Edge Hotel School

Undergraduate study

Edge Hotel School

Start your career with a degree from the Edge Hotel School

Want to travel the world? Hoping to run your own business? Thrive on the thrill of organising events? You’re in the right place.

The Edge Hotel School experience is like no other student experience. Here, you will gain real hospitality experience and hands-on skills in a 4* hotel on the university campus, while studying for your BA (Hons) degree at Essex. Your learning is complemented by your access to Wivenhoe House - putting the knowledge you gain into practice throughout your degree.

We offer a mix of degree types, including accelerated, two-year degrees and more traditional three-year (or four including a Year Abroad) degrees - completing either of which will gain you a full BA degree result. We also offer Top Up programmes, designed for those with previous vocational or academic experience seeking to boost their employability. 

You will have opportunities to connect and network with hospitality and events professionals to get ahead in your career. You will become a confident, leading graduate, who has both the degree and the experience that employers are looking for.

Explore undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • 3rd in the UK for student satisfaction for our subject area in the National Student Survey 2021.
  • Edge Hotel School's strong focus on industry connections allow our graduates to go onto careers all over the world 
  • You will gain experience alongside your studies in a real 4* hotel to boost your employability and skill set. 


Our teaching and learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Will COVID-19 change the way my course is taught?

Please note that due to the evolving nature of the COVID19 pandemic, we are consistently having to update this information. For the most comprehensive and up to date information, please email the department. If for any reason you are unable to travel to campus over the course of the academic year, most teaching will be available virtually but fully-virtual teaching is not our default position for the academic year commencing October 2021. This means that you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are, but will be advised that there is a cut-off date for latest arrival to campus if you are able to travel. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

Our focus on practical experience as a valued part of your degree has meant we have had to work exceptionally hard to develop a suite of activities that mean, even if they are delivered online, you are still able to experience everything that makes the Edge Hotel School such a unique offering in both higher education and hospitality sector. We of course would prefer you were on campus, as learning remotely would limit the personal development and experiential learning available as part of our courses. Our intent for the academic year commencing October 2021 is to deliver as much teaching content in person as possible. However, if you are restricted in travel due to government guidelines, we will aim to support your learning until you can join us.

If there are further waves of infection in the UK that result in restrictions being imposed, as we have in 2020-21, we will do all we can to make sure that your teaching and learning continues uninterrupted over the course of the year. Our approach also ensures that if things need to change, we can move to online only teaching and virtual shifts at any point. We will continue to draw on our experiences of managing the pandemic in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Even if your teaching moves to online only at some point during the academic year, you will be able to come onto campus and access our study spaces and wider facilities. In some circumstances we might need to control the number and capacity of on-campus activities to make sure social distancing is maintained and this might mean limiting the number of people using our facilities at any one time. All student services will continue to operate, whether in person or remotely. 

Below we have detailed all of the ways we have adapted during these challenging times to ensure that wherever you are, you are getting the same great experience that has seen us come out on top as 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in our subject area via the National Student Survey 2020.

What will this mean for my learning experience?

The world has changed and we have changed with it. With this change has come some interesting and innovative developments. Whether you are on campus or not, your teaching and learning experience at the Edge Hotel School will, perhaps unsurprisingly, be a bit different to that of which you might have expected. 

We were really delighted with the supportive and constructive comments we got back from our students about the changes that we have made to how we teach and we have incorporated many aspects of their feedback into our approach for next year.

From October 2020, we have been delivering ‘blended learning’ which means that lectures have continued to be delivered online whilst seminars and workshops will be face to face, wherever possible.

Lectures predominantly use Zoom but we have developed interesting ways so that these allows for spontaneous discussion both so as to enhance your learning experience as well as to give a greater sense of community. It’s also a lot more fun for all concerned!

Face to face seminars and workshops will be similar to our pre Covid-19 activities and the amount of teaching will be the same…as will the academic standard, deadlines and expectations of students!

In accordance with University policy,  government guidelines and local or national lockdown introductions, we have the capability to move our teaching to online only if required for the health and safety of students and staff.

Your experience in Wivenhoe House Hotel

When Wivenhoe House was able to reopen in full on May 17th and in line with industry best practice, there are different procedures and layouts that the Wivenhoe House team have prepared for, and they really looking forward to seeing students back in the hotel. Everyone will be required to undertake industry best practice training on the new requirements and help you appreciate the new industry regulations as part of your hotel orientation.

You will be gaining direct and immediate experience and knowledge of what is currently happening in the industry (something that many purely theoretical courses will not be able to replicate). For example, the Brasserie Restaurant has been laid out in a new format with modifications to the service style, menus and payments systems and new and creative food and beverage income streams such as the ‘take away’ afternoon teas and dinners have been implemented. It will be really interesting to get first hand insight from the Wivenhoe House management team about how these were created and to review and evaluate how these innovative products develop over the next months.

During periods of hotel closure brought about due to the pandemic, we have developed a comprehensive suite of online activities as a substitute for the practical experience offered by our courses. These activities have been designed to replicate the knowledge and experience our students would gain in the hotel, to the best of our ability within the confines of online-only delivery.

Following the lockdown introduced in January 2021,  we anticipate that hotel-based learning will be phased in during the Summer term, and we are currently mapping out the likely shift schedules. It is however likely that, due to current social distancing regulations, there will be some limitations on the number of staff and students within the hotel at any particular time.

We will continue to monitor the progress and effects of COVID-19 and the relevant legislation and react according, and should we need to modify our approach we will, of course provide as much information as possible to keep students informed both of academic developments but also how our industry is responding to these developments.

