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.


In or close to the centre of a town


On the coast, near the sea


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

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 86%
  • Part Time 14%

Where students come from

  • UK 70%
  • EU 12%
  • Other 18%

Student gender

  • Male 46%
  • Female 54%

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


  • The Albert Sloman Library at the Colchester Campus provides six floors of electronic and research resources, specialist materials, and more than 1.7 million books, pamphlets, e-journals and microfilms. It has long opening hours – a total of 84 hours over a seven-day week during term-time – plus a 24-hour reading room.
  • 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, as well as a stimulating research and learning environment for the Southend 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 or 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 3,000 students have taken part in the Big Essex Award, the university's popular employability award. Students  can participate in over 95 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 (available for up to three years after graduation) 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 £12 million Innovation Centre will open 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 students stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

Counselling services

  • The university has a Well-being Service team, comprising specialist mental health advisers, counsellors and psychotherapists. Students can arrange appointments with the team for an initial chat, in confidence, about the difficulties they are experiencing and the support available.

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 advisor, 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 advisor.

Other services and facilities

  • 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 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.
  • Social spaces such as The Orangery and The Limehouse are perfect for working on group projects.
  • The university offers assistance to care leavers, pregnant students, mature students and students with caring responsibilities (for example for a disabled child).

Students' Union

  • The Students' Union has over 150 sports clubs and societies, and also the SU Creative Studios – a creative hub and home of Rebel student media. It's kitted out with the latest media equipment that can create anything from a podcast to an album cover or a music video. There are two radio studios, a news room and a TV studio.
  • The Colchester Campus includes bars, shops and a nightclub, Sub Zero. Events range from quiz nights to water fights by the lakes. 


  • The University of Essex was founded in 1964 with the intent of pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.
  • The university was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize: Human Rights (2010) and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development (2008), and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for its social science research in 2017.

Fascinating Fact

  • University of Essex students Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw created the world's first multi-player computerised role-playing game in 1978. The text-based adventure game was called MUD (for multi-user dungeon) and was played across the world decades before online multi-player games became an industry worth billions.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • The Rt Hon John Bercow MP – Speaker of the House of Commons.
  • Professor Sir 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.
  • 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 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