Postgraduate Study

Applying for a Masters degree

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How to apply and entry requirements

So you've decided what and how to study and now it's time to make it happen. We'll walk you through how you apply to study with us and the documents you'll need to send us.

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Applying to Essex is simple and straightforward. We'll give you all the important information you need to make your application. Our online application form takes about 20 minutes to complete.

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What do you need to know?

Are you a current student? 

We've made applying for Masters study as straightforward as possible for our current students with our new fast-track application form, now live on your myEssex student portal

As a current Essex student, you may also be eligible for our Alumni Loyalty Discount, which provides a discount of 33% on tuition fees. If we can offer you a place, we'll automatically consider you for this award.


Entry requirements for taught courses

We will consider UK degrees, or equivalent international qualifications. For some courses, there may be additional requirements.

Full details of entry requirements, including English language requirements are on our country pages or course listings. Please get in touch with Graduate Admissions if you have any further queries regarding the qualifications we accept.

If you're an international student and you don't quite meet the academic requirements, check out our range of preparation courses including our pre-master's programme through our partnership with Kaplan International Pathways.

Necessary documents

When you apply to study with us, you'll need to provide a number of supporting documents - we can't process your application until we have these. Some of these documents you will have to upload with your application, others you may be able to upload at a later date. We may ask to see original documents if you are offered a place.

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience. For more information, refer to the relevant course on course finder.

Personal statement

Find out whether you need to submit a personal statement as part of your postgraduate application, by visiting our personal statements page. We also provide you with some tips and advice on how to write a personal statement, which should be no longer than 500 words.

English language

If you have received your test results you may include a copy with your application. The main tests we accept are IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson, and the test must be less than three years old at the time of admission. The IELTS requirement for your course is listed in our course listings.

You can also see more detailed information about English language requirements here (.pdf)


Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).


If you are applying to one of our taught courses in the Essex Law School or Human Rights Centre, a Pre-Registration Masters course, MA Social Work, MSc Periodontology, MSc Advanced Periodontal Practice, or the Essex MBA, you will need to provide a copy of your CV with your application.


You are required to submit a reference only if you are applying for one of the following courses:

  • The Essex MBA
  • MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)
  • MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Registration)
  • MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)
  • MA Social Work

Don't worry if you cannot provide your reference when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide this at a later stage. References should be recent, ideally on letterhead paper, as well as signed and dated by the referee. We can also accept an email directly from your referee.

Application deadlines

Applications for October 2024 and January 2025 entry are open.

We recommend that you apply as soon as you are able to as courses may occasionally close early. This webpage will be updated with any changes to application deadlines. You should also take into account any deadlines for funding applications, such as scholarships.

Start month Course(s) Visa status or country of residence Application deadline
October 2024  MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)  Any  Applications closed at 12.00pm (GMT) on 23 February 2024 
October 2024  All postgraduate taught courses available for October 2024 entry (except courses noted above)  Student visa applicants  12.00pm (BST) on 1 July 2024
October 2024  All postgraduate taught courses available for October 2024 entry (except courses noted above)  Non-student visa applicants (including UK) 12.00pm (BST) on 2 September 2024 
January 2025  All postgraduate taught courses available for January 2025 entry Student visa applicants   12.00pm (GMT) on 11 November 2024 
January 2025  All postgraduate taught courses available for January 2025 entry  Non-student visa applicants (including UK)  12.00pm (GMT) on 15 December 2024  

Visit our page on student visas if you are not sure whether you need one to study in the UK.

After you apply

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks once we have received all the relevant documents from you.

When you create your application, you will be issued with an application number (PG number), which is your unique reference number with us. You will also be able to create an account on our myEssex for Applicants portal to manage your application.

Accepting your offer

If we offer you a place, we send you our decision electronically. You will be able to view and download your offer letter from myEssex within 24 hours of a decision being made. We will send you an email with instructions on this. You should use myEssex to accept your place and to keep us informed of any changes to your contact details by updating them online.

The timeframe you have to accept your offer will be clearly stated in your offer letter. You will usually be given 30 days to accept your offer, although this may be reduced if you receive your offer later in the admissions cycle. You are able to accept your offer whether it is conditional or unconditional.


Before starting your course you need to consider how you are going to fund your studies. If you will need to hold an offer for a course to become eligible for funding, you’ll need to allow time to make your course application and get an offer in place before the funding deadline.


The Graduate Admissions Feedback Policy provides information on how to request feedback if your postgraduate application is unsuccessful. Please note that feedback is not available for all postgraduate courses, and this is explained within the policy.

Other things to consider

Transferring to Essex from another university

If you are currently studying at another university, either in the UK or elsewhere, and it’s not working out, you may be considering transferring to the University of Essex.

We welcome enquiries and applications to transfer to the University of Essex and recommend that you read the guidance below before making an application.

Before applying for transferred entry

Transferring to another institution is a big decision, and can take time to complete. We would recommend speaking with someone at your current university (such as your personal tutor, supervisor or academic support services) who can provide advice and guidance on the possibility of transferring.

You should also discuss with them the impact that a transfer might have on your funding or visa arrangements.

