Make Essex your home

Find out more about the benefits of living on campus and what is included within your accommodation at Essex, and what you'll need to bring.

At Essex, we recognise the cost of living challenges that will impact our students. To ensure University residents can budget effectively, our accommodation costs include your energy bills and internet access so regardless of what happens to supplier costs, you can rest assured you’ll be fine with Essex. And it isn’t just utility bills; staying at Essex means your rent includes contents insurance, gym membership, 24/7 security, support from well-being teams, and easy access to our vibrant community and campus facilities.

Why live here?
  • We have a community atmosphere and friendly environment. 
  • Centrally located to residences, to close to all facilities, with dedicated and experienced staff here to support you.
  • Accommodation costs include your energy bills and internet access so regardless of what happens to supplier costs, you can rest assured you’ll be fine with Essex.

Benefits of campus living

There are many advantages to living on campus at Essex - you’ll have your lectures on your doorstep, get to know the University inside and out plus you’ll be right in the heart of the action.

Discover the pros of campus living and what is included in your rent.


Quality guarantee

The Student Accommodation Code

Accommodation Essex is a member of the Universities UK Student Accommodation Code (SAC) which sets out the quality and standards (.pdf) that students can expect from our accommodation.

The Student Accommodation 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 and
  • a living environment free from anti-social behaviour

UUK and ANUK accommodation codes

To make sure we comply with the Housing Act 2004, Accommodation Essex adhere to the UUK Student Accommodation Code, which has been designed to protect your rights to safe, good quality university-managed accommodation.

Derwent, the management company for The Copse, University Quays, and The Meadows, as well as BYUK FM, who manage The Pastures, adhere to National Code Assured Accommodation (ANUK).

Kitchen and bedroom facilities 


All single rooms are full furnished with a single bed and mattress (four foot, small double bed in The Meadows, The Copse, and The Pastures and other premium areas), and double beds in double rooms or self-contained rooms. Plus you get a desk, chair, bookshelves, a wardrobe (double the items in a twin or double room), a bin, mirror, and a lamp (integrated desk light not lamp at The Meadows, The Copse, The Pastures, and University Quays).

You need to bring with you or purchase when you arrive:

  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Personal items, such as clothes, photos, a rug, and blankets

Try not to bring expensive, unnecessary items with you, leave them at home.

E-scooters are not permitted anywhere on campus, including storing or charging in your accommodation, so if you have one, please leave it at home.

If you want to bring a mini fridge with you, then you can only request to do so for medical reasons. You will need to email and supply medical evidence.

We have a rolling maintenance programme in place to continually review and improve our accommodation, so some areas may have older facilities than others, depending on when they were last refurbished.


All kitchens are self-catered and are provided with a cooker (induction hob at The Copse and The Pastures), fridge, freezer (one shelf per student) microwave, kettle, ironing board, and storage units.

You need to bring with you or purchase when you arrive:

  • Crockery (plates, cups, bowls)
  • Cutlery (knives, forks, spoons)
  • Saucepan and frying pan (you will need magnetic pans to use on the induction hobs at The Copse)
  • Tin opener, whisk and any other cooking utensil you might need
  • Iron - but only if you really need one (we will supply an ironing board as well as a hoover)

Why not chat with your new flatmates via Facebook and make a plan on who is bringing what item? This way you can share and don't all have to bring a full set of everything. Facebooks groups are available on our accommodation area pages for Colchester and Southend.

We have a rolling maintenance programme in place to continually review and improve our accommodation, so some areas may have older facilities than others, depending on when they were last refurbished.

Essex Essentials

If you are not able to bring certain items with you, such as bedding and kitchen items, then you have the option to order these from Essex Essentials. If you are an October start student, then you can order these and have them delivered to your room for your arrival (ordering deadline terms apply). If you are ordering at any other time of the year, then these have to be collected, as arranged by Event Essex.


Fixed cost

At Essex, we recognise the cost of living challenges that will impact our students. For example our accommodation costs include your energy bills and internet access. 


The cost for utilities is included in your weekly rent. This covers:

  • central heating
  • hot water
  • electricity

Internet access

ASK4 accommodation internet

If you are living in University Square Southend or South Courts, Towers, The Houses, and Wolfson Court in Colchester, you'll have access to up to 1Gb/s broadband internet speeds at your accommodation. Your internet services are provided by ASK4 at no extra charge, who have replaced Glide Student. You will be able to use a wired connection for your devices using the cable provided.

