Postgraduate Research

Join our research community

Tray of test tubes

Be part of leading-edge thinking

Our research students work at the heart of our internationally recognised and well-connected research community.

We have five subjects in the UK top 10 for research power (Times Higher Education 2022) across the social sciences, arts and humanities, and science and health. Specifically, 90.4% of our research impact is world-leading or internationally excellent (Grade Point Average, Research Excellence Framework 2021), which means you learn from academics that are recognised internationally for the quality of their research and that the University of Essex is at the forefront of researching the important issues facing our world.

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Research excellence

Research assessments have consistently shown us to be among the leading universities for research. In particular, we are a centre of world-leading excellence for the social sciences. Four of our social science subjects are in the UK top 10 for research quality (grade point average, Research Excellence Framework 2021) and three are in the UK Top 10 for research power (Times Higher Education 2022). Here are the highlights:

  • 2nd in UK for research power in sociology1
  • 3rd in UK for modern languages and linguistics research quality2
  • 3rd in UK for research power in law1
  • 4th in UK for research power in economics and econometrics1
  • 6th in UK for research power in politics and international studies1
  • 6th in UK for research power in computer science1

1 Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021

2 Grade Point Average, Research Excellence Framework 2021

Skills training and professional development

Research skills training is provided by your department and developed through one-to-one guidance by your supervisor and more formal workshops, seminars and specific research methods modules.

Our students engage with our wider research environment and communicate their work. Many of our departments run their own postgraduate journals and working papers. All offer doctoral research seminars and conferences and encourage you to present at such events, as well as manage, facilitate, promote and chair them. You can apply for University funds to help you present papers at national and international conferences.

Our Institute for Social and Economic Research collects and analyse longitudinal data and are recognised for the supervision of doctoral students by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). We provide excellent opportunities for training in research methods and for substantive research.

Outstanding facilities and resources

Our facilities and services support research excellence and our Student Centre and library at our Colchester Campus are state-of the-art learning facilities which include a dedicated 24-hour study area for postgraduate research students. The Forum at Southend provides research students with 24-hour study areas and additional resources. Well-resourced labs with hundreds of PCs, plus access to scanners and printers, are available 24-hours.

UK Data Archive and UK Data Service have been based on our Colchester Campus since 1967. The UK Data Archive is the curator of the nation's largest collection of digital social and economic data. The UK Data Service is an ESRC-funded service that offers access to a vast range of data.

Funding for our research

Our research is supported by a wide spectrum of UK research councils, EU framework programmes, public-sector organisations and departments, charities, and private-sector industry and businesses. Engagement with these external funders and stakeholders enriches the quality and relevance of your experience and training.

Our state-of-the-art facilities enable our students and staff to produce world-class research
Our state-of-the-art facilities enable our students and staff to produce world-class research
Make use of the 24-hour facilities at The Forum, Southend
Make use of the 24-hour facilities at The Forum, Southend