of our Colchester Campus, the bustling and lively town centre of Southend-on-Sea, or in our stately home at Loughton, this is your chance to become a member of one of the happiest groups of students around.

We offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in areas such as politics, biological science, business, law, computer science and more. The flexibility of our courses gives you the power to pursue the things that matter to you.

If you’ve got a sense of adventure, widen your experience even further by studying abroad – a life-changing experience that’ll enhance your employability and give you the opportunity to grow. Explore another culture, discover fresh ways of learning, develop new skills, and set yourself a challenge for a full year, and we’ll even cover your tuition fees whilst you’re away.

Starting from just over £75 per week (some of the cheapest in the UK!), our comprehensive range of award-winning accommodation is sure to make you feel at home – we’ve got something to suit every budget and every personality. And the best bit? Accommodation is guaranteed for your first year here.

Join Nobel Prize-winners, award-winning directors, presidents, well-loved actors, astronauts, and over 75,000 other alumni who have gone on to shape the world and share the Essex spirit.

If you’re up for a challenge, love to ask difficult questions, and want to make a real difference...

Welcome home.

Our campuses

We’re split over three campuses, each with a unique student experience.

Set in 200 acres of beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester Campus is built around five compact and bustling squares, which encourages our academics and students from different departments to work together, nurturing the interdisciplinary nature of our teaching and research. You’ll find shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, a gym, art gallery, theatre, post office and even a hairdresser on campus – with everything you need on site, it’s impossible to get bored here!

Transport links to Colchester are excellent, with a good road (A12) and several train stations (hop on a direct train from London Liverpool Street and you can be in Colchester in under an hour!). Plus, with Stansted Airport and the ferry port of Harwich nearby, travelling abroad is easy too.

Live and learn in the lively seaside town of Southend-on-Sea. With cutting-edge learning facilities, including the brand new Forum at Southend, high-quality accommodation just minutes away from Campus, all located just off the High Street, it’s a brilliant place to be a student.

A train to London will get you into the city in around 50 minutes, and Stansted and Gatwick airports are just over an hour away. Southend Airport is only three miles from campus, and offers direct flights to a whole host of European destinations.

Home to East 15 Acting School, Loughton is the ideal setting for acting and theatre students. With fully-equipped studios for dance, technical theatre and radio, rehearsal spaces, and costume and prop shops, there’s everything you’ll need to prepare you for a career in the performing arts. What’s more, with Debden underground station just a couple of minutes’ walk from campus, you can be in central London in no time!


As an Essex student, you have access to some of the best resources and facilities available. Lucky you! A network of professional student services offers information, advice, practical help, and specialist resources to help you take full advantage of the opportunities offered at undergraduate level.

You’ll have access to computer facilities in our library, as well as plenty of open access labs, which are generally open 24 hours a day – perfect for any last-minute essay-writing (but of course, you’re far too organised for that, aren’t you?).

The Albert Sloman Library, at our Colchester Campus, provides six floors of e-resources, research resources (included thesis binding), specialist materials, and more than 1.7 million books, pamphlets, e-publications, and microfilms. It has long opening hours – a total of 84 hours over seven days a week during term-time, and it has a 24-hour reading room as well.

The brand-spanking new building at Southend, the Forum, is an integrated municipal and academic public library, home to over 140,000 books with access to 52,000 e-books and 33,000 e-journals online, as well as a stimulating research and learning environment for our Southend Campus, and a modern teaching facility for South Essex College.

We offer vibrant, social spaces, such as the Orangery and the Limehouse, perfect for working on group projects, with interactive boards and a coffee by your side.

Our extensive online study support and resources includes our myEssex student portal. This provides a personalised online dashboard for each student with specific information relating to living and learning at Essex and our Course Material Repository (CMR) that houses all course-related materials for our students.

Missed something in a lecture? Need to revise a topic? Our ‘Listen Again’ service makes MP3 recordings of lectures, allowing you to improve your understanding of your subject area, as well as aiding revision by letting you revise at a time and place that is most convenient for you.


Our award-winning Employability and Careers Centre will help you graduate with the best chance of success.

Shortlisted in the National Placement and Internship Awards for outstanding work to support students in 2013, they’ll provide you with help and advice, and the chance to develop your employability through some truly fantastic and unique experiences and opportunities.


If you’re a full-time student at either our Colchester or Southend Campus, we’ll guarantee you university-provided accommodation for your first year of study! Just make sure you return your application by the specified deadline. Check out the details at

All our University-provided accommodation consists of single study bedrooms, grouped in self-contained flats of varying sizes, with communal kitchen-dining facilities. No matter where you live on-campus, you’ll have access to free WIFI.

Our Residence Life network creates a harmonious, community based environment. A Residents’ Assistant (RA) will be based within your area of accommodation and is there to make sure you have opportunities to get involved in uni life and social activities, as well as dealing with any complaints or queries you might have.

Student life

No matter which of our three campuses you study at, you’ll enjoy a student experience like no other.

Our unique combination of living and learning is what makes us popular. So popular, in fact, that our students have voted us into the top 10 for satisfaction (English mainstream universities, National Student Survey) for four years in a row!

University isn’t just about studying, and here, we like to work hard and play hard. Alongside your academic studies, you’ll have the chance to get involved in activities to improve your CV, your student experience, and the world around you! These range from over 150 active sports clubs and societies, arts and music events, and volunteering projects. There’s truly something for everyone.

The beauty of our compact and sociable campuses means that you’re never far away from fantastic facilities. At our Colchester Campus you’ll find shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, a gym, art gallery, theatre, post office and even a hairdresser on-site, and in Southend and Loughton, our campuses are in the heart of bustling towns – with everything you need so nearby, it’s impossible to get bored here!

Our Students’ Union

We’re famous for our Students’ Union at Essex, and for good reason, it’s completely different to anywhere else.

Because here you’re not just a member of a normal Students’ Union, you’re part of a family.  An unconventional family made up of 12,000 students, all with unique quirks and bold ambitions.  A straight-talking family that won’t tell you what to think, that will always encourage you to challenge, imagine and create.

Because we believe every single Essex student has the power to change the world, to make it a better place, and that by working together we can achieve amazing things.

We promise to help you get an amazing degree and job, give you an awesome membership, shape everything around you, and benefit all students. Head to to find out all the great stuff we’re doing right now.

Open Days

We’d love to meet you. Why not join us at one of our Open Days and get to know us better?

Essex Open Days are like no other. As well as having the chance to grill our academics, chill with our students, and take a relaxed tour around the grounds, there’ll also be a few exciting and unexpected treats to make the day extra special.

Key Statistics:
  • 10,154
  • 15.1
    Student:Staff Ratio
  • 44%
    International Students
  • 54 : 46
    Female:Male Ratio


Which walls will you knock down? University of Essex 2016.

Where we are