ASK4 also provide, at no extra cost, a superfast Wi-Fi service with a seamless coverage across your accommodation. Additionally, you will be able to link all your devices together to create your own private and secure network. As ASK4 provide a fully-managed internet service, you won't have to worry about buying your own equipment. To ensure the best service and to avoid causing and problems and interference with your neighbours' connection, personal routers and access points are not permitted for use within your accommodation.

When you arrive at your accommodation, simply connect to the ASK4 wireless network and create your account within a few steps. Please use the link below to find out more about ASK4's service at your accommodation:

  • Get connected with ASK4 (pdf.)
Glide accommodation internet

If you are living at The Meadows, The Copse or University Quays, enhanced 100Mbps broadband internet access (minimum speed) is provided in your bedroom at no extra charge by Glide Student. You will need to bring your own device and connect via the cable provided.

Glide Student also provides at no extra cost, a comprehensive Wi-Fi service that has excellent coverage. To ensure you all benefit from the best possible wireless connection, personal Wi-Fi routers used to connect to Glide Student are now prohibited within all accommodation on campus as they can affect coverage.

You can now register for your internet service from home, making internet access available as soon as you move into your University accommodation. Why not register at home for your accommodation internet service and remove the hassle when you arrive? 

Glide Student provides fast easy access to a range of entertainment and IT facilities including music, gaming, Freewire TV and Freewire Softphone and file backup. Please make sure that you read the Glide Student Usage Policy before you register for Glide Student services.


By partnering with Endsleigh, the No.1 student insurance provider, we've arranged contents insurance for all of our students staying with us, in our residence, at no cost to you.

It is important you confirm your cover to ensure you understand what is and isn't covered.

You can do this by downloading the MyEndsleigh app and registering. Once you do this you will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 a week for a WHOLE YEAR!

Visit MyEndsleigh to:

  • What is and isn't covered
  • Get claims support
  • Personalise cover
  • Access rewards
  • Access wellbeing support

Support services

When you live on campus, you will share with students from a wide variety of countries and cultures. This can be a very exciting and enriching experience, but living in a large community may also bring challenges.

We have a wide range of support services to help you with everyday worries in your accommodation or for practical or personal issues.

Student Services Hub

Support is available to you within your Student Services Hub, providing advice and support on a range of issues such as financial worries, immigration issues and support for students with additional needs or specific health concerns or simply to help adjusting to University life.

SU Advice

SU Advice, run by the Students' Union, offers welfare advice to students on a range of issues. SU Advice is located on Square 3.


Our campuses are generally very safe environments. We want to ensure that things stay this way.

There is 24-hour security at our Colchester Campus. Our helpful and friendly security team are based in the Security and Safety Centre on Square 3, or you can call them on 01206 872125.

For further details on how to keep safe and information on what support is available to you, please check out student safety.

Medical centre

There is a medical centre at Colchester Campus for you to visit when you are unwell. However, you will need to register before you can see a doctor. You can register online either just before or when you arrive.

There are also details available for you to find your nearest medical centre if you live in Southend.

Cleaning, laundry, gym, and maintenance

Communal areas

The communal areas of our single accommodation flats are cleaned by our housekeeping staff. They will clean surfaces, cooking facilities and bathrooms, but they will not clean or tidy personal belongings. It is also your responsibility to keep these areas clean and tidy.


Rubbish in bins is removed daily by our caretaking staff.


There are laundry facilities located in each area of our accommodation in Colchester and Southend.


If you are living on the Colchester Campus, then you get a silver Essex Sport gym membership included in your rent.


You are able to report repairs for your accommodation and our teams works within an agreed Service Level Agreement to get them fixed as soon as possible.

North Towers bed and breakfast 

Students who will be living in North Towers single occupancy rooms, will receive a free breakfast every weekday (Monday to Friday).

This will be a 5 item cooked breakfast (no drink) served between 7.30am and 11am in Canteen on Square 3. There is no takeaway option, so you have to eat it on site.

The items include:

  • Sausage or veggie sausage
  • Mini omelette or fried egg
  • Grilled tomato
  • Hash brown
  • Toast

Essex Food will provide you with a pre-loaded meal card (when you collect your accommodation keys). The cost of the breakfast will be cleared from the card at 11am each day, if it has not been used. If you lose the card, Essex Food will provide a replacement, although there will be a £10 replacement fee.

This offer is not available to students living in self-contained apartments.

