Undergraduate Study

Information for Parents and Guardians

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You must have plenty of questions...

So, someone you care for is interested in going to University. Congratulations! They are about to embark on an exciting journey; and like with any big event, it will no doubt bring with it uncertainty and nervousness. For you that is.

Fortunately, you can leave your nerves to one side with us, as here at Essex, we have two main aims, Excellence in Education, and Excellence in Research. This means that whatever you may study you'll be getting a transformational Education through research-led teaching.

We are committed to ‘research-led’ teaching, where every Essex student has direct experience of being a researcher themselves, helping our students develop critical, analytic, and transferable skills.

We are committed to continue to invest in our campus experience. We are ranked Top 10 in the Times Good University Guide 2021 for spend on services and facilities per student. 

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Keep up to date

If you are a parent, guardian, carer or supporter of a student who is yet to start university, we welcome you to our community to receive information and updates from Essex. Alongside a regular newsletter, we will provide information to support informed university decision making, as well as invitations to events to hear more about higher education, including application advice, funding and what students can expect in their academic journeys.

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Friends and family of Essex students 

We produce a regular newsletter for the friends and family of Essex students to keep them up-to-date with news and events from the University. To sign up email friends@essex.ac.uk.

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Studying, courses, and education

The past couple of years have looked a little different as a result of the pandemic. However, we are doing everything we can to make sure our students have the transformational research-led education that is expected when you study here. All of our applicant information, and the impact of COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated web pages.

All our students are members of our amazing global community, living and learning together, with everyone working towards achieving their University of Essex degree. We offer a wide range of courses delivered by our 19 academic departments, covering everything from art history to sports therapy. We have three campuses across the county of Essex – Colchester, Loughton and Southend – where our students spend their time studying with us.

Once students have decided what undergraduate course they want to study, applying to Essex is easy and is normally done via the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. Our students then usually start in early October, which is the beginning of our academic year.

Social life and accommodation

University is about so much more than getting a degree! It’s a wonderful time in someone’s life to make new friends from all around the world, pick up new hobbies, take new opportunities and have fun learning more about who you are as a person. It can be a scary time and many do feel homesick at the start – but we provide a nurturing and supportive environment where our students blossom into amazing people who are given the chance to step forward confidently to change the world and make a difference.

Social life at Essex is therefore very important to us and we’re lucky to have a Students’ Union that represents all our students and puts them first. To ensure our students have a great experience, we offer sports, clubs, art, theatre, societies, bars and restaurants at our Essex campuses.

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. Accommodation is guaranteed in students first year of study, as long as their applications are submitted by the published deadline. 

All students at Essex are bound by the University’s rules and regulations which include the Code of Student Conduct.

Fire safety in student accommodation

We have high standards of fire protection in our buildings, but we also expect everyone on campus to follow our fire safety procedures.

The University has developed a Building Design Guide to be used in the design process for all new builds, changes of use and major refurbishments including property to be leased by the University.

Shared rooms

The University offers a range of accommodation options, including shared rooms.

The Code of Student Conduct is in place to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all students living on campus.

Same sex accommodation

When applying for accommodation students have the option of choosing to live in a single gender flat. There is specific rules for those living in single gender accommodation to ensure all flatmates are comfortable at all times.

Finance, employability and student support

Ok, so let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Cost! Obviously we cannot shy away from the fact that going to university is a significant investment, but two things are definitely true: firstly, uni is worth it – we provide our students with a transformational experience that will benefit them for the rest of their lives; and secondly, there’s loads of financial support available – many of our students have access to loans, bursaries, scholarships and discounts which will help them (or you!) pay for their education at Essex.

Students from the UK are entitled to apply for a Government-backed loan to cover their tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of their studies with us. They will then start to repay the loan in small increments after they’ve graduated and are earning over £27,295 per year. This loan enables every UK student to undertake an undergraduate degree.

One of the big benefits of going to university is the prospect of getting a graduate-level job once you’ve graduated – and this is no different at Essex. We focus on helping students gain new skills and experience during their time with us – we help them find part-time work both on and off campus, develop their CV, and improve their ability to apply for jobs and interview successfully. We have employability-focused workshops, careers fairs and a whole lot more!

We’re a supportive community – willing to go the extra mile to help our students make the most of their time with us and to set them up strongly for the future. We provide comprehensive support for all our students from the very beginning when they register on campus to years after they graduate. If students have any issues at all – academically, personally, financially or with regards to their health – we will support them, help them and guide them forward.

How can students support themselves financially?

Students can find part-time work on campus through the Students' Union and the Student Development Careers Service, which can help students find work and assist with CV preparation and job applications.

Can international students work?

Whether a student can work during their studies will depend on what type of immigration permission they have. Students will need to refer to their visa to find out if they can work in the UK and, if so, how many hours per week during term-time.

What wellbeing and practical support do you offer?

Students have a wide range of support channels. For students living on campus, Res Life will be their first port of call. For more practical issues, the Student Services Hub can offer a wide range of support.

Immigration and the impact of Brexit

Coming to the UK to study a degree can be a very daunting prospect, but it’s also a very exciting time! We are truly a global university with students and staff at our three campuses representing over 130 nationalities. We have an international outlook – offering an academic education and experiences of a lifetime to people from all around our globe. Wherever you’re from, we welcome you with open arms, and will help you achieve your goals. Even though Brexit has changed the landscape, there are still scholarships and bursaries available to students from the EU and overseas, and we’ll support you as best we can. 

Information from our Vice-Chancellor

Over the past few months, the Vice-Chancellor and senior members of staff have released a series of blogs detailing the latest updates. 

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Got a question about a course or want to know more about accommodation at Essex? Fill out our online enquiry form or talk to us on live chat and we'll be happy to answer any queries you have.