2020 applicants


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A legal education with global reach

At Essex we teach the law that matters. We are freer, more daring and more experimental than many traditional law schools and our Human Rights Centre is a recognised international leader.

Our approach is global in outlook, based on justice, and reflects our commitment to providing a legal education and carrying out research that is relevant and responsive to the demands of a changing society.

We take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach so that your legal education is enriched by drawing on insights from other disciplines and legal traditions. Our internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world.

Many of our academics are also practitioners, so we recognise the importance of equipping you with the necessary skills to thrive in your future career. Our courses combine rigorous legal training with opportunities to develop practical expertise, preparing you to become an outstanding legal professional and giving you the skills and knowledge to be an agent for change, whatever your ambitions.

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.

In the School of Law, we are planning a ‘blended delivery’ approach. This will involve a mixture of online and face-to-face classes on campus. Most of our teaching is by smaller, group discussion classes. These will take place in person on campus where viable, with Zoom tutorials available where on campus teaching is not possible.

Where you will be receiving face-to-face teaching, this will be complemented by a range of digital tools for online teaching and learning, hosted through our online learning environment (Moodle), which will be adapted to our new teaching delivery models.

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.

Your class sizes will be small, allowing our academic staff to engage with you as an individual, provide you with feedback and support your learning. By scheduling more small group tutorials, there will be more opportunities for you to receive live feedback from your lecturers.

Your learning experience will also include:

  • Flexible learning
    If for any reason you are unable to travel to campus to start the year, we can offer you the alternative of starting your programme off-campus, wherever you are, with full flexibility to transition to on-campus learning as soon as you are able to
  • Adaptability to different time zones
    Additional modes of engaging with our teaching staff will provided for students studying in different time zones  Personalised one-to-one consultations with academic staff Weekly academic support hours with all tutors will be available, offering you one-to-one consultation and support both on campus and online
  • New Peer-mentor scheme ‘The Law Stars’
    So that you can get valuable support from experienced students via workshops, small group work, and one-to-one advice and guidance
  • Flexible assessments
    You will be assessed via coursework, rather than unseen exams. To give you more opportunities to demonstrate your skills, knowledge, and understanding, all of your modules will have at least two types of assessment. Your modules will include an element of continuous assessment in various formats, such as short multiple choice quizzes, which will enable you to keep track of your progress, understand where you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies. We are removing the emphasis on final assessments by unseen exam
  • Free digital materials
    You will not need to purchase Law textbooks, as materials will be available online, including reading lists
  • Structured materials and guidance
    You will be given structured materials and guidance alongside your modules to help you through your independent studying, and to help you manage your time effectively. This will include weekly guidance notes introducing key concepts and unusual or technical language that you will encounter in set readings, lectures and other online learning materials
  • Online access to workshops and learning tools through the ‘Law Learning Essentials’ Moodle page
    This new digital resource will give you the opportunity to gain advice on writing, researching, presenting, note-taking, time-management, essay writing, presentation skills, time management, referencing, critical analysis, making use of feedback and preparing for exams
  • Law School Student Development programme
    You can use this programme to arrange one-to-one tutorials where you can discuss feedback on coursework, issues you may be experiencing and advice on how to improve your grades
  • New series of short lectures
    From October, we are introducing a series of short lectures exploring topics beyond the list of optional modules on offer. This exciting new series will explore topical legal issues.

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 School and on campus be like?

Your studies are important, but we know that being at university is about much more than just being in a classroom. As soon as you join Essex, you will have the opportunity to get involved in exciting and fun events both in the School, and across the wider University too. These events and activities will also be accessible online for those who are unable to attend in person. These include:

  • professional skills-based activities, such as client-interviewing, negotiation and mooting competitions, and commercial awareness courses
  • volunteering opportunities via the Essex Law Clinic and Human Rights Centre Clinic
  • two series of speaker events, one is specific to human rights and one is based on a series of specialised topics (new ‘Law Matters’ Speaker Series)
  • careers events and talks with inspirational speakers
  • Students in years 1 and 2 will hear speakers from the legal firms giving advice about work in the professions–through our dedicated careers modules.

There are also a variety of exciting student societies you can get involved in where you can meet new people who share a common interest and help you to improve both your personable skills and academic skills, such as debating, public speaking and negotiation. Some of these societies include the Law Society, Human Rights Society, Bar Society, Model United Nations society, and Amnesty International Society.

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.

choose us?

85% of our law students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020)
Essex is ranked in top 100 for Law in the THE World University Rankings (2020)
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
We are ranked 22nd in the UK for Law (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020)
Gain practical experience with our Essex Law Clinic and Human Rights Clinic
Work placement, internship and study abroad opportunities during your course
Leading research expertise across commercial law, public law, and human rights law
Essex graduation ceremony
The World University Rankings logo for Law
UoTY winners 2018
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More talks and tasters

Join our free online webinars starting Monday 20 April and meet some of the lecturers and professors teaching on our courses. Watch our subject taster videos and hear from world-class academics talk about our range of different courses and subject areas, to see what Essex has to offer.

Join our talks, tasters and webinars
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Our research

The School of Law has a global reputation for its research, particularly in the areas of commercial law, human rights law and practice, and public law. More than two-thirds of our research was rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the REF 2014.

Find out more
Portrait of Matthew Stone - Head of School
"Our School is an internationally diverse community of staff and students that pushes law to be responsive to society's needs. We understand the importance of knowing one's cause and being able to argue for it, of both hands-on experience and critical debate, and of interrogating and shaping the legal world around us."
Dr Matthew Stone HEad of School School of Law
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Get in touch with us

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

Contact the School of Law
Contact the School of Law
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1206 874810