Accommodation at Essex

Your new home

Looking for the best university accommodation? Well, you've found the right place!

We offer a variety of exciting and comfortable accommodation, from studios to single en suite rooms and retro Towers to Townhouses, to suit all budgets.

Want the bustling centre of campus on your doorstep? Or just a quiet spot? Take your pick. Make yourself at home and get a glimpse of what we have to offer.

For more information on how we are preparing accommodation for students joining us this year, take a look at the Accommodation and Living on Campus FAQs below.

Information about our accommodation quality standards can also be found below.

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Accommodation and living on campus

Can I apply for accommodation?

The standard accommodation applications for new undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as all returning students for the 2021-22 academic year have closed. However, we do have rooms available, so if you require accommodation you can now apply via our waiting list.

When will I get my offer of accommodation?

We are working through applications now and will send you an offer of accommodation as soon as possible.

Please make sure you check your email account regularly for updates, including your junk folder and accept any offers within the given deadline.

Can I study remotely?

Essex is a campus-based university and we know that our students value being together on campus. On our campuses we can better support you to achieve success, and you can also experience all the benefits of being part of our diverse, global and inclusive community. It is these experiences, both academic and cultural, that play such an important part of your time at Essex.

For these reasons, in academic year 2021-22, 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.

Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about requesting to study remotely. 


What if I need to quarantine on arrival to campus?

Students arriving into University owned or administered accommodation for the new academic year 2021-22 that need to self-isolate, can do so in their term-time room. We will provide you with a free quarantine pack but you will need to order this. Details about this are available on our Colchester and Southend arrivals pages.

Further information relating to travel restrictions and Covid-19 testing, is available on the University travel pages.

Please then make sure you read the guidance on self-isolating, so you are aware of what support services are available to you, including how to order food deliveries. However, if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Student Information Team

If you are moving into private accommodation, please contact your landlord or student housing provider directly for information on how they can support you during your quarantine period.

How will the university support me if I have to self-isolate in my accommodation?

If you live in University accommodation and need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, appropriate arrangements will be made by our dedicated Residence Life team to provide you with advice and practical support. Information regarding how to self-isolate, who to inform and how we can further support you will be made available for you, with further information in your Welcome Book.  

What if I will be arriving late?

If you have booked University owned or administered accommodation and are not able to arrive for the start of your contract, please let us know your arrival date as soon as possible.

If you have not requested to study remotely, you will need to let us know your late arrival date or your contract will be cancelled. If you want your room held for any longer than 18 October, you will be required to pay your first terms rental fees upfront, in order for us to continue to hold your room.

Once I have completed my quarantine/self-isolation period, what activities will be on campus before the start of term?

Our friendly Residence Life team host a range of social activities for students living on and off campus, for you to participate with and meet new friends and make new connections.

The Students’ Union will also be organising a broad range of virtual and in-person activity; further information will be available nearer the beginning of the new academic year.

If there is another lockdown and I want to return home, what happens with my accommodation contract? 

We know that you might be worried about incurring costs should a national/local lockdown happen in the UK and you want to return to your home address. The University has an Accommodation COVID-19 commitment for the academic year 2021-22 which should be read alongside the standard terms and conditions of tenancy document. This commitment is designed to provide you with clarity and guidance on how pandemic-related events may affect you, your accommodation agreement and your rental liability.

Will we still have to observe social distancing on campus and in University accommodation?  

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our students while delivering a high-quality education guides everything we do. Despite very positive signs that the vaccination programme is limiting COVID transmission in the UK, we cannot guarantee that we will be unaffected by pandemic-related restrictions at any point during the next academic year.

Our approach to planning for the academic year 21-22 will ensure that we will be able to offer all of our students a transformative, campus experience; with flexibility to adapt to periods of heightened COVID security if needed. Our priority will always be to ensure your safety while supporting you to continue with your education - irrespective of any further disruption caused by the pandemic 

We will comply with all Government guidance, and in addition to this will make our own additional judgements about what works in our campus environments. We have all learned a great deal from our experiences of the last year, and we will be ready to flex our approach to  if the circumstances require.

How will you support cleanliness and hygiene within shared accommodation? 

Our housekeeping team will be busy undertaking enhanced cleaning, to ensure your accommodation is as hygienic as possible. All kitchens will be cleaned weekly, and shared bathrooms cleaned 3 times a week. We will be regularly cleaning all high level touchpoints in accommodation entrances and communal areas. We will also clean all lifts daily.

Hygiene is a key factor in controlling the virus, therefore it is important that all residents play their part in ensuring your accommodation remains safe. To help with this, we will also provide you with how-to guides and advice on hygiene. 

How can I ensure I will be safe from COVID-19 once I am at the university?

The University takes the health and wellbeing of our students and staff very seriously and this has been one of the focuses to ensure students can study on campus – safely.

To protect our community on campus we have introduced the following measures:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilising regimes
  • Social distancing in line with UK Government 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 also have a comprehensive system of Covid-19 testing on campus to help keep everyone safe.

We’ll also be introducing training for all students, to make it easier for everyone to understand our expectations.

South Courts Accommodation
Accommodation for new students

Find out how to apply for accommodation as a new undergraduate or postgraduate student, for October, January and April.

Apply now

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Current students

Download your welcome pack and find all the information you need to help you settle in, including contact details for accommodation and emergency numbers for out of hours support.

Find out more


Quality Standards

We are a member of Universities UK and comply with the Student Accommodation Code of Practice (SAC) for the management of student housing.

The SAC sets out the main elements of good management practice of student housing within the UK.

The Code protects your rights to:

  • A healthy, safe environment
  • Timely repairs and maintenance
  • A clean, pleasant living environment
  • A formal, contractual relationship with your landlord
  • Access to health and wellbeing services
  • A living environment free from anti-social behaviour

Further information can be found online on the SAC website.

The Accreditation Network UK (ANUK)/ Unipol National Code of Standards for Large Student Developments, covers The Meadows, The Copse and University Quays accommodation, which are managed by Derwent Students, offers the following:

  • gives confidence that the property is of a good standard and is properly managed and regulated
  • provide assurance that repairs and maintenance are carried out to defined timescales
  • give clarity and transparency on contracts and on management practices and routines
  • shows where to go for help if problems arise and provide a codified complaints process, including a referral mechanism for independent consideration and decision give, as well as general consumer protection

Further information can be found online on the ANUK website.

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Contact us

For enquiries about accommodation or about an application you're making, contact us at the Student Services Hub. Quote your full name and PRID or PG number on all correspondence.

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