Accommodation at Essex

Your new home

Looking for the best university accommodation? Well, you've found the right place!

We offer a variety of exciting and comfortable accommodation, from studios to single en suite rooms and retro Towers to Townhouses, to suit all budgets.

Want the bustling centre of campus on your doorstep? Or just a quiet spot? Take your pick. Make yourself at home and get a glimpse of what we have to offer.

For more information on how we are preparing accommodation for students joining us this year, take a look at the Accommodation and Living on Campus FAQ's below.

Quality Standards

We are a member of Universities UK and comply with the Student Accommodation Code of Practice (SAC) for the management of student housing.

The SAC sets out the main elements of good management practice of student housing within the UK.

The Code protects your rights to:

  • A healthy, safe environment
  • Timely repairs and maintenance
  • A clean, pleasant living environment
  • A formal, contractual relationship with your landlord
  • Access to health and wellbeing services
  • A living environment free from anti-social behaviour

Further information can be found online on the SAC website.

The Accreditation Network UK (ANUK)/ Unipol National Code of Standards for Large Student Developments, covers The Meadows, The Copse and University Quays accommodation, which are managed by Derwent Students, offers the following:

  • gives confidence that the property is of a good standard and is properly managed and regulated
  • provide assurance that repairs and maintenance are carried out to defined timescales
  • give clarity and transparency on contracts and on management practices and routines
  • shows where to go for help if problems arise and provide a codified complaints process, including a referral mechanism for independent consideration and decision give, as well as general consumer protection

Further information can be found online on the ANUK website.

Essex Accommodation on social media:


Accommodation and living on campus

Can I apply for accommodation?

Our waiting list is temporarily closed, as we are not accepting any new applications for the current year due to the pandemic. However, please keep checking the page for updates. Once applications open again and you have accepted your offer, your room and key will remain available until you are ready to arrive and we will not charge you for your room until you have moved in.

If you are required to be on campus, as your courses is now being delivered face-to-face, please contact us at for an application form.

The accommodation guarantee deadline for the current academic year has now passed, so we can no longer guarantee you accommodation for your first year, but you can still apply when applications open again. If we can’t offer you campus accommodation then we’ll put you in touch with SU Homes, an agency run by our Students’ Union.

Applications for the 2021-22 academic year for new students are now open and the guarantee deadline is 3 September 2021.

All full-time fully-registered undergraduate students living at our Colchester or Southend Campus from October, are entitled to accommodation for the first year of study.

Can I apply now if my course doesn't start until April?

If you are a full time and fully registered student and your course starts in April 2021, then please email the Student Information Team for an accommodation application form. 

Please note, we do not have student accommodation at our Loughton Campus.


What if I can't arrive at the start of term?

We understand that a number of you are planning to study remotely at first and then arrive onto one of our campuses at a later date.

As part of our commitment to putting our students at the heart of all we do, we are extending our flexible accommodation arrangements:

  • For students who have not yet moved into University accommodation because they deferred occupancy, we will cancel your accommodation contract You will receive notification when this has been done. Should you still wish to move to campus, you will be able to make a vacation application, when applications open.

Whenever you intend to arrive, please make sure you sure you are familiar with where you need to collect your key by checking our arrival information for Colchester or Southend.

What if I need to quarantine on arrival to campus?

All students arriving from overseas as of 4am on Monday 18 January 2021 will be required by law to isolate for 10 days, even if you have received a negative Covid-19 test. Further information relating to this can be found on the Government webpages.

Students arriving for the new academic year 2021-22 will be offered free quarantine accommodation for a period of 10 days prior to the start of welcome week. You will need to apply for this accommodation in addition to your full year requirements and an application form will be able here nearer the time. You will also need to order a quarantine pack. Details on how to do this will be available nearer the time.

You will be living with other students, where some facilities will be shared, so please make sure you try and use these, when others are not.

To help you settle in and so you do not have to leave your accommodation unnecessarily, we will provide you with a quarantine pack (basic food such as pasta, rice, tea etc/bedding/kitchen utensils). 

Please then make sure you read the guidance on self-isolating, so you are aware of what support services are available to you, including how to order food deliveries. However, if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Student Information Team

How will the university support me if I have to self-isolate in my accommodation?

If you live in University accommodation and need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, appropriate arrangements will be made by our dedicated Residence Life team to provide you with advice and practical support. Information regarding how to self-isolate, who to inform and how we can further support you will be made available for you, with further information in your Welcome Book.  

How will you implement and observe social distancing in University accommodation?  

We’re hoping to make your experience of living with us as normal as possible, but recognise we may have to do things a little differently this year.  

On arrival into your accommodation, we expect you will form a social bubble with students in your flat (who are staying in the rooms around you). This means that you’ll be able to spend time with your flatmates without the need for keeping socially distanced from each other.  

Current guidance states that, at least initially, you won’t be able to have other people from outside your household visiting your flat. But all our accommodation is surrounded by award winning green spaces, and with social facilities close by where you can easily meet with people from outside your household whilst following the social distancing guidelines.  

We also have a dedicated team who are developing a variety of social distancing events and virtual events to attend to make sure you have every opportunity to meet new people, safely. More details of these will follow in due course.

How will you support cleanliness and hygiene within shared accommodation? 

Our housekeeping team will be busy undertaking enhanced cleaning, to ensure your accommodation is as hygienic as possible. All kitchens will be cleaned weekly, and shared bathrooms cleaned 3 times a week. We will be regularly cleaning all high level touchpoints in accommodation entrances and communal areas. We will also clean all lifts daily (the maximum number of people per lift will be limited to help maintain social distancing).

Hygiene is a key factor in controlling the virus, therefore it is important that all residents play their part in ensuring your accommodation remains safe. To help with this, we will also provide you with how-to guides and advice on hygiene. 

How can I ensure I will be safe from COVID-19 once I am at the university?

The University takes the health and wellbeing of our students and staff very seriously and this has been one of the focuses to ensure students can study on campus – safely.

To protect our community on campus we have introduced the following measures:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilising regimes
  • Social distancing in line with international guidance
  • Signage and floor markings in key locations to help you move around our campuses safely

We’re asking you to wear face coverings in all public campus areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain or in specifically designated locations. We’ll be supporting you by giving two washable face coverings to all students and staff.

We’ll also be introducing training for all students, to make it easier for everyone to understand our expectations.

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Got an offer?

Our programme of Virtual Applicant Days will give you a deeper insight into your department and life at Essex, so book your place now!

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live at Essex?

We're a National Student Housing Award Finalist 2020
Centrally located residences, close to all facilities
Dedicated and experienced staff
24 hour security
Community atmosphere, friendly environment
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Current students

Download your welcome pack and find all the information you need to help you settle in, including contact details for accommodation and emergency numbers for out of hours support.

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Contact us

For enquiries about accommodation or about an application you're making, contact us at the Student Services Hub. Quote your full name and PRID or PG number on all correspondence.

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