COVID-19 University Guidance

Starting at Essex following the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak

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Starting at Essex in 2022-2023

We recognise that during this time you may have a number of questions about starting your course at the University of Essex in 2022-2023 academic year. We hope that the following sections may help to answer some of these queries for you. We will update this regularly.

Deciding to join us

Should I start this year or delay until next academic year?

We know that both our new and existing students have experienced unprecedented disruption due to the pandemic – and this will not be what you were planning for the start of your time at university or at Essex. We know that some of you might also be thinking about delaying the start of your studies because of continued lack of certainty. Education and learning are great options and if you do not have a clear plan/alternative option, we encourage you to not lose a year because of uncertainty or concerns around your university experience.

What if there are further periods of lockdown?

As we have demonstrated through the pandemic, our approach to teaching has allowed us to make sure that your teaching and learning continues uninterrupted. Our approach has shown that if things need to change, we can move to online only teaching at any point. If the UK Government place additions restrictions in place in order to manage COVID surges, we will review our approach to teaching and learning, if needed.

What support is available if I need it?

All our advice and support services are available and have been delivered remotely, including our Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service; 

  • Access to mental and physical health support continues to be available online and via other remote methods; 
  • We have expanded the Student Information Team capacity, and opening hours, to ensure they can respond to student queries; 
  • We have promoted and developed resources for students and staff including counselling services, self-care guidance and online support modules. 

About your teaching

How will my course be taught?

We continue to balance 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. These will be based on the latest UK Government guidance and the measures we want to take to maintain your safety. Further information will be provided nearer the start of your courses as guidance is changing on a regular basis.

Will I be expected to come onto a campus for my teaching? 

The University of Essex is a campus-based university. We offer our students a distinctive, on-campus, living and learning experience, and our students benefit from being on our campuses, sharing their Essex learning experience with fellow students and being part of our rich and diverse community.

Testing and vaccination

What tests do I need to enter the UK?

Currently, you are not required to take any COVID-19 tests before or after your arrival into the UK. As information may change, it is best to regularly review the Government webpages for up-to-date information for the country you are travelling from

Do I need to have a vaccine before I travel to the UK and arrive at Essex?

At the moment there is no UK Government requirement that you should have a vaccine to enter the UK, although this might change/and individual airlines might introduce specific requirements. You should check UK Government requirements regularly as these are subject to change.

We will not require all students and staff to be vaccinated, but would encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated to do so. If you have not yet had a vaccine by the time you arrive at Essex, we will be running NHS vaccination clinics on Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses. Information will be provided to students as part of their registration process.

Will I be able to get a COVID vaccine?

The Coronavirus vaccination is now available and is provided free via the NHS for anyone over the age of 12 in the UK, including international students.

As a student at Essex, we want to support you to get vaccinated in order to protect yourself, fellow students and the campus community you live and study within. We have health services available locally to all campuses (doctors surgery on Colchester Campus) and NHS hospitals close to all of our campuses. You will be able to access these (and wider health care) through the fee paid for health cover.

Will there be regular testing on the University campuses?

At present, the University strongly encourages staff and students to undertake a COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test, where possible, twice weekly whilst working or studying on campus.

What if I test positive for COVID when I am on campus?

We have a comprehensive package of support for students who need to isolate because they test positive.

We recommend all students refrain from coming on to campus whilst they remain positive for COVID-19.


What do I need to do before I travel to the UK?

Currently, there are no restrictions or requirements to enter the UK relating to COVID-19. As this information changes frequently, it is best to regularly review the Government webpages for up-to-date information for the country you are travelling from.

If I want to arrive in the UK early, does this impact my Student visa?

If you are issued with a Student visa to study at Essex, you can expect to be issued with entry clearance that will start up to one month before the course start date stated on your CAS. The standard processing time for Student visa entry clearance applications is currently 15 working days but it can take much longer during peak application periods. You will need to have your Student entry clearance vignette (sticker) in your passport before you travel to the UK and must enter the UK on or after the date it is valid from. 

Quarantine and accommodation

Will I need to quarantine/self-isolate on arrival in the UK? What arrangements are the University putting in place?

Currently, students arriving in the UK are not required to quarantine or self-isolate. As information may change, it is best to regularly review the UK Government website for up-to-date information for the country you are travelling from.

If quarantine/self-isolation requirements are in place for September/October 2022, we will publish information about the arrangements we will have in place nearer the beginning of your course.

Undergraduate Admissions
Telephone: 01206 873666
Postgraduate Admissions
Telephone: 01206 872719