Accommodation - Returning students

Colchester Campus accommodation 

Make an application

Returning undergraduate or postgraduate student? Book your accommodation below to secure a place for the 2024-2025 academic year in an unbeatable location. Start your stress-free application with the confidence of a guaranteed room, ensuring peace of mind in University of Essex accommodation.

Room in the Pastures accommodation
£400 cashback if you apply before 1 August 2024

Returning accommodation applications for the 2024-25 academic year are now open, with £400 cashback when you apply before 1 August 2024. T&Cs apply.

Apply now

Returning students

Undergraduate Start-up Square

Start-up Square is a fresh and vibrant new living space for students interested in starting a business while they study or those wishing to pursue an entrepreneurial career path in the future.

Be part of an ambitious, innovative, and entrepreneurially-minded community on campus with access to events and support from the Essex Startups team.

Start-up Square is located in our South Courts accommodation area, a short stroll to the Innovation Centre on the north of campus, where you’ll have easy access to the co-working facilities in Studio X and the Essex Startups team.

Living in our tailored accommodation will provide you with the space and opportunities to share ideas and brainstorm your future business ventures alongside other business-minded students.

Undergraduate Athlete Village 

Be part of something special

We have created an Athlete Village in our South Courts accommodation on the Colchester campus.

The Athlete Village is a dedicated section of campus accommodation within a few seconds walk of our sports facilities, reserved exclusively for undergraduate students who represent University sports teams. As a member of a community of athletes and sports performers, you’ll benefit from a supportive, encouraging, and exclusive environment designed to help you maximise the benefits of being part of our sporting community and achieve your peak performance.

Both returning students who have previously been an active member of one of our sports clubs and new students who can evidence their level of performance in school, county or national level competition are welcome to apply to live in the Athlete Village.

The Athlete Village is located within our South Courts accommodation in Walton Court, located next door to our Sports Centre.

By selecting to live in our Athlete village, you will not only be living with like-minded people but will also receive the following benefits, totalling more than *£700:

  • Free upgrade to Essex Sport Gold Membership £50.00
  • Free Essex Blades BUCS participation fee £30.00
  • Contribution towards one Sports Club Membership fee up to £50.00
  • Free Kit Pack £125.40
  • Laundry card and credit £100.00
  • 2 weeks free BUCS pre-season training accommodation, worth up to £376.32
  • Please note the dates for BUCS pre-season are TBC.

That's an amazing £731.72 of benefits!

This offer cannot be taken up in conjunction with any other offer (including the £400 cashback).

This offer is not available for Sports Scholar students.

If you would like to apply to live in the Athlete Village, then you will need to select South Courts as your area preference in your accommodation application and tick the Athlete Village option. 

British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS)

If you are a Sports Scholar or are planning on joining one of our BUCS teams and living in our campus accommodation but are not eligible or do not wish to live in the Athletes' Village, then you can still apply for the 2 weeks pre-season training accommodation. However, although this is not free, there is a 50% reduction in the cost of pre-season accommodation, which will be located in South Towers, meaning that you are charged just £126.56. This is for the period pre-season period only. You will be contacted directly about your eligibility to apply for this.

Allocations to the Athlete Village and pre-season training, will be subject to eligibility confirmation by Essex Sport and the Students' Union and will be subject to availability.

Undergraduate Volunteer Square

Essex has a strong history of supporting students with volunteering activities, but we want to do more. In this learning community, you will gain access to exclusive workshops, talks, volunteering opportunities and year-round support for your projects.

Build and nurture relationships and gain valuable experience by joining our volunteering learning community with access to exclusive opportunities and support from the Student Union’s VTeam.

Living in Volunteer Square comes with a comprehensive package of benefits that are specifically tailored to support your volunteering endeavours.


Apply now

Returning undergraduate and postgraduate students Colchester

Returning accommodation applications for the 2024-25 academic year are open.

Apply by 1 August 2024 and get £400 cashback (see offers Terms and Conditions)!

On the application form, you will be asked to select your preferred locations. Please select these in order of preference and don't select any location which you wouldn't be prepared to accept. We cannot guarantee that you'll be offered your first choice of accommodation.


You will need to access the online form via the following link and select the 2024-25 academic year from the drop-down, when applying. 

(You will need your Essex username and password to apply) 


You are required to complete a PDF form and please note, that these are interactive PDF forms. Therefore, you must save a copy of it to your device before completing your information. If you do not save this file to your device, you will lose any information you have filled in. The submit button will then attach the form to an email ready to send to us. Alternatively, please send via email to

Northwest Partnership

Accommodation is guaranteed to Northwest University students, as long as you accept your accommodation offer by the offer expiry date.

(You will need your Essex username and password to be able to apply)

Living with friends

You're welcome to request an allocation with your friends. You should list their PRIDs in the 'additional information' field on the online application form. Each of your friends must also submit their own separate application and have the same preferences as you. Please note that we cannot guarantee we will be able to allocate you and your friends as a group.

Next steps

We hope to begin making accommodation offers from December 2023, so please make sure you check your email account regularly from that date for your offer (including your junk folder).

Accepting your offer

You will need to accept your offer of accommodation before its expiry date in order to confirm your allocation for the next academic year. The offer expiry date will be clearly specified in the offer letter.

Once you have accepted the offer you have formed a contract which is binding and you will not be able to give notice on the room unless you withdraw from the University.

Intermitting students

If you have withdrawn temporarily from Essex (intermitted) during the first term of the first year of study and decide to return the following academic year, you may re-apply for accommodation.

How to apply

Contact us in January of the year in which you intend to return to your studies.

Student cooking in halls accommodation
Win free accommodation for a year

Calling all current students returning in October 2024! As a token of our appreciation for your continued support, we're excited to offer you the chance to win an academic year of free accommodation (terms and conditions apply).

Unable to secure University accommodation

If you're unable to secure University accommodation you have the option to live locally in privately owned rental properties. The Students' Union's house-finding service SU Homes will be able to help you find the perfect place to live.

SU Advice can offer information about tenant rights and responsibilities, about repairs, repossession, eviction, harassment by landlords, contracts, deposits and much more.


You will be required to make a £250 prepayment (which will be deducted from your first terms rental fees) in order to accept your offer.

You will be able to make this accommodation prepayment by credit/debit card as part of the online acceptance process. If you do not make this prepayment during your online acceptance, you will be able to pay credit/debit or UK cheque, in person at the Cash Desk in the Silberrad Student Centre.

Please do not try and pay your accommodation prepayment now. It will only be required when you accept your accommodation offer. Full instructions on paying your accommodation prepayment will also be given in your offer letter.

The deadline to request to cancel and receive a refund on your prepayment, is 1 September 2023. You can still request to cancel your offer after this date but no refund will be offered.

Find out more about paying for your accommodation.

If you have a debt to the University

Students who have a debt to the university will not be made an offer of accommodation until the debt is cleared. You will be notified if this is the case and be given an opportunity to make payment to clear this debt.

If this is not received then we may not be able to proceed with your application.

Essex American football team
Essex Sport membership

For students applying for accommodation in Colchester, we’re including an Essex Sport Silver membership package within your rent. See what's included within the Silver student membership package.

Find out more
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Terms and Conditions of Residence

Our terms and conditions give details of the terms of your tenancy agreement. By accepting a room when it is offered you are accepting these terms and conditions and you will be entering into a legally binding contract.