Short course

Essex Preparation Programme

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The details
Essex Preparation Programme
All prospective undergraduate students


The Essex Preparation Programme is for students who are intending to enrol at the University of Essex having received an offer of study. It will give you a flying start when it comes to settling in as a student at the University. To top it off, if you complete the course by 23:59 on 5 October 2024 and are eligible, you will receive a £250 cash bursary! Terms and conditions for the bursary are available online.

The course is divided into six topics, covering important parts of university life – such as study habits, reading and writing skills, and critical thinking.

Throughout, you'll build your academic skills, and a range of others that will help you to succeed at university. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, articles and quizzes - and as the course is online, you can study at a pace that suits you – with new content being released on a weekly basis from the start of July.


Topics you’ll encounter on the Essex Preparation Programme are:

  • Learning – how to become an independent learner and improve your study habits.
  • Speaking – improving your speaking, discussion and presentation skills.
  • Thinking – how to become a more critical thinker ready to tackle undergraduate study.
  • Reading – engaging with academic texts and reading actively.
  • Integrity – learn more about academic integrity, to make sure you are prepared for what is expected of you.
  • Writing – writing at university level, and how to produce high quality work from the outset.

How to enrol

You can sign-up for the course now by following these simple steps:

  1. Register with 'Open Essex', the online platform this course will take place on. You’ll need to select ‘Create new account’ at the bottom of the page.
  2. Confirm your account by clicking the link in the email sent to you.
  3. Enrol on the Essex Preparation Programme by logging into Open Essex and pressing ‘Enrol now’ on the course.

If you have any problems creating an account or accessing the course, please email

We also have a wide range of other resources on our Schools and Colleges web page, including our fantastic podcast series busting higher education myths, CPD resources for teachers and advisers, tips and tools for university applications, and our all-important information about on-campus events.