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College resources

Resources for sixth form colleges

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Preparing your students for university

We understand how important teachers and counsellors are in preparing students for university and so we want to support you and your students with a range of resources.


Online Study Skills Resources

We have been working really hard to create resources to support you whilst schools/colleges are closed. There are higher education talks, easy-to-follow videos and workbooks for students to complete on their own or all the resources are available for teachers/advisers to deliver themselves, whether that’s in school, college or online. We hope they are helpful and if you need any support or have any questions please contact smplus@essex.ac.uk 

Live Aspire Higher Webinars

Led by our fantastic PhD tutors, this exciting new webinar series will teach you something new every week! Each live, interactive workshop will last 45 minutes and you’ll be sent a workbook to follow along with at home, so all you need is a device with internet access – no webcam!

It's really easy to sign up, simply select which topics you're interested in and register for your desired date and time.

Life Design

Believe it or not, but the principles of product design shape our academic and personal lives. This is called ‘life design,’ and in this session our tutors will help you to understand the ‘life design’ skill and how it can increase your creativity. By developing these skills, you’ll be better equipped to solve problems, take control of your life, and make informed decisions based on your own knowledge and desires.

Interview Techniques

What is a CV? What should you include? What should it look like? How can you prepare and practice for interviews? What should you expect? All of these questions, and more, will be answered in this session. Take part to help take the anxiety out of job hunts, or university applications, and prepare yourself for life after school/sixth form!

Social Stream

We are hosting social activities for Y10-13 students and their families every Friday afternoon at 4pm. Below you'll find out what's coming up in July, just click on a link to register.

Hang-out with our Ambassadors

Friday 3 July, 4pm 

Have a chat with current University of Essex students about whatever is on your mind at the moment. They’ll be taking your live questions and talking all things Essex!

Join the chat

Big fat quiz of the week

Friday 10 July, 4pm

Summer Schools might be cancelled but our favourite quiz isn’t! Join us and test your knowledge on the events of the past week.

Join the quiz

Lockdown Logic

Lockdown Logic is our series of educational and informative blogs and vlogs. Written by current University of Essex students, they provide a unique opportunity to explore what our students wish they had been told before coming to University.

Read and listen to their advice on Beating Writer's Block, Navigating your First Year, Managing Money and much more.

Self-Directed Study Skills Workshops

Students can use the easy-to-follow videos and workbook to complete the workshop in their own time. Either print off the pdf version of the workbook or edit the word document using your device. 

If you’re a teacher who is going to deliver the workshop you will find a pdf version of the presentation below, as well as the delivery notes and other documents to support your lesson. 

We have the following workshops available for both Pre-16 and Post-16 students: Metacognition, Life Design, Growth Mind-set and Reflective Practice.

Metacognition workshop

Learn to assess and monitor your learning strategies to further develop your overall learning.

To complete the Metacognition workshop by yourself, you will need the following materials:

Learning about Metacognition will help students to develop their independent learning skills. They will think about the way they learn and assess their strategies. With interactive activities and a murder case that needs help solving, this resource will aid your students and help keep them motivated.  

To deliver the Metacognition workshop to students, you will need the following materials:

Life Design workshop

Apply this way of thinking to solve problems that don't have an obvious solution. 

To complete the Life Design workshop by yourself, you will need the following materials:

This workshop will help students to learn about the process of Life Design and the theory behind it.

To deliver the Life Design workshop to students, you will need the following materials:

Growth Mind-set workshop

Identify and explore the benefits and methods of using a growth mind-set and how it compares to a fixed mind-set. 

To complete the Growth Mind-set workshop by yourself, you will need the following materials: 

This workshop will help students to understand what a growth mind-set is and how it compares to fixed mind-set.

To deliver the Growth Mind-set workshop to students, you will need the following materials:

Reflective Practice

To deliver the Reflective Practice workshop to students, you will need the following materials

Sorry we do not currently have the student led workshop available. If you are a student feel free to look through the Reflective Practice presentation in your own time.

