• Entry Standards Entry Standards

    The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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  • Student Satisfaction Student Satisfaction

    A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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    4.22 / 5.00
  • Research Quality Research Quality

    A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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    3.05 / 4.00
  • Research Intensity Research Intensity

    A measure of the proportion of staff involved in research in the University.

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    0.82 / 1.00
  • Graduate Prospects Graduate Prospects

    A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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    63.7 / 100.0
  • Student-Staff Ratio Student-Staff Ratio

    The average staffing levels at the University.

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  • Academic Services Spend Academic Services Spend

    A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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  • Facilities Spend 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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  • Good Honours 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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    74.3 / 100.0
  • Degree Completion Degree Completion

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

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    88.3 / 100.0


  • We've been breaking the rules since 1964. Ever since opening our doors more than 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, and housing the best politics department in the UK.
  • 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 130 different countries, we’re the 5th most internationally diverse university in the country.
  • We've got the Royal seal of approval. We were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize: Human Rights (2010) and the Queen’s Award 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 three years in a row. We're now 2nd for student satisfaction!
  • 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 new Forum at Southend, high-quality accommodation just minutes away from campus, allocated 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 Requirements

  • The wide range of qualifications that we consider include A levels, BTEC qualifications and the International Baccalaureate.
  • Our general entrance requirements are a minimum of two full A levels and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, or equivalent.
  • When we make you an offer, it will normally be expressed in the form of three A level grades, ABB–BBB or equivalent, although some courses have subject specific 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 welcomes applications that include non-standard qualifications.

Student Mix

The 14,435 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:

Level of study

  • Undergraduate 77%
  • Postgraduate 23%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 84%
  • Part Time 16%


  • UK 67%
  • EU 12%
  • Other 20%

Student gender

  • Male 46%
  • Female 54%

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, AND 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 many of our undergraduate courses allow you to study a combination of two or three subjects. This flexibility means that often you are able to study two courses that might not seem immediately related.
  • Essex abroad. Almost all 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; actuarial science; American studies; art history; biochemistry; biological sciences; biomedical science; business and management; computational finance; computer science; criminology; drama; economics; electronic engineering; English language and linguistics; European studies; film studies; genetics; history; hotel management; human rights; journalism; Latin American studies; law; liberal arts; literature and creative writing; marine biology; marketing; mathematics; modern languages; nursing; oral health sciences; philosophy; physiotherapy and occupational therapy; politics; psychoanalytic studies and therapeutic care; psychology; social work; sociology; sports and exercise science; sports therapy.

Teaching Standards

  • We perform consistently well in the National Student Survey, we’re second for student satisfaction (NSS 2015, mainstream universities).
  • We were ranked first for American Studies and Film Studies.
  • We were in the top 10 for Economics, History, Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Nursing, and Psychology.
  • Our Languages for All programme gives you the chance to learn a modern foreign language alongside your studies at no extra cost.
  • The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) commended Essex for its focus on improving all areas of the student learning experience. The QAA review in 2015 particularly highlighted peer mentoring, the personal tutor system and the development of study skills plus the opportunities to improve employment skills and the university’s comprehensive study abroad programme.

Research Standards

  • We were ranked in the top 20 in the UK for the outstanding quality of our research in the most recent Research Exercise Framework (REF 2014).
  • The REF reconfirmed our position as one of the UK’s leading social science university, coming fourth overall for our social science research, ranking in the top 5 for economics, and owning the top politics department in the UK (again!)
  • Essex also scored highly in other fields in the REF, featuring in the UK’s top 10 for art history, and top 20 for law and human rights, philosophy, sociology, criminology, psychoanalytic studies and therapeutic care, and sports and exercise science.
  • 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.
  • In recognition of his lifelong contribution to political studies, Professor Anthony King from our Department of Government has been awarded the prestigious Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize by the Political Studies Association (PSA) in 2015.
  • A film created as part of a major research project led by Professor Matthias Röhrig Assunção in the Department of History won the Royal Historical Society’s prestigious Public History Prize in the film category in 2015.
  • The Quality Assurance Agency singled out the university’s high quality research environment and the development opportunities offered to postgraduate research students, who spoke very positively about Essex’s research culture. This included the professional development scheme for doctoral students, postgraduate journals, and opportunities to present research papers at seminars and conferences.
  • An Essex-led Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with a media tracking company has won Innovate UK’s KTP Best of the Best Awards 2015. The collaboration project, involving London-based company Signal and Professors Udo Kruschwitz and Massimo Poesio, from the University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, won the Best UK Partnership category.
  • The United Nations Foundation awarded Dr Ahmed Shaheed from the Human Rights Centre a Global Leadership Award.
  • Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch from our Department of Government was the first Political Scientist to receive an Anneliese Maier Research Award.

