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Get involved in Essex life

When you join Essex, you join a community of 15,000 students representing 140 different nationalities from around the world. Our campuses are buzzing with activities and events and you'll find a supportive network of like minds where you can pursue your passions and have fun. 

From your first day on campus, right through to the moment you graduate and beyond - there will be plenty of opportunities along the way for you to make friends, try something new, and change your life forever.  

Students' Union

Run by students, for students, your SU is here to ensure that your voice is always heard and that action is taken on the things you care about most. We will be here for you throughout your entire time studying and beyond.

Get ready for an incredible journey! The SU is here to make your time at university unforgettable...

Clubs, societies, and all that other good stuff

Get involved and have fun. Are you a film buff or a footballer? Are you a gamer or a green campaigner? Do you fancy learning photography or helping at a local animal shelter? Check out our huge choice of clubs, societies, sports facilities and volunteering opportunities.


We have more than 120 societies to choose from covering a wide range of themes.

Whether you’re looking for members of your faith or cultural background, searching for others in your department or just want to hang out, you'll find your community through the SU.

If you're looking to meet new people who share the same interests such as arts, music, culture, politics, or even something a little more weird and wonderful, chances are there's an SU society at Essex for you.

And even if you can't find something that floats your boat, then you can even set up a brand new society. The possibilities are endless at Essex!


Sports clubs

The SU is also home to 40+ sports clubs run under the collective name of the Essex Blades.

Whether you’re into solo or group, indoor or outdoor, water or land, competitive or recreational sports, we've got it covered. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned pro athlete, want to have a go at something new, or just want to keep fit, you are sure to find something that you'll love. 



Essex Students' Union is home to VTeam (Volunteering at Essex). We’ve got something for everyone to get involved with, no matter your ability.

Do you want to make a difference, make enduring connections and build skills that will boost your future career, while also doing good for the local community?  That's what the VTeam is all about. Come along, do something you enjoy and help make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.



We are the proud home of ESCALA, a world-renowned Latin American art collection. We also offer opportunities for students to hone their creative skills at our Art Exchange gallery. 

Our Lakeside Theatre also hosts internationally acclaimed plays, live music, performances by our own (incredibly talented) drama students, and you can get involved through the regular open mic nights, show auditions and creative workshops. 

For more information, check out our arts and culture facilities across our Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses.

Rebel media

Rebel is your platform to create, debate, educate, and entertain over 16,000 students at Essex, and gain valuable experience and meet new people while you're at it.

The Rebel team is made up of all kinds of creative types: Writers, photographers, videographers, presenters, producers, technical geniuses, web specialists, and so much more. But you dont need to have expertise to join us. If you’ve got something you’d like to learn or share then let’s work together to create something exciting.


SU Events

Oh, and it doesn’t end there - get ready for some epic events throughout the year: From big nights out, escape rooms, games and bingo to cultural celebrations, firework displays, and festivals to name a few. Trust us, there's always something exciting happening here, so get involved, live your best life, and make memories that will last a lifetime!

"There are so many amazing projects to volunteer for here at the university of Essex that every student is guaranteed to find something they love and make lifelong memories and friendships!"
Anne Bernard Law student

Support and services

We have your back. Think of the SU as your trusty sidekick, always ready to lend a helping hand. 

We are all about supporting you during your time at Essex. We will advocate for your interests and we will work together to influence decision-making and processes on all kinds of issues, from academic policies to campus facilities and services to make your university experience the best it can be.

SU Advice

We are here to create a positive and supportive campus environment that you can call home. Get free, confidential help and advice without judgement, whenever you need it at SU Advice.

We can give you support with appeals, academic queries, immigration, student conduct, accommodation, personal welfare, health and wellbeing, money and so much more.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed or just want to chat to someone? Whatever it is you are dealing with, let’s conquer this together! We will help you to navigate through any challenges you may be having and guide you through finding a solution that’s right for you, just drop in or give us a call on 01206 863211.

