University of Essex

2015 League Table Ranking 39
2015 Overall Score 731
View the 2015 league tables
Entry Standards 339 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 16.1 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.77 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,291 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.19 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 811 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 51.4 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 86.6 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 64.7 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 33.0 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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The Essex Manifesto from University of Essex on Vimeo.



  • WE’VE BEEN BREAKING THE RULES SINCE 1964. Ever since opening our doors fifty years ago, we’ve been pushing boundaries, asking difficult questions and challenging the status quo. We’re rebels with a cause.
  • WE’RE WORLD-LEADERS. We’ve got an international reputation for excellence in research, and excellence in teaching. In 2014 we were ranked in the top 20 for our world-leading research, coming a fantastic top 5 for social science.
  • WE ARE THE WORLD IN ONE PLACE. From the outset, we’ve embedded internationalism in our DNA, and with over 12,000 students from more than 123 different countries, we’re one of the most internationally diverse universities on the planet.
  • WE’VE GOT THE ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL. We were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize: Human Rights (2010) and the Queen’s awards for enterprise: Sustainable Development (2008).
  • WE’RE HOME TO SOME VERY HAPPY STUDENTS. They love us so much, they voted us top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction two years in a row.
  • WE’RE PRIZE-WINNERS. We’re proud to have been awarded the 2013 Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Students, for our unique placement scheme, Frontrunners.
  • WE OFFER LIFE-CHANGING OPPORTUNITIES. Fancy studying abroad for an entire year? With Essex you can, and the best bit? We’ll cover your tuition fees whilst you’re away. 

Location and Transport

  • SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. We’re split over three campuses, each with a unique student experience.
  • COLCHESTER. 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.
  • THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. 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.
  • SOUTHEND. Live and learn in the lively seaside town of Southend-on-Sea. With cutting-edge learning facilities, including the brand newForum at Southend, high-quality accommodation just minutes away from Campus, alllocated just off the High Street, it’s a brilliant place to be a student.
  • THE WORLD ON YOUR DOORSTEP. 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.
  • LOUGHTON. 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!

Entry Standards

  • Essex’s general entry requirements are A levels and a range of other qualifications that we regard as equivalent.
  • When we make you an offer, it will normally be expressed in the form of three A level grades, although some specific subjects do also ask for individual course requirements.
  • All our schools, departments and centres accept either A level General Studies or A level Critical Thinking as one of your three A levels.
  • Essex accepts applicants with non-standard qualifications.

Student Mix

The 14750 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of Study
Mode of Study
Full Time
Part Time
Student Gender

Course Flexibility

  • Take your learning to the next level. Essex champions research-led teaching as part of our commitment to excellence in education. But what does this mean for you? You’ll receive a combination of traditional teaching methods, and state of the art technology. You’ll be learning from academics at the forefront of their field, sharing the most cutting-edge information available.
  • Try something new. We offer a broad first year with opportunities to try new subjects that you may not have encountered before. In your subsequent years, you will have the chance to tailor your course to suit your own developing interests, to ensure you get the most out of your Essex education.
  • Benefit from interdisciplinary study. At Essex, we believe in pushing boundaries, which is why we’ve got lots of undergraduate courses that allow you to study a combination of two or three subjects. Our flexibility means that often you are able to study two courses that might not seem immediately related.
  • Essex Abroad. Most of our courses offer the chance to spend a year studying, working or volunteering abroad with the added bonus of no tuition fee charge for that year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enrich your learning and widen your career prospects.
  • Don’t get tied down. If you decide you’d like a change of direction, you’ll have the chance to switch degree scheme at the end of your first year.
  • Varied learning. You can expect to attend a mixture of lectures, classes, seminars, laboratory practicals and field trips, depending on the subject area.
  • Skills for life. Our teaching focuses on both subject knowledge and the important skills sought by employers. We aim to give you the courage and power to challenge, question and explore, and ultimately change the world around you.
  • Take your pick. Our broad subject areas include: accounting, finance and banking; acting and theatre studies; actuarial science; American (US) studies; art history; biochemistry; biology and ecology; biomedical sciences; business and management; computational finance; computer science; creative writing; criminology; drama; economics and econometrics; electronic engineering and telecommunications; English language; English language teaching; European studies; film studies; health and human sciences; history; hospitality; human rights; Latin American studies; law; liberal arts; linguistics; literature; marketing and entrepreneurship; mathematical sciences; modern languages; nursing; occupational therapy; oral health sciences; philosophy; physiotherapy; politics and international relations; psychoanalytic studies; psychology; sociology; speech and language therapy; sports and exercise science.