Academic Strengths

  • We’re an elite research institution, which challenges convention and makes a real impact. In fact, we’re top 20 in the UK for our trailblazing research, coming top 10 in six subject areas.
  • 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 has made its largest ever investment in expanding its academic staff, across all three faculties, in response to unprecedented enrolments. 60 additional academic staff have been recruited to further enhance Essex’s reputation for delivering an outstanding educational experience.
  • Essex has been awarded Q-Step Affiliate status for the Department of Government, the Department of Sociology and Essex Business School. The prestigious award recognises the way it develops the key skills of its social science students.
  • 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).
  • We’re the only UK university to have a theatre on each of our campuses. Drama and theatre students at Essex are able to 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.
  • Nurse training facilities have been expanded to meet growing student demand at our Southend Campus. This includes transforming the current skills lab and creating three extra consultation rooms.
  • A brand new interpreting lab with equipment to match the professional standard of that found in the European Commission, the United Nations and the Houses of Parliament has been opened in response to the popularity of the Department of Language and Linguistics’ three Masters programmes in interpreting, translation and subtitling.
  • 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.
  • Students on our BA Multimedia Journalism course have the opportunity to graduate with a Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the industry-standard qualification in the UK.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Student Facilities

  • 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 recently expanded Albert Sloman Library, at our Colchester Campus, provides 6 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.
  • Our library contains short loan and students collections for books in high demand – 34,000 extra copies in all.
  • 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 Employability and Careers Centre was shortlisted in the National Placement and Internship Awards 2013, for our outstanding work to support students to achieve their aspirations.
  • Our Big Essex Employability Award helps you promote the skills you have gained through volunteering, work experience and many other activities to employers, and have these recorded on your degree transcript.
  • Our Internships Team help you find paid work experience with external employers, both during your studies and for up to three years after graduation. Internships can be part-time while you study, or full-time outside of term and on graduation, and vary from 6 weeks to 12 months.
  • We know how competitive the graduate job market can be, which is why we have designed the Essex CV pack, which takes you through the CV-writing process from beginning to end, helping you get the best start in the graduate job market and capitalise on your experiences at Essex.
  • If English isn’t your first language, our pre-sessional language programmes could be exactly what you need. They enhance your English language proficiency and use of English for academic purposes. In addition, our in-sessional programmes offer free English support classes for students taking a full-time academic course.
  • Our Languages for All programme gives you the chance to learn a modern foreign language at no extra cost alongside your studies.
  • Our University Skills Centre has a learning resource room open to all students as a reference and lending library, and as a relaxed place to study. You can also book one-to-one sessions with our team of expert study skills advisers to help you with a wide range of study skills including everything from managing reading lists, increasing academic style and improving note-taking to planning essays, referencing and bibliographies and help with seminar presentations.
  • We are the only UK university to have our own theatre at each of our three campuses. We’re also home to a renowned art gallery and an internationally important collection of art from Latin America, ESCALA.

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. We promise to help you get an amazing degree and job, give you a kick-ass membership, shape everything around you, and benefit all students.
  • University shouldn’t just be about studying, and here we like to work hard and play hard. Along with your studies, you’ll have to chance to get involved in so much! We’ve given students the tools to run over 150 sports clubs and societies, arts and music events, and volunteering projects.
  • Our Colchester Campus is home to a number of bars, shops and our award-winning Nightclub, Sub Zero, which has a 1,000-plus capacity, and won Best Student Venue in the UK. Our events each term range from nights out in Sub Zero to quiz nights to paint fights by the lakes.
  • The biggest event is Summer Ball where everyone gets dressed up and celebrates the end of the year with some huge music acts and fairground rides.
  • If you want to get some stuff on your CV while you’re here, we’re the biggest employer on campus, with hundreds of students working in our venues and on the SU corridor. You can get involved in our volunteering projects too. There are loads in different areas of campus and the local community, and you can set up your own if you can’t find something you fancy.
  • Last year we opened the SU Creative Studios – a brand new creative hub on campus kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment open to everyone to create whatever they want. Whether you fancy recording a podcast, or need to edit something in Photoshop, the Creative Studios are open to everyone. We even run some workshops on everything from recording audio in videos to cartoon illustration.
  • We hope everything goes well at Essex, but if something does go wrong, we’ve got your back. Our network of Course Reps can help with any issues on your course. SU Advice can give confidential, impartial advice on anything from consumer issues to extenuating circumstances for a piece of work. If you need somewhere to live SU Lets can help you find your dream home, and they won’t charge you any fees.
  • Head to essex.su to discover all the great stuff we’re doing right now.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • We actively encourage our students to develop their skills and experience through part-time work, alongside their academic studies.
  • Our award-winning 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.
  • If you’re after an exciting opportunity to volunteer, get involved with our SU’s vTeam, and make a difference to the world around you.