LGBTQ+ flats 

We support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus community members, including those who may define themselves as queer, intersex, asexual, demisexual, non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous, questioning and others. This includes having the option to choose LGBTQ+ accommodation.

Our aim is to make sure that all University accommodation is welcoming, and inclusive place for everyone. 

From the 2023-24 academic year, we will be offering students the option of selecting LGBTQ+ accommodation when applying to live with us. This is because some students may find it helpful to be living in accommodation specifically for LGBTQ+ students, to be with people who may have shared life experiences.

Is the LGBTQ+ accommodation available for LGBTQ+ allies?

No, it is intended that this accommodation is exclusively for those who identify as LGBTQ+. This offers our residents a place of peer support where they can use their shared experiences to help create an inclusive and positive environment.

Is there single-gender LGBTQ+ accommodation?

Our LGBTQ+ accommodation provision is open to people of all genders. You can select the option regardless of your gender identity and can expect to live with other students of other gender identities. If you wish to live in single-gender accommodation, please select that option when applying, rather than LGBTQ+.

Learning communities

We wanted to create exciting living and learning communities on our campuses, that are designed to provide you with a unique opportunity to live with like-minded individuals and engage in academic and personal development under a shared topic.

These communities are supported by experienced professionals, that will guide and support your journey here at Essex, ensuring you get the most out of your time here with us:

You are able to select one of these as an option when you apply for accommodation, so due check out the information, so you don't miss out on this exciting opportunity.


Single gender flats  

We want to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, especially as for most of you it will be the first time you have lived away from home and the people you know. So to help make this a little easier, when you apply for your accommodation you will have the option of selecting a single gender flat. This means that you will share the flat with only students of the same gender. If you opt to live in a single gender flat, you should be aware of the following:

  • You will not be permitted to have visitors of a different gender to your flat
  • You will not be permitted to have overnight guests of a different gender staying in your flat
  • You will not be able to exchange your room, or transfer your tenancy to a student of a different gender
  • Our housekeeping staff (who may be of any gender) will access your flat regularly to clean the communal areas. There will also be times when our staff or staff from other University departments will need to access your bedroom. At least 24 hours notice will normally be given. Please read our Terms and Conditions of Residence for further information

Important: We have a very limited number of single gender flats available, so although we will of course do our very best to accommodate your request, we would not be able to guarantee an offer of this type of accommodation.

Mature flats 

Living in a mature flat

Each year, the University sets aside a number of full flats for new mature undergraduate students, in several of the halls offered to new students, based on the number of students interested in this type of accommodation. Students who request to live in one of these flats will, therefore, not have to share a living space with new undergraduate students, who are coming to the University directly from school or college. 

In this context 'mature' means students who are at least 21 years old, when they first enrol at the University.

This type of accommodation is limited and is not guaranteed.

Shared and self-contained accommodation  

We have a variety of shared and self-contained accommodation which is suitable for single or double occupancy, which includes twin rooms, double rooms, as well as self-contained apartments and studios.

We cannot guarantee shared or self-contained accommodation for first-year students but we will do our very best to help. Just make sure you get in touch as early as you can, if you think you need to chat any of this through with us.

Parking for cars and bikes 

Students that live on campus may not register a vehicle for parking on our Colchester Campus, other than disabled students. There are no dedicated student car parking spaces at our Southend Campus, pay and display facilities are available in nearby public car parks, but please note that these are aimed at short-term parking only and security is not guaranteed.

There is a bike shelter facility available near the accommodation on North and South campus as well as at The Meadows, The Copse, and University Quays at our Colchester Campus and on the podia in the central courtyard at our Southend Campus. Please be aware that you park your bike at your own risk so always remember to lock it before you leave.


Post is normally delivered on weekdays to the flats.

Large items or those requiring a signature for University Quays, University Meadows, The Copse and University Square are retained at reception for collection. Larger items for the Towers, South Courts, The Houses and Wolfson Court are delivered to the University post room. The post room staff will email you to let you know when it has been delivered and confirm where to collect it from.

Keycards and fobs 

When you arrive you will receive one or some of the following - single key/keycard/fob which gives you entry into your building, flat and your room.

Look after them because if you lose any you will have to pay a £15 fee for a replacement key/keycard or £5 fee for a replacement fob.


All of our accommodation is non-smoking. The University's no smoking policy covers all University buildings including all residences. Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is strictly prohibited in all and within 5m of all student residences including public areas and shared facilities.

Smoking shelters are provided near to the accommodation residences.

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