Study with us


Study with us

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements are described on each of our courses. The wide range of qualifications that we consider include:

  • A-levels
  • BTEC qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificates
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diplomas
  • Open University courses
  • Practicing professional qualifications

Our typical offer will require you to achieve specific grades in three A-levels (or equivalent) for most courses, although we consider additional qualifications. For example, if your results fall short of the offer level by a small margin, your result in the Extended Project or an additional AS-level will be taken into account. We want you to stand the best chance of benefiting from an Essex Education.

We accept either General Studies or Critical Thinking as one of your three A-levels. We will also consider your application if you are re-taking one or more exams. This applies to students taking modular A-level examinations and those taking the reformed linear A-level examinations.

Our statement on UK qualification reforms

GCSE requirements

Our general entrance requirements are a minimum of two full A-levels and five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, or equivalent. Some courses also have additional GCSE subject requirements which you’ll find on the relevant subject pages. If you don’t currently meet our GCSE requirements, contact our Admissions team for advice.

If you're not applying directly from school

If you are not applying directly from school or college then you need to show recent evidence of your ability to undertake degree-level work and the necessary study skills. Where there are course requirements, you will be asked to demonstrate an equivalent knowledge of the subject. We will also ask you to provide an academic reference from someone who is able to give a professional opinion based on recent knowledge about your ability to study at degree level. If you have not had any formal education for a period of time you may need to undertake a preparatory course before joining us.

If you’re from outside the UK, we are more than happy to make offers based on EU and international qualifications that are considered equivalent to our standard A-level offer. Contact our Admissions team for more information on specific qualifications. Up-to-date information is also available with our course information.

Immigration and applying for a visa

If you’re applying from outside the European Economic Area and require a visa to study in the UK, you’ll need to apply under Tier 4 of the UK Government’s Points Based Immigration System (PBIS).

We are required to ensure compliance with UK Home Office regulations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. In some circumstances, we may be unable to make an offer or issue a CAS if an applicant is unable to meet all Tier 4 requirements, including when there have been changes to these requirements made by the UK Home Office. Find out more about immigration and applying for a visa.

You are required to have GCSE English at grade C or above (or equivalent). If English isn’t your first language, you can demonstrate your level of English language by achieving a specified score in IELTS or another equivalent test that we accept. You don’t need to achieve this level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer. Our IELTS requirements are published with our course information.

English language requirements, including UK visas and immigration minimum component scores:

Also see our country-specific language requirements, or contact our Admissions team for further information about all the English language tests that we accept.

English language courses

We offer full-time, pre-sessional English language courses which can be taken before your degree.

Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions Office

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ

Telephone +44 (0)1206 873666


UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

Campus tours

Student studying

We understand that choosing a university for your studies is a whole new experience, so we’d be happy to arrange a campus tour for you guided by a current Essex student to get to know our campus.

Applicant Days

Students at an applicant day

If you’re a UK student with an offer to study with us you’ll be invited to attend a Applicant Day or interview (if required). It’s a chance to discover more about your course, life at Essex and to meet your department.

Applying to Essex

Undergraduate applications

Applying to Essex is straightforward. We'll give you all the information you need about how and when to apply for an undergraduate course with us. If you've got any questions, just ask, we're happy to help.