Applying to Essex
Applying to Essex is simple and straightforward. We'll give you all the important information you need to make your application.
Our online application
takes about 20 minutes to complete.
When you apply to
study with us, you'll need to provide a number of supporting documents - we can't process
your application until we have these.
Copies of some of these documents you will have to upload with your application, others
you may be able to upload at a later date. We may ask to see original documents if you are offered a place.
There is no deadline for applications but we advise you to apply by 1 July
for a taught course or research degree starting in October. Many funding deadlines are much earlier in the year, so check your options and get your application in
To be eligible for research funding, you must hold an offer from Essex and complete the appropriate
scholarship or funding application form by the given deadline.
If you are applying for a taught course and you need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK,
then a personal statement (no more than 500 words) is required
at the time you make your application, and this should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to
study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study. Please remember to include details of any
relevant work experience, why you think your academic strengths are suited to your area of study, and how
this study will assist you to realise your career objectives.
If you have received your test results you may include a copy with your application. The main tests we accept are
IELTS, TOEFL* or Pearson, and the test must be less than two years old at the time of admission. The IELTS requirement
for your course, is listed in our coursefinder.
* TOEFL is not accepted for students requiring a Tier 4 visa.
Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or
grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous
University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded
by the University of Essex).
If you are applying to one of our taught courses in the School of Law, Human Rights, a pre-Registration
course or the MBA, you will need to provide a copy of your CV with your application. A CV is also required
for some research degrees at the time of application.
For taught courses we will require one academic reference during the application process (excluding the MBA,
and pre-Registration courses in Nursing, Occupational Health, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy).
Don’t worry if you cannot provide your reference when you make your application, as if we make you an offer
you will be able to provide this at a later stage.
References should be recent and verifiable, on official institution paper, signed and dated by the referee.
If a referee wishes to provide an email reference, it must be sent from an official email account (for example, not yahoo, gmail or hotmail).
Some of our departments, schools or centres require additional items to support your application.
These include the MBA, Health and Human Sciences, Philosophy, Law, Human Rights and Literature, Film and Theatre Studies.
Please make sure you check the exact requirements of your chosen course.
Requirements vary across departments but two references and a research proposal are required for all research degrees. Please see our guidance notes for further information.
A research proposal is required at application stage for most research degrees.
Think about your research idea - during your PhD you will conduct and present the
results of your original investigations and research. You need to ensure that your
research topic will be interesting enough for three or four years. Start to research your
topic by reading around your subject area and begin to think what you might like to include in your research proposal.
Get in touch with a suitable department by contacting the Graduate Director - you
might still be developing your idea at this stage, but it would be great if you could send a short description of your research area
and a copy of your CV. This does not need to
be longer than one A4 page. You can search for a department or supervisor through our
Postgraduate Research Finder.
Writing your proposal
Your research proposal is an important part
of your application for a research degree.
Use it to explain your personal and academic
goals in undertaking an extended period
of research, and reﬂect on the contribution
you will make to the development of new
knowledge, ideas and solutions. Also comment
on how your research interests fit with the
academic focus and expertise at Essex.
Your research proposal needs to
demonstrate that you have, or are able to
develop, the competencies and skills needed
to complete your project, within the time
and resources available. The quality of your
writing is important and a good research
proposal may be rejected if it is poorly expressed
or badly presented.
Many of our departments, schools and
centres offer more detailed guidance on
preparing a research proposal on their web
pages. If you are applying for funding, ensure
your proposal fulfils the requirements of your
preferred funding body.
Visit our PG apply portal
for general guidance and details of word lengths for the department you're applying to.
Your research proposal should include:
- a working title and key words
- a summary of the aims and objectives of your research
- an outline of the ways you meet these aims and objectives, referring to research methods and specific resources you use
- evidence of your awareness of relevant literature and theoretical approaches
- an overview of the expected outcomes and the original contribution your research will make to existing bodies of knowledge
- a brief statement on how your research
interests tie in with those found in the
department, school or centre
After you apply
We aim to respond to applications for taught courses within two weeks, and
for research degrees within four weeks, once we have received all the relevant
documents from you and your referee(s).
When you create your application, you will be issued with an application number (DE number),
which is your unique reference number with us. You can use this to create your
account on our myEssex for Applicants.
Accepting your offer
If we offer you a place, we send you our decision electronically. You will be able to view and download your offer letter from myEssex within 24 hours
of a decision being made. We will send you an email with instructions on this.
You should use myEssex to accept your place and to keep us informed of any
changes to your contact details by updating them online.
Applicants applying for research degrees may be invited to attend an interview as part of the admission process. If you are
selected for interview, your department
will contact you to arrange a convenient time, and to provide you with details relating to the interview.
Before starting your course you need to consider how you are going to fund your studies.
Depending on your course or research topic,
funding deadlines will change.
Disability, dyslexia and health issues
Applications are considered against the same academic criteria as those from
other candidates. If you are disabled, state this on your application form so
that we can give early consideration to any support requirements you may have.
Please contact Student Support if
you would like to discuss this in more detail before you apply.
If you have any questions about your application, please contact our Graduate Admissions Team at