Life at Essex

Cost of living support

Students on our Colchester Campus

We believe no one should miss out on an Essex education. And, as the ongoing cost of living crisis is making life harder for students we want to ensure we do all we can to support all of our community.

We've found ways to make life more affordable on campus and have a package of bursaries and financial options to help students with their studies and accommodation throughout their time with us.

Working together with our Students' Union we have a full range of support to help our students and community. After all, the Essex family is at its strongest in times of adversity.

Here's how we're helping

Bursaries and scholarships to get you started

Students on the hill at the University of Essex Colchester CampusWe provide a wide range of Scholarships and Bursaries  to ensure students can start with us regardless of the country they are applying from and their situation. Many of these scholarships are also auto-awarded when you apply with us.

If you are a UK student from a household with an income of up to £35,000 you may be eligible for our Essex Futures Bursary, a support package worth up to £3,000. 

Browse through the range and see what you might be eligible for.

Accommodation that makes life more affordable

Students walking across campus through the accommodationAccommodation costs at Essex 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.

When it comes to choosing accommodation, whilst there are privately owned off-campus options out there, University owned accommodation not only gives you the convenience of being on campus, 24-hour security, and provides a range of different facilities and benefits such as on-site or close by laundrettes. At our Colchester Campus you'll also receive a Silver gym membership and other benefits to living with us too. Our prices for a single room start at as little as £109.90 per person per week ensuring they are affordable too.

If you’re a new undergraduate student for the 2024-25 academic year you can also choose to lock in your accommodation deal for the full duration of your 3 year course, fixing the 2024-25 throughout your studies, which means no rent increases!

Keeping prices low on campus

students sitting on beanbags

The Students' Union has launched its SU Basics range. By buying in bulk they are able to pass the savings on to you, our students. So every Monday they host a pop-up market selling everyday groceries for less. We can't promise they'll have all your favourite snacks but it's a good place to start, right? The SU are also running regular Eat and Meet events, where students can come and get a hot free meal while meeting and talking with other students. 

Download the Essex Food Upay app and start collecting rewards when you eat or drink on campus. By scanning your Upay app every time you purchase eligible meals or drinks you’ll earn yourself freebies! For every 5 purchases, your 6th is on us. Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Jobs on campus

careers fairOne of the standout areas of an Essex Education is the opportunity we provide students to help boost their career.  We offer personalised career counselling, internship placements, and workshops on CV building and interview preparation to help get you ready for life after graduation.  

We know that you might also need to get a job whilst studying with us, which is why we provide a collection of different job opportunities on campus (all paid at least the Voluntary Living Wage) to support you during your time with us, and to boost your CV after graduation.

Added value as an Essex student

Sometimes it’s the small things that really make a difference. As an Essex student there are lots of little perks that you may not be aware of. For example, our numerous computer labs across campus and free short -term laptop loan scheme ensure that you’re always able to complete all coursework and study even if you don’t have access to a personal laptop or computer.

No one should miss out on being able to study because they can’t buy books.  All essential reading for each module on your course is provided in online reading lists by our library services.  If you prefer the feel of paper, many of your essential reading list items can also be found in our physical library spaces. Our libraries also provide access to hundreds of online e-books, journals, databases and subscription services for students, as well as hundreds of thousands of physical books, journals and resources associated with each of our subject areas and beyond. We've also removed resit fees to ensure students aren't held back from resitting exams due to finance. 

As an Essex student you’ll also get free access to:

  • PressReader – A digital newsstand providing access to over 7,000 of the world’s most popular newspapers and magazines
  • Kanopy – A video streaming service that prides itself on offering quality, thoughtful entertainment. Think Netflix but more refined…
  • Drama Online Library – Perhaps most useful to our arts and humanities students, Drama Online Library is a digital library of filmed live performances, film adaptations and audio plays.

Travel and the local area

The location of all three Essex campuses makes it easy and cheap to explore the local area! Our Colchester Campus is a short walk from a major supermarket, and with Loughton and Southend campuses in the centre of town, everything you need is on your doorstep.

We also offer a range of sustainable, affordable transport options, including buses, bikes and e-scooters. Buses between our campuses and surrounding areas run on a frequent basis, and a First UoE bus pass for Colchester or Arriva Bus Pass for Southend provide a year of unlimited travel at a discount. If cycling is your thing, we offer a fortnightly Dr Bike service in Colchester, offering free maintenance checks and discounted services and repairs. E-scooters are available on our Colchester Campus, and you can benefit from a 50% discount through the TIER UK access scheme.

And if things get really difficult...

Hardship Fund

We have a Hardship Fund designed to help Essex students who are experiencing financial difficulty by giving non-repayable grants to those who need it. Last year the fund provided students with £489,000, this year we've expanded the funding to £1.5million.

The Hardship fund will help cover, food, travel, course costs, childcare, accommodation, energy costs, IT equipment and sports and society memberships

You can apply multiple times over the year to a maximum of £1,500 a year per student. We believe that financial background should never be a barrier to a university education so please, if you feel you would benefit from our Hardship Fund, find out more here

Outside Pastures student accommodation
Are we your insurance choice? It's time to choose your accommodation

If you're an insurance offer holder with us you can now apply for accommodation! Better yet, apply before the deadline (13 September 2024) and we'll guarantee you on-campus accommodation for your first year with us. Welcome home...

Find out more

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