What happens if the situation changes before I start or during my time at Essex?

If you are unable to travel onto campus to start you course with us in person, all of our teaching will be available virtually up until a cut off date to be determined by the deparment.  We want you to be confident in the knowledge that you can start, or resume, your programme off-campus, wherever you may be, and with the flexibility to transfer to on-campus learning as soon as you can dependent on local and national restrictions. We’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure our modules are designed to support your learning no matter your situation and that you still get the access you need to your lecturers. We’re with you, wherever you are.

There is lots of helpful information about starting at Essex in our guide for applicants should you have any questions, feel uncertain about something in particular, or, would like up to date information on specific topics if your situation changes.  

 If you are an overseas student and you aren't able to join us on Campus in the autumn, then you will need to be aware of some immigration changes taking place in January 2021.

What will my broader student experience in the Department and on campus be like?

In the Department

The School continues to work on a number of activities to welcome students to our community and to the School and the University, and keep you engaged with social, enjoyable activities throughout the year. 

During Welcome Week our current students were tasked with organising a number of events for new students and they worked on these over summer to introduce you to the School and each other. These included include tours of the hotel and introductions to the Heads of Department, a student quiz and a social evening.

We have a dedicated Professional Services Team who are continuously working on an community-focused activities to make your that you feel part of the Edge Hotel School community and an Academic Team who will equip you with the tools and the confidence to succeed and have an amazing and enjoyable student experience. The variety of experiences that we offer our students has always been something we’re proud of – we won’t let a global pandemic get in the way of that!

So far this academic year, we have organised communal cooking events, language classes and fitness and wellbeing schemes.

On Campus

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.

To learn more about the range of events Essex will be hosting, please visit our events calendar. To stay up to date with the very latest guidance on how to visit your campus, view our coming onto campus guide.


How will the University support me during this time?

The health and wellbeing of our students is our priority, and this has been one of the focuses to ensure students can start on campus – safely – in October.

This means we are constantly monitoring advice from the UK Government, Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the World Health Organisation.

To protect our community on campus once the academic year starts again in October, we will be looking to introduce the following measures:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilising regimes
  • Social distancing in line with international guidance
  • Signage and floor markings in key locations to help you move around our campuses safely
    • We’re asking you to wear face coverings in all public campus areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain or in specifically designated locations. We’ll be supporting you by giving two washable face coverings to all students.

      There is a number of support systems available to you whilst you are at Essex, for whenever you need them and for however long you wish to use them.

      These include:

      • Medical support and healthcare (and our online mental health programme SilverCloud)
      • Mental and emotional health support
      • Personalised advice and support from the Student Services Hub
        • The University also runs a variety of online events throughout the year including at-home yoga and mindfulness sessions.

          To find out more about the network of support you will benefit from during your time at Essex, please visit the Student Directory.

As we can't meet face to face...

We may not be able to meet in person but we're still available to chat online. From students and alumni to academics, the Essex community is here and ready for a chat.

Chat to us online

So, what do we have to offer?

Accelerated, two-year degree options

We give students the flexibility to choose a degree style that suits them. Our two-year accelerated degrees (BA Hotel Management and BA Events Management with Hospitality) allow you to fast track the start of your career and spend less money along the way. These degrees are a little bit more intense - we're still giving you all of the content that a longer degree would give, but doing so in much less time! 

If you're ready to work harder, learn faster and succeed sooner, these degree options might be for you. But if you want a more traditional degree structure, our three-year options could be right up your street. Unsure? Talk to us - we're always happy to chat about what might suit you. 

Integrated work experience

Our degrees are different. Here you will spend some weeks in lectures and others gaining hands-on work experience in Wivenhoe House hotel. Your placement is fully integrated into your course so that you are constantly learning and reflecting on your experiences alongside your business management lectures. This also allows you to take on more responsibility in the hotel as you progress through your degree and graduate ready to start your career as a future manager.

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, the department has developed a substantial virtual industry-engaged component for students that aims to substitute their practical experience, if they are unable to enter the hotel due to government restrictions. 

As an Edge Hotel School student you will be issued with a uniform to wear for your shifts in Wivenhoe House and when representing the School externally. You will just need to provide your own white shirts and black shoes.

4* facilities

 Wivenhoe House is a 4* country house hotel set in parkland on the Colchester campus. The original building is an 18th century Grade II listed house with 16 individual suites and bedrooms and the grand lounges downstairs. The traditional main house is complemented by the modern garden wing which is home to 24 contemporary bedrooms, 3 conference suites and the brasserie restaurant. The conference and events function at Wivenhoe House hosts over 300 events, including over 50 weddings, annually.

You will also have access to outstanding facilities on the University of Essex's Colchester Campus to support your studies. There are communal study spaces, an Edge Hotel School section in the massive library and lots of online resources for you to access. 

Academics with international industry knowledge

Our academic staff includes lecturers with both professional and academic backgrounds to ensure you are taught by people with industry-relevant experience themselves.  Among our staff are published authors including a former hotel General Manager,  a Food and Beverage Manager for award-winning cruise lines, an organiser of the BRIT Awards and London Fashion Week and a Dr. (PhD) with international research experience.

Learn a language

Our award-winning Languages for All programme gives Essex students the opportunity to learn a language alongside their degree, at no extra cost, for one year. Learning a language is an invaluable skill to have in hospitality. Having access to the Languages for All programme during your degree studies will boost your employability even further.

Direct applications

You can apply to study at the Edge Hotel School directly through our admissions team by filling in our application form. You can also apply via UCAS.