2020 applicants

Essex Pathways

Mixed group of four students walking along a pathway from the Tony Rich Teaching Centre towards the Hex.

Unlocking your potential

We believe a person’s potential is defined by an attitude of mind: a willingness to learn and collaborate. 

Our Essex Pathways department is a gateway to the University of Essex, helping students without standard entry requirements to grow in confidence, unlock their potential, and nurture their ambitions so they can progress in academic study.

We provide undergraduate pathway routes to degree courses at our University and equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed on your chosen course. From the very first moment you arrive, you will feel part of our community and have access to all the facilities our campus has to offer.

We work closely with all other departments, schools and centres across the University, and guarantee that a place is secured on your chosen degree course as long as you successfully complete your course with us.

Explore our courses


Our teaching and learning in light of COVID-19 pandemic

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

If for any reason you are unable to travel to campus to start the academic year, all teaching will be available virtually. This means that you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are, with full flexibility to transfer to on-campus learning as soon as you are able to.

What will this mean for my learning experience?

For the 2020 academic year, we are focusing on ensuring that we are able to deliver a quality education and that your teaching and learning can continue if there is further disruption. That’s why we’ve been working hard to ensure that our students are able to start with us in October –in whatever way possible. The changes we have made to support you and protect your health and wellbeing mean that, for most of our courses, this will include blended learning –with lectures, classes and other teaching taking place both online and face to face. Much of this teaching will be offered “live” (even if online/ virtual) but will also be available to access at times that suit you.

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.

We are pre-recording the lectures to deliver these online, so that you can enjoy the flexibility provided by having high-quality recorded material to work with.All lectures will be accompanied by a 1-hour interactive session which will appear in your timetable. This support hour will provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and discuss the lecture, and for lecturers to check understanding of the content covered in the lecture. There will also be timetabled seminars (face-to-face small groups in-class and via webinars), which will allow you to have direct engagement with the modules, and be part of an academic community with your lecturers and your peers.

You will also have access to:

  • a variety of resources
    These include lecture recordings, presentations, reading lists and other materials provided to you to support your learning in each module
  • continuous support
    Your lecturers, Personal Tutors and administrators will also be available to support and assist you with your learning.
  • easily accessible learning and assessment materials
    All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available to online.
  • flexible, blended teaching
    This will include four hours of directed teaching and learning per week, per module, and will consist of a mixture of live (synchronous)teaching (in the form of two-hour seminars and one hour of lecture support)and recorded (asynchronous) delivery teaching, such as online quizzes and games.
  • preparation for lectures with weekly set reading topics
    We will make sure that you are ready for each week's studies by directing you to weekly set reading on topics at hand. To guarantee that you are getting the most out of your lectures and set readings we will also provide you with some preparatory activities, such as online quizzes and pre-set questions.
  • tailored assessments for blended learning
    This will include quizzes, essays, presentations, reading summaries, in-class tests that you will submit online.
  • summative and formative assessments
    In addition to summative assessments (that count towards your final marks), you will complete formative (practice) assessments and receive regular feedback

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

We recognise that some students may have difficulty travelling to campus in time to start the academic year. If for any reason you are unable to travel to campus to start the academic year, all teaching will be available virtually. This means that you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are, with full flexibility to transfer to on-campus learning as soon as you are able to. All of our modules are designed to support you to continue learning and still be able to access one-to-one consultation and guidance that you would normally get from the lecturers on your course, if further outbreaks of infection occur during the year. This means you can join us in full confidence that you can continue and complete your programme of study.

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?

As an Essex Pathways student, you will be able to get involved with a range of extra-curricular activities within the Department. We are planning a range of online social events to make sure you meet with your classmates and get to know each other. There will be virtual study clubs, where on-campus and off-campus students can join each other in a virtual environment to study together and discuss their work.

Every term, there will be a Student Voice Group meeting, where you can provide feedback through your Student Representative to the academic staff in the department. You can also stand to become a Student Representative yourself. Additionally, the Head of Department will hold regular virtual, ‘Essex Pathways Listens’ sessions which are open to all students, where you can let us know what you think is going well and what we could improve together.

Other social activities could include virtual pub quizzes and opportunities to socialise with staff. You will be able to get involved in our tradition of hosting events in the department’s social space, moving these online if circumstances require it. Where possible, you will have the opportunity to attend ‘in-person’ events and activities with your peers with appropriate social distancing to keep you safe, so that you can meet your classmates.

As in previous years, we will invite guest speakers from your future department to give lectures, so you can get to know the departments, and what they offer. There will be virtual field trips where applicable and you will also have opportunity to meet fellow students in your future department.

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.

Short course to prepare you for academic success

We know that the disruption to your learning this year has had a significant impact, and we are dedicated to supporting you to success in your future learning. To help you prepare for university, we’ve developed an online, six-week course called the Pre-Undergraduate Short Course. It’s completely optional but if you complete it and enrol with us this year, you’ll be eligible for a £500 bursary.

Find out more information about the bursary

choose us?

Consolidate and develop your subject knowledge and academic skills
Collaborate with experts in their fields committed to supporting you in your studies
Create the future you want - starting now
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
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UoTY winners 2018
Profile of Dr Nilufer Demirkan-Jones with blue and green wall art
"Join our diverse student community and develop a critical and reflective approach to your study within a stimulating and supportive environment, working with friendly staff who are experts in their fields."
Dr Nilüfer Demirkan-Jones Head of Department Essex Pathways
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Get in touch with us

If you would like any more information about Essex Pathways or have a question you would like to ask, please complete this short enquiry form.

Contact the Essex Pathways department
Contact the Essex Pathways department
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1206 872217