The University of Essex: home to the daring and the tenacious, a place for the ambitious and the bold. It's a close-knit and supportive community that has a powerful global outlook – with almost 15,000 students from more than 140 different countries, students can find the world in once place at Essex.

Town Centre
Town Centre

In or close to the centre of a town


On the outskirts of a city or town


In or close to the countryside


On the coast, near the sea


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site


Located on a green space in, or near to, a city or town centre

Full Service
Full Service

Offers degrees in a wide range of subjects

UCAS Code: E70

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 77%
  • Postgraduate 23%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 87%
  • Part Time 13%

Where students come from

  • UK 71%
  • EU 13%
  • Other 17%

Student gender

  • Male 44%
  • Female 56%

Undergraduate Open Days

Open days allow you to experience the university first hand, and help you decide if it's the right place for you​.

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • The Albert Sloman Library at the Colchester campus is open 24/7 offering six floors of electronic and research resources, specialist materials, and more than 1.7 million books, pamphlets, e-journals and microfilms. The library contains short loan and students collections for books in high demand – 34,000 extra copies in total. The Forum, Southend-on-Sea 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; it provides a stimulating research and learning environment for the Southend campus.
  • Resources for learning include computer facilities in the library as well as plenty of open access computer laboratories, generally open 24 hours a day. The Silberrad Student Centre offers 24/7 access to a combination of IT-rich areas and study pods for group work. The centre is also home to the Student Services Hub – a one-stop-shop for finance and support services. Social spaces such as The Orangery and The Limehouse are perfect for working on group projects.
  • The student portal, myEssex, provides information on living and learning at Essex, and a Course Material Repository (CMR) houses all course-related materials for students. A Listen Again service makes MP3 recordings of lectures for students to revisit and revise as they wish. There is also free Wi-Fi no matter where students live on campus.

Student jobs

  • The university actively encourages students to develop their skills and experience through part-time work alongside their academic studies.
  • CareerHub+ is a vacancy service for full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities, both on and off-campus; while Frontrunners is a unique student placement scheme with paid placements on campus, based within academic departments and centres or administrative sections. The flexible hours offer 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 the Students' Union offers a range of part-time job opportunities in roles across the campuses.

Careers advice

  • The Employability and Careers Centre supports thousands of students each year with personal and professional advice and guidance, as well as online careers information available through the CareerHub+ online careers portal.
  • Over 5,000 students have taken part in the Big Essex Award, the university's popular employability award. Students can participate in over 100 extracurricular and employability activities, gaining recognition on each individual's Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).
  • Essex Interns and the Faculty Placement teams work with thousands of students and graduates to help them find paid work experience. From 12 week internships during vacations to 12 month placements working in industry, much of the work experience offered at Essex takes place within the curriculum and will be recognised as part of the degree scheme.
  • A start-up hub helps hundreds of student and graduate entrepreneurs through the Essex Start-ups and Career Mentoring schemes. A new Innovation Centre opens in 2019, with more dedicated spaces for student and graduate entrepreneurs.
  • Faculty employability teams support Essex students with specialised career development teaching and one-to-one advice and guidance specific to each subject area. Working within the departments, the faculty employability teams bring employer advice and alumni stories straight into the classroom.

Health services

  • The Student Services Hub provides advice, information and support on a range of health and well-being issues, to help with students' physical, mental and emotional health. It also offer a Peer Mentor Scheme, matching students up with another undergraduate to help them settle into university life.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • The university Well-being team meet with students who are experiencing issues with their emotional health or mental health, to discuss the difficulties they are experiencing and the support available. This includes face-to-face counselling, telephone support, groups and workshops, or ongoing advice and information.

Disability support

  • The university has a strong tradition of encouraging and supporting disabled students, including those with specific learning differences and mental health difficulties. It is committed to creating an accessible, inclusive and enabling environment for everyone.
  • Provision includes: a named adviser, advice on Disabled Students' Allowance, help with booking a needs assessment, practical learning support, individual exam arrangements, and support with allocation of accessible accommodation.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact the Student Services Hub to discuss individual needs with an adviser.

Other services and facilities

  • The university's new STEM Centre includes a 180-seat wet lab for the School of Life Sciences and a 150-seat IT-rich exploratory learning space to enable collaboration between students across the Faculty of Science and Health.
  • The Essex Sport Arena provides a multipurpose space, with facilities ranging from a sports hall the size of three basketball courts, to dedicated laboratories for research and a state of the art Sports Therapy clinic.
  • The Languages for All programme gives students the chance to learn a modern foreign language at no extra cost for a year, alongside their studies.

Students' Union

  • The Essex Students' Union is a group of over 15,000 students on a mission: an adventure to become the world's most student-centred organisation.
  • The SU is shaped by its students, from innovative pop-ups on campus, to product request walls in its venues. To help students with exams the SU has Exam Angels; there's a free fireworks night; and in 2019, to help students through January, a VW camper van drove around campus to ensure students were taking care of themselves.
  • The Colchester campus has everything students need – including bars, the Sub Zero nightclub, two stores, SU Homes, The Kitchen (providing the best coffee on campus), Cine10 (showing the latest blockbuster films) and more. The Southend campus has the SU Lounge – the perfect place for breakfast, a mocha during a break, or a signature toastie. Across both campuses there's a huge variety of sports clubs and societies, with something for everyone to get stuck into.


  • The University of Essex was founded in 1964 with the intent of pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.
  • Essex became infamous for student unrest. In the late 1960s, the intellectual freedom and close-knit community meant students found a ready platform for discussion and debate. The 1970s were also filled with protests, as students wanted to change the world and make a difference.
  • In the 2000s, Essex expanded further with the creation of its Southend campus, and the establishment of the Loughton campus after East 15 Acting School joined the university.

Fascinating Fact

  • Nelson Mandela visited the University of Essex in 1996 with his girlfriend Graca Machel, who had been awarded an honorary degree for her work supporting children's rights. Mandela praised the university, saying: "This is a very famous university that has been involved in the fight for human rights in all parts of the world."

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • The Rt Hon John Bercow MP – Speaker of the House of Commons.
  • Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides – winner of 2010 Nobel Economic Prize and professor of economics at the London School of Economics.
  • Dr 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.
  • Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury – first female speaker of Bangladesh's parliament.
  • Blake Harrison – Neil from The Inbetweeners and graduate of the university's East 15.
  • Alison Steadman – actress with screen credits including Pam in Gavin and Stacey, Abigail's Party, Shirley Valentine and BBC's Pride and Prejudice.


University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