Careers and employability

More than a degree

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Student on top of mountain during year abroad

Develop skills beyond your degree

Life at Essex allows you the opportunity to experience so much more than your degree and gain the edge you need in a competitive world. Boost your CV through a wealth of programmes and activities on campus, in the local community or even overseas.


Take advantage of our range of programmes and events to enrich your Essex experience, provide you with skills for life and make you stand out from the crowd. We have everything from studying, volunteering or working abroad, to helping with community and climate change projects or joining a summer internship.


Opportunities abroad

If spending time abroad is on your bucket list, why wait? Rather than taking a gap year before or after your studies, why not combine the two and get that experience as part of your degree?

At Essex, we offer you the chance to study, work or volunteer in another country, through our Essex Abroad programme. Check out our Essex Abroad Blog Series to see what others have done to give you some ideas.

Local and on-campus opportunities


If you want to make a difference, gain some life skills and enhance your CV while you're at it, try volunteering. There are plenty of opportunities on and off campus to get involved with a variety of projects from one-off events to regular activities and partnerships with external organisations.

Improving your life chances and gaining new skills aren't the only benefit to volunteering. Some of our student volunteers have gone on to win awards for their work. Read more in this blog about volunteering for a more sustainable world

Students' Union V Team

Our SU have some fabulous opportunities for you to pursue your passions through volunteering with their V Team:

This is just a shap shot of the opportunities on offer and you can always start your own project too! Check out the V Team website for more information and to sign up. 

Sports volunteering

If you're a sports lover, you can get involved in our Essex Blades Sports Clubs, whether you're an active participant or just love to watch. 

There are opportunities to volunteer by helping out with sporting events, co-ordinating communications, and managing the administration. You can also gain experience of refereeing or coaching or working with a local community partner. 

Law and Human Rights Clinics

For those studying in the areas of Law and Human Rights, you have the chance to get some experience working on real cases and projects within the local community through our clinics.

The Essex Law Clinic

Get real-world legal experience through volunteering with the Essex Law Clinic and put yourself in a great position for life after graduation. Develop practical skills and build your confidence in working on cases involving vulnerable members of the community under the supervision of experience lawyers and practitioners. Find out more about volunteering for the Essex Law Clinic.

The Human Rights Centre Clinic

Working in the HRC clinic is a fantastic chance to put your knowledge to work on current and enduring human rights issues both locally and around the world.  You will have a unique opportunity to develop professional techniques and work in partnership with NGOs such as Amnesty International and international organisations such as the United Nations. Find out more about volunteering for the Human Rights Centre Clinic.


Work placements

If you want to get out there and experience the world of work in a particular sector, or explore a potential career through a practical hands-on environment, our work placements are for you. 

Placement year

A placement year runs from 30 to 52 weeks and will take place between the penultimate and final year of your undergraduate course.

During your placement, you'll get the chance to apply your academic learning within the context of a company or organisation where you can use your knowledge to add value and enhance your future employability. Work placements are also an excellent opportunity to grow your network, develop professional skills and boost your CV.

Short or termly placements

There are a range of short-term placements available, depending on the subject and module within your degree.

  • Termly placements can be combined with academic study and last for the equivalent of an academic term, between 12 to 15 weeks. Termly placements count towards your degree.
  • Vacation placements are extra-curricular, which means they don't count towards your degree but are a fabulous chance for you gain some experience and explore the industry in which you may want to work.



The Big Essex Award

We're offering an employability award based on extra curricular activities here at Essex. And you can get up to 50 Units for your international experience abroad. The award recognises all your extra curricular activities on your Higher Education Achievement Report!

Find out more