If you decide that you wish to transfer to the University of Essex, we recommend emailing our Postgraduate Admissions Office before making an application. 

How to apply for transferred entry

Please email stating that you intend to transfer from your existing institution, stating your course choice and preferred point of entry at Essex. You should then make your application for the course via the University’s Postgraduate application form and attach the following supporting documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal statement (which might include your reasons for moving institution)
  • An academic reference
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Transcripts

Upon receipt of your application, the relevant department may invite you to interview and will assess your suitability for transfer to the University of Essex.  The following information may also be requested for consideration as part of your application:

  • Formal release of all Intellectual Property (IP) from your original institution
  •  Data use and/or ownership information
  •  Ethical approval information
  • Studentship/scholarship funding transfer arrangements

All suitable applications for admission are then submitted to the relevant Deputy Dean (Research) for final approval.

Visa students

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK, the above information will apply. However, in addition, we will consider whether you would be able to meet all Home Office requirements when determining whether or not you are eligible to transfer to the University of Essex.

Transferring from a partner institution

You may be looking to transfer to the University of Essex from a partner institution in the EU or overseas under one of our link agreements, which support the admissions of students to study with us through progression arrangements.

Transferring credit for individual modules

If you wish to transfer credits for individual modules from your current or previous university study or work experience, you should discuss the matter with the relevant Admissions Office in the first instance. Your request may be considered under the University’s Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning – AP(E)L procedure. This procedure may need to be completed in addition to submitting a standard application to transfer to the University of Essex.

Please refer to the University’s AP(E)L policy and procedure for further information.

Extenuating circumstances

We understand that sometimes circumstances beyond your control may have impacted your studies. The Admissions Selector may take into account any extenuating circumstances which have affected an individual applicant when deciding whether an offer should be made, or if an applicant’s place may still be confirmed where degree results miss the entry requirement.

We will automatically consider information provided within the personal statement and reference about any extenuating circumstances which may have affected your academic performance. If you wish to inform us of any extenuating circumstances not disclosed in your application, such as illness or any other serious difficulties during study, these should be emailed to or the Postgraduate Admissions Adviser named on your offer letter. You should inform us of any extenuating circumstances as soon as possible. If further information or evidence is required regarding any extenuating circumstances before a decision can be made, we will contact you. Any extenuating circumstances provided should only be those not already considered by an examination board prior to your results being issued.  

Disability and health

Applications are considered against the same academic criteria as those from other candidates. If you are disabled, state this on your application form so that we can give early consideration to any support requirements you may have. Please contact Student Support if you would like to discuss this in more detail before you apply.

If you require an application form in an alternative format please telephone Graduate Admissions on +44 (0) 1206 876587 to discuss your needs.

Accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (AP(E)L)

Policy and procedure for the accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (AP(E)L)


This procedure applies to former postgraduate students who are requesting permission to be readmitted to study, having previously left voluntarily or having been required to withdraw from the University.

It does not apply to:

  • students who want to be admitted to study at a higher level after having successfully completed an award at a lower level
  • students who have successfully completed a degree and want to start another degree in a different subject area

Readmission policy

It is our policy, and part of national HESA rules, that you cannot normally be considered for readmission to the same programme from which you have been required to withdraw, or a similar programme which contained modules you have already taken, for a minimum of two years after you left (with the exception of students who have been required to withdraw for debt).

You can be considered for immediate readmission to a completely different area of study if there are good reasons to indicate that you chose the wrong course originally and there was evidence that you could be successful in a new area. This is subject to the University’s rules relating to the maximum period of study.

How to apply

In order for your request to be considered, please complete the application form for former postgraduate students.

Supporting documents

Your personal statement should cover the reasons why you wish to be readmitted; what you have been doing since leaving Essex; and why you believe you will be successful if you return to your studies at Essex. If you have studied elsewhere since leaving Essex, please give full details of the course(s) you studied and the dates of your study.

If you are a recent Essex student and you have not studied elsewhere since leaving Essex, then you will not need to supply a new reference with your application.


The deadlines for the submission of a readmission request are set well in advance of the relevant course start date, as the process can be a lengthy one, especially if a student requires a Student visa to study in the UK.

Start date

Application deadline
January 2024 30 October 2023
October 2024 15 July 2024


Your application will be considered by several departments within the University, so please don’t be concerned if you don’t hear from us immediately. Depending on your case, it may be a number of weeks before you receive a decision. If you have any concerns about the progress of your readmission request please contact:

Complaints against decisions

There is no right of appeal against selection decisions made by the University, including decisions about readmission. Complaints will normally be considered to be valid only where there is evidence of procedural irregularity. In the event that you are dissatisfied with the University’s readmissions process, you can submit a complaint in line with the Complaints policy for applicants (.pdf).

Postgraduate admissions team
Graduate Admissions
Want to know more? If you have any questions about your application, email our friendly admissions team.
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Get prepared for a Masters

Perfect if you're holding an offer with us, our Masters Preparation Programme is divided into three core modules, covering important parts of postgraduate taught study – including teaching, learning, research, and academic integrity. Study with us before you start your Masters course.

Find out more