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Facts and figures

Nobel Prize winners, a starring role in one of Constable's paintings, a theatre established in a converted church, celebrity graduates and marzipan figures of political leaders - find out a little bit more about the University. You can also discover how it all adds up by looking at our key statistics.

Recognition and awards during our year of success

Outstanding academics, pioneering research, high-quality services and students who love asking questions have led to global recognition and awards for Essex.

Students celebrate a great year at the University of Essex. A year of research achievements, students' triumphs and teaching awards.

Top 10 Facts

Nobel Prize winning graduates

Two of our graduates have won Nobel Prizes. In 2010 Chris Pissarides won the Nobel Prize for Economics and in 1987 Oscar Arias Sánchez won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end civil wars in Central America. Another Nobel Prize winner, Derek Walcott, was appointed the University's Professor of Poetry in 2009.

World-class research

We are top 3 in the UK for social science research and 77% of our research is 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014). Our politics research is ranked the best in the UK and our research in sociology, economics, linguistics, philosophy and art history is rated in the top ten.*

Students give their Essex education top marks

In 2014 students voted their Essex education among the best in the UK, giving the University of Essex some of its highest student satisfaction scores ever. The University achieved an overall satisfaction rating of 91% in the National Student Survey (NSS), placing Essex sixth out of mainstream English universities.

Real Constable Country

At our Colchester Campus you are surrounded by historic parkland which was once painted by eighteenth century landscape artist John Constable. In 2000 Constable's painting of Wivenhoe Park returned to our Colchester Campus for a special exhibition.

Nightline makes a difference for 40 years

In 1970 Essex was the first UK university to launch Nightline, an anonymous telephone support helpline, now operating at over 40 universities.

Award-winning clubs and teaching facilities

Our Students' Union nightclub Sub Zero continues to win awards and has just received the Best Bar None Award. The Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, opened in 2006, has won three architectural awards and with space for 1,000 people it is one of the biggest lecture halls in the country.

World's largest survey of how people really live

The world's largest long-term longitudinal survey is being led by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Essex, with 40,000 UK households being interviewed to find out how people really live their lives.

Unique library collections

Special collections in our library include papers, books and paintings from leading local, national and international figures including Sigmund Freud and crime novelist Margery Allingham. Unusual items in the collections include marzipan figures of former SDP leaders David Owen and Roy Jenkins.

Providing top political insights

Essex is the only university other than Oxford, to have conducted the UK's top political science research study, the British Election Study, which continues to be based here.

Other quick facts:

  • Europe's only public collection of modern and contemporary art from Latin America is based at Essex.
  • Our commitment to the arts is shown by the fact that, uniquely among UK universities, we have a theatre at each of our three campuses.
  • Recent awards for the University have included the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2009 for its pioneering work on international human rights in 2010.
  • Computer scientists at Essex developed the world's first autonomous robotic fish, which took to the water at the London Aquarium in 2005.
  • The University is worth more than £200 million annually to the local economy.
  • Six residential towers at our Colchester Campus were the tallest load-bearing brick buildings in the country when they were built in the 1960s.
  • Former students of East 15 Acting School include actress Alison Steadman, Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, and film directors Mike Leigh, Stephen Daldry and David Yates (director of the four latest Harry Potter films).
  • Our Southend Campus was built on the site of a former cinema which played host to The Beatles, Roy Orbison and Laurel and Hardy in its heyday.
  • Our 18-hole Frisbee golf course at the Colchester Campus has hosted the World Ultimate Frisbee Championships.
  • Famous bands who have played at the University include rock legends Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop and The Kinks, plus indie giants Blur.

*Rankings are based on Grade Point Average (GPA) scores of research quality.