Self-Directed EPQ Workshops

We recognise that the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a valuable qualification for students to undertake in preparation for study at university. The following resources are designed to introduce students to the key skills needed for writing their first research project.

You can also book an EPQ support session via our online enquiry form, or email outreach@essex.ac.uk for more information.

If you are part of our Schools Membership Scheme, our fully trained PhD Tutors are also available to provide workshops that cover the key skills required to complete the EPQ. These can be delivered either in your sixth form/college or at one of our campuses.

Research Skills


Developing a Research Question

Critical Thinking

Academic Writing

Skimming, Scanning and Note-taking

Independent Study

Resources for students studying A-Levels

Resources for A-level Maths students

We have an excellent relationship with the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) and with Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), the educational charity which manages the FMSP.

The University is a fund-holder for the FMSP, providing a centre for FMSP activity in the East of England. Dr Chris Saker is an FMSP Area Coordinator and he is based in our Department of Mathematical Sciences. The University is proud to be able to contribute to the excellent enrichment opportunities, teacher training and resources provided by the FMSP.

Registration with the FMSP is free and once registered teachers have access to free resources for teaching A-level Further Mathematics via MEI’s Integral website. Sample resources from Integral are available to try for free.

Resources to Support University Applications

These resources provide information about the university application process, such as personal statements and student finance, and we would encourage you to share them with your students (and their parents) in order to guide them through the process.

Resources for teachers and parents

  • Reference writing guide (.pdf) - A guide for teachers and university counsellors responsible for writing references.
  • UCAS guide for parents (.pdf) - An introduction to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which is used by most universities in the UK.
  • Transgender inclusion guidance (.pdf) - Guidance for schools liaison staff in the implementation of an inclusive approach to the delivery of activities.

Resources for international students

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Webinar series

Join our academics in a brand new six week webinar series. To give you and your students a flavour of what it's like to study our UG and PG courses at Essex, our academics have created a suite of short videos and webinars from multiple departments across the university.

Explore our talks, tasters and webinars


Seven higher education institutions have developed exciting short online courses suitable for college students, teachers and advisers. The free AccessHE online courses range from specific subject introductions, to understanding how the university application cycle works.



In addition to all of these resources, we also have Essex101, a fully interactive online course which students can undertake in their own time or you can use in the classroom.

Log in to Essex101

External links and resources

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)

UCAS administers all of the applications to higher education courses in the UK. The UCAS website offers guidance and advice on higher education courses for students, careers advisers, parents and carers. Students can use the course search to browse and filter courses at universities across the country.

Student finance

  • Gov.uk gives detailed information about all aspects of student finance and is also the site through which finance applications are made. The finance calculator tool is also really helpful for getting an idea of how much money you might be entitled to for living costs whilst at university.
  • Money Saving Expert has a whole section on the student finance system from the perspective of an independent financial adviser.
  • The Student Loan Repayment website explains how students loans are repaid after university.
  • Students thinking of studying an NHS funded course or social work course will also need to look at the NHS website.

Comparing universities

  • Unistats is a detailed website that uses statistics on a range of issues to compare universities across the UK
  • The Complete University Guide collates a range of different league tables and allows comparison of universities based on a number of factors.

Visiting universities

  • Opendays.com allows students to find out when universities across the country are having open events so that they can plan a number of visits in order to find the right place for them.
  • Uni taster days is a one-stop source of university and higher education taster events, workshops and open days for teachers, careers advisers and students.

Graduate career opportunities

The Prospects website offers graduate job and careers advice. University can dramatically improve career prospects by increasing graduates average salary and offering them more choice and variety of jobs.

Three female students looking at a laptop together smiling
Schools Membership Scheme

Our Schools Membership scheme launched in 2015 to create a network of schools, sixth-forms and colleges across the UK and around the world. By identifying the schools, we work closely with each year, we are better able to allocate our resources, and are proud to offer our partner schools a range of exclusive benefits.

Find out more