Study with us


Study with us

Join our research community

Ana talks about her research as well as her experience at Essex and how it has impacted her personally.

Our research students work at the heart of our internationally-recognised and well-connected research community.

What makes us special?

  1. Enhance your career prospects with our unique scheme, Proficio.
  2. Receive world-class support, training and supervision.
  3. Be part of leading-edge thinking, drawing on your own knowledge.
  4. Investigate your subject in depth to reach a profound understanding.
  5. Engage with our wider research environment and have your work read.

Research excellence

Essex is top 20 in the UK for research excellence according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the national review of higher education research. This means you learn from academics that are recognised internationally for the quality of their research work and our University is at the forefront of researching the important issues facing our world.

Research assessments have consistently shown us to be among the leading universities for research. In 2014 we reconfirmed our place in the top five for social sciences in the UK in the REF, and in addition we are:

  • politics - top in the UK
  • economics - top 5 in the UK
  • art history - top 10 in the UK
  • philosophy - top 20 in the UK
  • sociology - top 20 in the UK
  • law and human rights - top 20 in the UK
  • sport and exercise science - top 20 in the UK

Funding for our research

Our research is supported by a wide spectrum of UK research councils, EU framework programmes, public-sector organisations and departments, charities, and private-sector industry and businesses. Engagement with these external funders and stakeholders enriches the quality and relevance of your experience and training.

Intellectual and professional development

Our students have many opportunities to engage with our wider research environment and communicate their work. Many of our departments, schools and centres run their own postgraduate journals (print and online) and working papers. All offer doctoral research seminars and conferences and encourage you to present at such events, as well as taking a lead in managing, facilitating, promoting and chairing them. Our PhD students can apply for our University funds to assist them to present papers at national and international conferences.

  • Proficio

    Proficio is our innovative and unique professional development scheme for doctoral students. We believe your academic and professional development is vital to your growth as a doctoral student so we credit your Proficio account with funds that can be spent on a variety of courses.

    Proficio provides you with the resources to maintain the highest levels of research skills to plan your PhD effectively and to tackle problems common to researchers. Proficio courses offer you the opportunity to develop skills and articulate them to academic or non-academic employers confidently and effectively. They also enable you to network with other doctoral students.

  • Doctoral training centres

    Doctoral training programmes offer you skills training and funding for your postgraduate research. Join one of our Doctoral training centres and you'll work alongside leading academics in your subject.

  • Communicate your work

    You have many opportunities to communicate your work through independent journals, a thesis and other platforms. We offer doctoral research seminars and conferences where you'll be able to present, manage, facilitate and promote your work. You can also apply for funding to present papers at national and international conferences.

  • Research and Enterprise Office

    Our Research and Enterprise Office offer shared office and social space to all our doctoral students, plus excellent computing facilities.

Research degrees

Students in class

Our reputation for outstanding research means that studying your research degree at Essex gives you a chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding.

Funding and training


Our Doctoral Training Centres offer PhD funding and skills training in a wide range of subject areas. You'll gain the skills and knowledge to tackle important issues facing the world today.

PG Research Finder

Students at computers

Use our Research Finder to find the right PhD or supervisor for you. PhD study at Essex lets you investigate your topic in depth, develop new skills, enhance your professional development and build networks.

Doctoral training


Proficio is our innovative doctoral training scheme. Our University gives you funding to spend on a variety of courses, from research skills to personal development and career management.