Careers Guidance

  • Employability and Careers – supporting your future

Winners of the AGCAS Award for Employability 2015 our Employability and Careers Centre is here to support you. With access for life our award winning services include:

  • Specialist Careers Advice. We can help whether you want some quick information and advice, need some help getting a career plan in place or have a CV and application you’d like reviewing. If you don’t know where to start or even what you want to do, that’s ok too. Plus we have dedicated careers teams working just with your department so they can help with those sector-specific questions.
  • Essex Interns. Get ready for work. Paid extracurricular internships – part-time while you study, full-time during vacations and available for up to three years after graduation. Develop skills, gain experience and get paid.
  • Award-winning Frontrunners scheme. Get a paid frontrunner placement within our academic departments and other offices on campus. With flexible hours plus a dedicated training package these frontrunner placements are in high demand.
  • Essex Startups. Brave enough to be your own boss and set up a business? Whether you already have your own company or just a great idea our on-campus business coach offers a support package just for you.
  • Big Essex Award. Over 2000 students signed up to get university recognition through our Big Essex Award in 2015. Showcase all of your extra-curricular achievements and we'll help you identify your skills and sell your experience to employers. Loads of activities on and off campus count towards the award so it couldn't be easier to start.
  • Essex Abroad. Want to work, live or study abroad? Last year over 300 students did as part of their Essex degrees. Explore the world, broaden your mind and dive into new cultures. Depending on what you’re studying you could spend a term or a whole year away. Plus there are scholarships and grants to help you finance your travels.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • The UK’s first zero-carbon business school building opened at our Colchester Campus this academic year. The landmark £21m Essex Business School building integrates the latest sustainable design and includes a stunning winter garden with Eden Project style domed roof. Located next to our new Knowledge Gateway research and science park, the building includes lecture theatres, the Bloomberg Financial Market Lab, study pods and innovation booths for group-working.
  • The £26m Silberrad Student Centre and library extension also opened this academic year at our Colchester Campus. The Silberrad Student Centre provides a one-stop-shop for accommodation, payments, registration and student welfare; an integrated learning centre for creative and group networking; new IT facilities, a state-of-the-art media centre. The extension to our landmark Albert Sloman library provides hundreds of new study places, new group spaces, new archive and special collections book store, a 24-hour postgraduate study area and offers access to 1.4 million books.
  • The multi-million pound North Teaching Centre was set to open in 2016. The three-storey building provides bespoke teaching space close to the heart of our Colchester Campus.
  • A new state-of-the-art £13.7m teaching centre for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students is being built at the Colchester Campus thanks to funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The new building will create a science square at the Colchester Campus from 2017 and will include new collaborative learning spaces and interdisciplinary teaching facilities.
  • Plans have been submitted for Phase 2 of the Meadows student accommodation. The plans will deliver 630 new en-suite study bedrooms on the university’s Knowledge Gateway site, just a short walk from the centre of the Colchester Campus. Phase 1 of the Meadows opened in 2013 and included 648 student bedrooms, a social pavilion, a common room, a launderette, and a shop.
  • Plans have also been developed to improve student facilities at our Loughton Campus for our East 15 Acting School students including a new IT Hub, enlarged library and facilities linked to the Corbett Theatre.
  • Sports facilities are also set to be improved at the Colchester Campus with plans submitted for a new sports hall, changing rooms and sports therapy facilities with new tennis courts already approved.
  • The Forum Southend-on-Sea which opened in 2013 is an award-winning landmark building in the heart of Southend which houses a comprehensive library, teaching spaces and a 24 hour Learning Hub. The integrated public and academic library is home to over 140,000 books, with access to 52,000 e-books, and 33,000 e-journals online. The Learning Hub is an exciting research and learning environment.
  • Plans have been submitted for a £10m Innovation Centre at the university’s Knowledge Gateway research and science park to drive business growth in the eastern region by providing space for more than 50 cutting-edge businesses including student start-ups.

Notable Alumni

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.

  • 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.

Further Details

Address University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
UCAS Code E70