You'll find us on each campus:

Colchester: Our reception is off Square 3

Southend: Our SU Advice office is on Elmer Approach next to the Mezz in the SU Lounge

Loughton: Get in touch with an adviser via email at


SU Homes

Need to find somewhere to live while studying at Essex? SUHomes are here for you. With a range of properties available; including shared houses, resident landlords, family friendly housing, entire houses, and purpose built student accommodation; short and fixed term tenancies, we will help you find the perfect place.


We are on a mission to be the worlds’ most student-centred organisation, and we’d love for you to join us in achieving this. Most of the staff at the SU are students and we’ve got lots of roles available. If you are looking for a job while studying at Essex, why not come and work for the biggest student employer on campus?

Working for the SU is a great opportunity learn new skills to boost your CV, expand your social circle, make a positive impact on the life of other students, and earn yourself some money at the same time.

Two students chatting at an open day
Essex has a top rated Students’ Union... Again!
The annual Whatuni Student Choice Awards ranked Essex as the 7th best Students' Union in the country! (For the 5th year running) These awards are voted for by our students, so we couldn’t be prouder!

Places, spaces, and events

You belong with us. When it comes to hanging out and having a good time, we’ve got you covered. 

Our venues give you somewhere to unwind, socialise and relax whatever your vibe. Whether you are on a mission to hit the dance floor with all your mates or just need somewhere to just hang out and chill, we have the space to make it happen.

The Essex Bucket list

Check out our Essex Bucket List, brought to you by Essex student Ania Romankiewicz who is studying BA Modern Languages.

1. Perform at the open mic

Every Friday night, the Lakeside Theatre hosts Open Mic night, so you can share any talent or thought you have in the cosy and friendly atmosphere of the Theatre Cafe. The mic and stage are yours, so you can show off whatever you like; from singing to playing an instrument, to dancing, to reading a poem or a manifesto, to doing a magic trick.


2. Ride on the library lift

The Paternoster list in the Library at our Colchester Campus amazes everyone when they see it for the first time because it never stops. You step into it while it's moving and step out while it's moving too, and it just goes round and round. The rules do say you shouldn't do a full circle with the lifts, so don't do it... ever...

3. Go to Subzero nightclub

SubZero is the nightclub at our Colchester Campus. Some people say it's awesome, some people say it's not quite so. You have to give it a try at least once!

4. Go on a year abroad

The likelihood is, you'll only get one chance in your life to do this, so get out of your comfort zone and step into the unknown. Living in a new place and in a different culture is destined to be a life-changing experience, so don't miss out!

Find out more with Essex Abroad.

5. Visit the Art Exchange

The place where exhibitions, talks with artists and art classes happen, is on our Colchester Campus and it's free for students. Have a break and just show up at the Art Exchange or get involved with one of the art sessions. Get those creative juices flowing; shake your booty in a dance class, free your energy in African drumming or capture a naked yogi with some chalk and paper with life drawing.


6. Have a BBQ by the lakes

Gather your friends, bring some food to share with everyone, some instruments, games and just enjoy a chilled afternoon by the lakes with the ducks, rabbits and squirrels. 

7. Take part in fundraising, manifestation or protest

Make some noise for the right cause. Become an activist and support any project you think is right and worth shouting about. At Essex you have a chance to express your views and not be criticised for it. With such a multi-cultural community on campus, you'll always find people that share your views and want to unite for a good cause. Even the smallest change is a step forward, so find your voice and use it!

8. Put a padlock on the SU family wall

It's not quite the Lock Bridge in Paris, but what better way to leave your mark on Essex forever by writing your initials on a padlock and locking yourself to campus (not literally of course!)

three students walking up a tree covered path on a sunny day
Find your people - join 1000s of other Essex students on Umii

Meet people and make new friends through the SU’s awesome app, Umii, which has already helped thousands of Essex students connect with each other. Whether you want to chat to other students with the same interests, find a study buddy, or someone to just rant about life with, Umii is the place to find your people. It’s time to level up your social game at Essex - download the Umii app now: