How to come onto our campuses

Coming onto campus is a little different at the moment and we all have a part to play in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spreading. When travelling to the University avoid, where possible, public transport. If you have to use public transport, wear a face covering and try to avoid rush hours.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the latest Government and scientific advice so we can respond quickly to any changes and update you. 

We need to support each other at this time so let’s be patient as we all learn to change our behaviour on our campuses. Also, if you are worried about the health and wellbeing of someone you know please let someone know.

Keeping safe on campus

We’ve completed a full risk assessment and are implementing control measures to reduce the risk of transmission and protect our community. We've also produced guidance that we all need to follow to keep safe on campus which includes information on face coverings, social distancing, signage and cleaning.

Returning to continue your studies

Returning to campus to study

In planning for next year, we are balancing our desire to offer the best possible campus experience for you with the need to maintain the safety of our community. There may be restrictions and mitigations in place for activities taking place on our campuses, including for in-person teaching events. These will be based on the latest UK Government guidance and the measures we want to take to maintain your safety.

How you are taught will vary between courses and departments. Most of our teaching programmes will be taught in a way that blends in-person classes with a range of online lectures, teaching, learning and collaborative support to deliver a high quality education. The combination of different types of learning opportunities will be tailored to the learning outcomes of your course.. Find out more about teaching and learning at the moment.

We know that your learning experience is about more than just attending classes, and our campuses can provide you with all you need to make the most of your studies. This includes private space to study in your on-campus study bedrooms as well as in PC labs and other spaces on our three campuses for self-study. We can also offer you access to laptops on loan and access to our library services; as well as enhanced wifi provision across our campuses.

The pandemic has provided an opportunity for us to rethink what really matters to our students in the current circumstances. We are taking the opportunity to adapt how we support you to enjoy a transformative student experience, whether you are studying on one of our three campuses, or wherever you are. We have been working in partnership with our Students’ Union to ensure that you can enjoy our clubs, societies, activities and services. We have built in flexibility to enable you to access support and activities, and to shape your experience around your life.

Studying remotely

 At Essex, we are a campus-based university, offering  a distinctive, on-campus, living and learning experience, where you benefit from being on our campuses, sharing your Essex learning experience with fellow students and being part of our rich and diverse community. We want and expect you to join us on our campuses for the start of term. We are optimistic that progress with implementation of the UK vaccination programme will mean it is possible.

We are expecting all our students to learn, in-person on our campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

We know that COVID-19 restrictions may still affect many of you. That’s why we will offer a level of flexibility for those who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the start of term. Find out more about submitting a request to study remotely.

How to join us when you're able to travel

When you are able to travel to campus you should do so, making appropriate arrangements relating to quarantine if necessary. You should update your student portal when you arrive so that we can adjust your timetable to enable you to take part in small group face to face teaching, with social distancing.

All new students must also attend a Right to Study check with your ID documents so we can confirm you have the right to study in the UK, and that your identity is correct. At this point, we’ll give you your student registration card.

Studying off campus for the whole year

Even if you are not able to travel to join us for the start of the year, you can still benefit from a transformational Essex education. We hope and expect that you will join us when you can to take full advantage of our on-campus offer, but if you need to study remotely, we will work with you to support you, whatever your circumstances.

If you are currently overseas, we understand there may be barriers to you getting to campus for the beginning of term. For this reason, for some but not all courses of study it is possible to start the year studying remotely until you can join us on campus.

We appreciate that our students are living through changed circumstances, and we are absolutely committed to doing all we can to help you to continue learning through this period.

COVID-19 vaccination

Some treatments provided by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is free for everyone. This includes coronavirus tests and treatment, as well as vaccinations against coronavirus. The NHS has detailed information about coronavirus on its website.

As University Students we want to support you to get vaccinated in order to protect yourself, fellow students and the campus community you live and study within. Please find more information on COVID-19 vaccinations on our vaccinations for Essex students page.

Important information for non-UK nationals

If you aren’t able to arrive in time for the start of your course, here are a few things you need to be aware of:

New Student Immigration Rules

Please be aware that the UK’s Student Immigration Rules have changed and also apply to EEA/Swiss nationals who weren’t able to arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020 and don’t already have settlement rights in the UK. Tier 4 (General) has been replaced by the Student route and the Short-term Student (6 months) has been removed, it is now possible to undertake some study under the Visitor route instead. More information is available on our immigration pages.

European and Swiss students

If you arrived to live in the UK by 11pm 31 December 2020, you’ll need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 for pre-settled or settled status and you won’t need to apply for a visa to study. Please read the extensive UKCISA guidance for EEA/Swiss nationals and contact their student advice line if you have any questions.

If you plan to arrive on or after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a visa to study with us under the UK’s new Immigration Rules. Please read our immigration pages for more information.

Students issued with a CAS or a Tier 4/Student visa 

The Home Office introduced temporary Covid-19 concessions to the Student Immigration Rules which enable sponsored students to study via blended learning (a mix of in person and online) in 2020-21.  Under these concessions it is also possible for current students with a Tier 4/Student visa to study remotely from overseas and for new students we issue a CAS to, to start their course by distance learning overseas provided you are intending to come to the UK to continue your course on campus as soon as it is possible to do so. If your department have agreed that you can study remotely from overseas initially and come to campus when your in-person teaching starts, there’s some important information you’ll need to read and actions you’ll need to take if you would like to retain our sponsorship.

We are required to monitor your engagement and attendance during your course and withdraw our immigration sponsorship if you aren’t engaging with your studies, this includes whilst you are studying remotely from overseas.

If you are interested in staying in the UK under the new Graduate route when you complete your course, please be aware that the Home Office have stipulated that eligible students finishing their course in 2021 must be in the UK studying by 6 April 2021, unless you started a one year Masters degree in January 2021 in which case you must be in the UK studying by 27 September 2021. All students must then stay in the UK to complete their course (the last semester). You must also be able to meet all the other Immigration Rules in force at the time. The Graduate route immigration rules are due to be published in the Spring of 2021 and will apply to eligible students graduating from the Summer of 2021, guidance on working after your studies is available from UKCISA.

Other UK immigration permission

If you are from outside the European Economic Area/Switzerland, you will need to hold UK immigration permission that allows you to study your course with us for the duration of your course. If you are in the UK, even if you are studying online initially, you must attend a right to study check (or send in your documents for checking if asked to do so) before you can attend your teaching events either in person or online. Failure to provide valid proof of right to study in the UK with us may mean you are de-registered or withdrawn from your course.

If you are starting a new course or, continuing a course but your immigration documents have expired, we will need to see your immigration documents before you can start the 2020/2021 academic year.

Read our immigration pages for information about applying for a visa to study with us including our news page for updates.

Reference guidance for our community

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