Teaching Standards

  • We’ve performed consistently well in the National Student Survey and last year we were ranked a fantastic 2ndin the UK for overall satisfaction, with93% of students expressing overall satisfaction with their course.
  • 15 of our 16 schools, departments and centres that were covered by the National Student Survey achieved overall satisfaction of 90% or higher, while the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering; the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies; the Department of Sociology; the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies; and East 15 Acting School achieved 95 per cent or above.
  • 12 of the 30 subjects covered by the NSS were ranked in the top ten. Computer Science was ranked top, Drama ranked second, and Sociology ranked third.
  • Our Languages for All programme gives all students the chance to learn a modern foreign language at no extra cost alongside your studies.

Research Standards

  • Essex was ranked ninth in the UK for the outstanding quality of our research in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008). The results of the RAE showed that 93% of our research activity is rated 'internationally recognised' and 22% as 'world leading'.
  • The RAE re-confirmed our position as the UK’s leading social science university, with politics and sociology top, economics third and linguistics fourth.
  • Essex also scored highly in other fields in the RAE, featuring in the UK’s top ten for more than half of our 14 submitted subject areas. This included being second in the UK for history and for accounting and finance, ninth for art history and tenth for philosophy.
  • In 2013, our Department of Government was awarded the only Regius Professorship in Political Science in the UK, marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and recognising our outstanding achievements over the last 50 years.
  • We house several major Economic and Social Research Council funded projects: the UK Data Archive (the largest depository of computer retrievable information outside the USA) and the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER). ISER runs Understanding Society, a major study which captures economic and social information every year from 40,000 different households.

Academic Strengths

  • In 2012, Essex was ranked in the top 50 in the world for universities under 50 years old.
  • Essex was ranked ninth in the UK for research excellence in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), a ranking that re-confirmed our position as the UK’s leading social science university, with politics and sociology top, economics third and linguistics fourth.
  • We also scored highly in other fields in the RAE. This included being second in the UK for history and for accounting and finance, ninth for art history and tenth for philosophy.
  • Essex is home to one of just 21 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This allows us to offer fully-funded ESRC studentships, across numerous doctoral pathways, and cements our long-standing reputation as a world-class centre for social science research. We also house Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence, environmental research and the arts and humanities.
  • Essex courses in biomedical science are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, resulting in accelerated career progression within the NHS for graduates.
  • Our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering was ranked amongst top organisations in the world in artificial intelligence, based on citation counts in the last five years, placing us 33rd above Cornell University, California Institute of Technology, and the University of Cambridge (Microsoft Academic Research, December 2011).
  • Drama students at Essex make great use of our Colchester Campus Lakeside Theatre, so work with an extensive range of notable freelance practitioners.
  • Film studies students at Essex can use our brand new, fully-equipped media production facilities, which include late-night access for students.
  • Oral health Science courses at Essex have a 100% success rate in employability for students upon graduation.
  • Our world-leading Human Rights Centre helped the University to win the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2010, recognising our work in advancing human rights across the globe.
  • The School of Law offers qualifying law degrees that enable our graduates to progress to the professional stage of training to become a barrister or solicitor.
  • Undergraduate courses within our Department of Psychology are fully accredited by the British Psychological Society. This means graduates with a second-class honours degree or above are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is essential if you wish to practise as a chartered psychologist in areas such as clinical, educational, or forensic psychology.
  • Undergraduate courses offered by our Centre for Sports and Exercise Science are endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. All our graduates are eligible to be listed on the Skills Active register of exercise professionals.

Student Facilities

  • As an Essex student, you'll 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.

Disability Services

  • We have a strong tradition of encouraging and supporting disabled students, including those with mental health or specific learning difficulties. We are committed to creating an accessible and enabling environment for everyone.
  • Our provision includes: advice on Disabled Students’ Allowance, assistance booking needs assessment, study strategies mentoring, learning support (e.g. note-takers), individual exam arrangements, and allocation of accessible accommodation.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact our Disability Team, within Student Support, to discuss individual needs and access requirements.

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.


