Studying at Essex

How we teach 

Curiosity-invoking, boundary-pushing, inspirational

lecturer in computer science

Committed to transformational education

As a university we are dedicated to excellence in education.

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 were awarded University of the Year 2018, and in 2017 we received Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, amongst our achievements and rankings.

In 2019 we announced 100 new academic appointments, as a further commitment to enhancing the educational experience we offer to our students, while also boosting our research power. 

There are lots of ways to study at Essex, from traditional lectures, seminars and tutorials, to blended learning (a mixture of face-to-face and online delivery), or even studying remotely, entirely online with our partners University of Essex Online

Our methods

Face-to-face

The traditional-style, and most likely what you will be expecting when arriving at Essex. At Essex, we pride ourselves on being a campus-based University. We offer alternatives for those that need it, but we believe your course is only one part of the transformational educations you'll receive when studying with us. And why wouldn't we, with the stunning campuses we have at Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

We use a range of different styles and methods when teaching face-to-face, from teaching in large groups such as lectures and seminars, to smaller group learning and more student-led and active sessions also. Each of our departments have incredible facilities to ensure you have the best learning experience whilst on campus and achieve our goal of giving you a research-led education. 

Dual-delivery - face-to-face and online learning

When the new academic year starts in October, we’ll be using a dual-delivery approach for all of our courses. This approach blends face-to face learning, tutorials and group work with a range of virtual lectures and other online activities. 

The most important thing about dual-delivery is that it’s based around our transformational face-to-face learning experience, with students working in small groups to gain all the benefits of an Essex education. But dual-delivery also means we can enhance this experience with the latest digital learning tools and techniques.

It puts our students at the heart of our thinking and provides lots of different ways for them to discuss, debate and tackle key issues together. It also gives us a built in way to move to off-campus delivery at any point during the year, which means less disruption and ensures our students’ wellbeing, whatever the circumstances. This is not an online degree, but a way for us to deliver teaching that will ensure the continuity of education for all students. 

Study completely online with the University of Essex Online

Kaplan Open Learning has been working in partnership with the University of Essex since 2007 to deliver 100% online and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as well as short courses. University of Essex Online today has students from over 170 countries worldwide and over 3,000 have successfully graduated with us.

Get a prospectus to find out more about our online programmes.

Your learning and assessments are completed 100% online and awarded by the University of Essex. Qualifications are recognised worldwide a and on completion of your course you will be invited to attend graduation on campus. Interested to learn more? Explore the range of online courses we offer.

Why study online?

  • All programmes are delivered through a state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing students with 24/7 access to lecturecasts, Q&A sessions, seminars, discussion forums and resources.
  • We are proud to consistently achieve high student satisfaction ratings in the National Student Survey (NSS). In 2019, our students rated us 91% for overall satisfaction, well above the national average of 84%.
  • Our dedicated student advisers and study skills specialists provide students with world-class mentoring and academic study skills support from enrolment to graduation. You will also be able to rely on your module tutors for any academic support you may need, through regular live seminars, Q&As and virtual office hours.

Glossary of online learning terms

  • Blended learning - Deliberate mixture of face-to-face and online learning methods.
  • Delivery - The way in which teaching is packaged or distributed to enable and support the learning process (e.g. face-to-face lectures, seminars, workshops, webinars)
  • Dual-mode delivery - The use of in person and online teaching methods at the same time. This might involve face-to-face and online students learning at exactly the same time.
  • A-synchronous learning - A learner-centred approach to education, it enables students to study without having to be in a particular place at a specific time (e.g. reading blogs, pre-recorded lessons, discussions forums)
  • Synchronous learning - Students learning together in real-time, but not necessarily on-campus. Classroom teaching is the most common form of this type of learning, but it can also include one-to-one tutorials and webinars conducted on Zoom. This allows for real-time interaction between a teacher and their students.
  • Virtual Learning Environment - A web-based platform that supports digital learning. They enable educators to upload, create and manage a variety of learning resources and assessment activities in central, online location.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve outstanding outcomes with regards to continuation and progression to highly skilled employment or further study, notably exceeding the University’s benchmark”.
Teaching Excellence Framework Panel   AWARDING OUR GOLD RATING  JUNE 2017

Excellence in Education

Our teaching innovations

Across our three faculties of Humanities, Science and Health, and Social Sciences, a range of innovative teaching initiatives encourage our students to broaden their understanding, develop their analytical skills, and boost their professional confidence.


We have established an annual Excellence in Teaching AwardNational Teaching Fellowship Scheme.These awards are open to everyone who teaches and supports learning and we celebrate the best of these at Graduation every year. 

CADENZA programme

Our academic staff also have the opportunity to gain professional recognition as Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) through our CADENZA programme, which is designed to foster teaching excellence in all staff who teach and support learning. It is accredited by the Higher Education Academy and is mapped against the UK Professional Standards Framework.

The Learning Lounge

The Learning Lounge is a virtual staff room that helps our academic colleagues enhance their professional performance by encouraging exploration across different interests - such as curriculum development and assessment and feedback.

Education insight workshops

With our students as the focal point, our education insight workshops provide academic staff with the opportunity to develop their teaching practice inside and outside the classroom.

Rasheedat Olarinoye
“The support I received from my second year statistics lecturer was amazing; she inspired me in many ways, such as how to use my resources to connect with people that have similar interests. In my final year, the teaching style was supported by thought-provoking images, interviews and talks; this was the best module I took.”
Rasheedat Olarinoye BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience, 2019

Excellent teaching facilities

We have prioritised investment in a range of learning resources and facilities to help students develop their full potential. Our libraries at Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses, provide 24-hour study facilities, and extensive space for individual and collaborative working.

Our new, state-of-the-art £18m STEM centre, specialist facilities for life sciences, and our centre for brain science, a new £12m sports arena that contains a sports therapy clinic.

Our mock hospital wards for health and social care students, oral health sciences lab and consultation rooms, and translation and interpreting labs for language students, provide the means for hands-on teaching in a realistic environment.

Learning technologies are widely available to our academic community to help them enhance the teaching and learning experience for our students, in the lecture hall, seminar room and in the virtual space. 

These include Moodle, the virtual learning environment, Listen Again, the lecture capture and playback system, and an Electronic Voting System that lets students vote in the classroom in real-time.

Educational collaborators

We are also strengthening research and teaching links through partnerships with key European universities, including YERUN, YUFE and UROP. These partnerships are crossing disciplines to enrich our research, and enhance learning opportunities for our students.

Joe Waters photo
"I was very inspired by my lecturers. This was a challenging degree that needed good teaching; the subject is so large and could be overwhelming at times so it was important for the material to be as clear as possible. Things like online quizzes at the end of lectures really helped to consolidate the material.” 
Joe Waters BSc Biochemistry, 2019