  • Essex runs over 45 sports clubs, with everything from football to fencing, and squash to sub-aqua. You don’t need to be an expert to get involved – all our clubs are open to every level of ability, with minimal costs. Now’s your chance to pick up an old hobby, or try your hand at something new!
  • We compete in the national BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) league and this year, we’ve entered 73 teams into the competition.
  • We’re kitted out for pretty much any activity. At our Colchester Campus, our £1.4-million sports centre includes a 130-station gym offering state-of-the-art fitness technology in light, spacious, and air conditioned comfort, an 8m high climbing wall, three tennis courts, five glass-backed squash courts, an 18 hole Frisbee golf course, three trampolines, seven football and two rugby pitches, a flood-lit synthetic turf pitch, a grass cricket pitch, plus an artificial cricket wicket and nets, and jogging and orienteering routes. Colchester students also have access to a wide range of water sports at nearby Brightlingsea.
  • At our Southend Campus, our new Evolve gym boasts state-of-the-art fitness equipment and an activity studio. We also have an arrangement with Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre to provide sporting facilities, including badminton, five-a-side football, basketball, netball, tennis, and table tennis. Southend caters for a range of sporting activities, and facilities are available for gold, tennis, cricket, fishing, swimming, cycling, football, rugby, and many more. Seven miles of coastline offer water sports from sailing to kitesurfing, and the Southend Marine Activities Centre allows those on a budget to try their hand.
  • We run coaching courses through our SPACE (Sports Participation and Coaching Education) programme, which allows you to gain coaching and officiating experiences, as well as feeding into a number of local organisations to get hands-on coaching work.
  • Our Human Performance Unit provides sports and exercise science support, and laboratory and field testing to a wide range of professional and amateur athletes.
  • To continue improving sporting performance, we employ a full-time Sports Development Officer to target specific clubs and individuals with the potential to excel. We also employ volleyball and basketball performance coaches.
  • We offer sports scholarships to help talented student athletes realise their potential, while balancing academic study with the demands of elite sport.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Our most recent addition is the Forum at Southend, which opened in 2013. This brand new building has created 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 the Learning Hub; an exciting research and learning environment for our Southend Campus, and a modern teaching facility for South Essex College.
  • This year we will open our new £21-million centre for student services, which will include a one-stop-shop for accommodation, payments, registration and student welfare; an integrated learning centre for creative and group working; new IT facilities including touchdown access and a new helpdesk; a state-of-the-art media centre; a 24-hour reading room; an archive and special collections book store; a 24-hour postgraduate study area; additional study spaces and library shelving; and an expanded student book collection.
  • This year will also see the opening of a new building that will house Essex Business School at our Colchester Campus. Located next to our new Knowledge Gateway research park, this building will include sustainable design throughout, such as low and zero carbon technology, and feature a lecture theatre, teaching rooms, dedicated space for MBA students and facilities for flexible group learning and ICT.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • We actively encourage our students to develop skills and experience through part-time work, alongside their academic studies.
  • Our Employability and Careers Centre offers JobsOnline, a vacancy service for full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities, both on and off campus.
  • Frontrunners, our unique student placement scheme, helps students prepare for competing in the graduate job market. Frontrunner placements are paid opportunities on campus, based within academic departments or centres, or administrative sections. The flexible hours offered are a great way to gain real work-based experience of graduate projects, as well as develop skills through training opportunities.
  • In addition, the University has a well-developed Student Ambassador scheme, and our Students’ Union offers a range of part-time job opportunities in roles across our campuses.
  • Many volunteering opportunities are available through the Students’ Union vTeam.

Careers Guidance

  • 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.

Student Support

  • We’re proud to have been awarded the 2013 Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Students, for our unique placement scheme, Frontrunners, which provides paid, on-campus employment for students looking to develop the higher-level skills needed for the best jobs. We all need a bit of support and guidance from time to time. That’s where our friendly Student Support staff can help. They offer free, confidential advice and information on all kinds of welfare issues. Whether you’re worried about money, need guidance on immigration, or are struggling with your studies, Student Support are always on hand to help during your time with us.
  • We have plenty of help available for our students with disabilities, learning difficulties, and long-term illnesses – whatever your needs, we’ll aim to support you as best we can.
  • If you’d like to receive advice and information on the kinds of ways we can help, find out more here.
  • We’re always happy to discuss any queries or worries you might have, so feel free to get in touch with us at or phone us on 01206 872365.

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 (National Student Survey) for two years in a row! This is your chance to join some of the happiest students around.
  • Our award-winning Students’ Union is extra special. Why? Because here you’re not just a member of a normal Students’ Union, you’re part of a family. 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.
  • 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!

Notable Alumni

  • The Rt Hon John Bercow MP – Speaker of the House of Commons.
  • Christopher Pissarides – Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and winner of 2010 Nobel Economic Prize.
  • Dr Oscar Arias Sanchez – Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Costa Rica.
  • Daniel Libeskind – world-renowned architect and master-planner for the new World Trade Centre site in New York.
  • David Yates, BAFTA–award-winning film and television director, and director of the Harry Potter films.
  • Baroness Virginia Bottomley – former Secretary of State for Health and for National Heritage.
  • Blake Harrison – Neil from The Inbetweeners and graduate of East 15.

UG 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.


For further information

  • +44 (0) 1206 873333
  • University of Essex
    Wivenhoe Park
    CO4 3SQ
UCAS Code E70

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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