Performance Sport

Individual athletes and other sports

Sports hall, Essex Sport

Embracing a diversity of sporting talent, we are actively seeking student athletes engaged in BUCS team sports and individual athletic pursuits, to welcome into our performance sport programme. 

If you love sport...

Our athletes and teams compete in BUCS inter-university competitions. Having focused on strengthening opportunity and performance, we’ll be looking to be push a Top 25 place within BUCS. 

We champion a holistic approach to education, where the pursuit of academic excellence works together with the demands of athletic training. Our cutting-edge facilities and committed coaching staff are dedicated to nurturing well-rounded individuals who thrive both academically and athletically across various sports disciplines.

Some key highlights so far as we celebrate the first term of 2023-24;

  • In collaboration with Colchester Rugby Club, our Rugby 15's 1st teams have benefitted from performance coaching, enriching their skill sets and fostering a culture of athletic excellence
  • We are a proud partner with the RFU, working closely with them to enhance our rugby programme for students and extending coaching support to our men's 2nd teams, reinforcing our commitment to the holistic development of our rugby athletes
  • Our women's rugby team is currently leading in BUCS Tier 3 positioning them for promotion whilst our men’s 1st team has secured top position in Tier 2 and are set to contend for promotion into Tier 1, with our men’s 2nds competing in Tier 4 currently laying in 4th place

Example programme 

Our comprehensive sports programmes are designed to nurture talent and fuel your passion for sport whilst offering academic support for athletes. 

Scholars can also have access to:

  •  Strength and conditioning coaching
  • Use of our onsite Sports Therapy Clinic
  • Access to campus accommodation 
  • Allocated lifestyle practitioners
  • Workshop programmes with guidance in psychology and nutrition
  • Complimentary gym membership 
  • Access sports science testing
  • Timetables individual / small group workouts 
Did you know
  • Canadian sports scholar Zack Kuzyk succeeded at the 2023 LUCA indoor championships with a 1st in High Jump, 2nd in Long Jump and 2nd in Triple Jump. He’s also hooked up with local athletics club Colchester Harriers to further support his training
  • Inspiring women’s rugby scholar Brianna ‘Allie’ Morris joined the University of Essex with an academic ambition studying M.A. Criminology whilst honing her skills on the field in a competitive and supportive environment
  • Hui 'Sammy' Chan successfully applied for a sport scholarship to continue playing at a high level in fencing, relishing the competitive nature of it  

Backing home advantage

Making sure our student-athletes experience a fully supportive environment.

  • You'll make use of our outstanding facilities including state-of-the-art gym, Human Performance Unit and personalised Strength & Conditioning sessions with leading coach Justin Mills.
  • In September we opened our Performance Analysis and Coaching Room boasting a 100-inch touchscreen TV and sound system. The equipment allows playback of match videos giving coaches the ability to break down and highlight tactical improvements within your game.
  • Last year we launched the Athlete Village, dedicated accommodation for sports scholars and student-athletes. Located near our sports facilities it’s also a short walk from the lecture theatre building.  

Scholarships and bursaries 

Scholarship applications for 2024-2025 are now open. 

We're on the lookout for student-athletes who are eager to grow, develop, and strive for personal excellence. If you're up for the challenge and meet the academic eligibility criteria, we have fee waiver scholarships up to 25%, cash bursaries plus additional support packages available to financially help support your time here with us. 

Scholarships are highly competitive, therefore applicable to athletes who have played at academy, county, national or international level in the UK or equivalent in your home country. 

Apply now

If you feel like you meet this eligibility please fill in our sport scholarship application form. If you have any questions about our scholarship programme, please email Performance Sport Manager, Susy Davies -   

Details and Deadlines

Scholarship application deadline is June 30, 2024.

Sports bursaries are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are linked to successful course applications at the University of Essex. It's crucial to meet the academic entry conditions for your chosen course to be eligible for a sport scholarship.

It's essential to adhere to these deadlines to ensure your eligibility for a sport scholarship at the University of Essex. Applications after this deadline will not be considered. 

If you have any further questions or need assistance with the application process, please don't hesitate to email 


Apply for a scholarship
Zack Kuyzk sports scohlar and high jumper
"I chose Essex because of their excellent academic programs in addition to having the opportunity to meet other students from around the world. I am confident that Essex has provided me with the resources to be successful in both my academic and athletic endeavours while studying overseas. I have felt incredibly welcomed by peers, roommates and University staff which speaks to the University’s inclusivity and well-established international student population."
Zack Kuzyk International track and field scholar and MSc physiotherapy student

Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)

We are proud to be a Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) delivery site. As a Sport England funded partnership between talented athletes, the University of Essex and national governing bodies of sport, we work together to develop the best young talent within the UK.

The TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme recognises an education institution’s commitment to dual career support for talented athletes who are in full time education. We are pleased to offer an enhanced level of academic flexibility and understanding to allow our athletes the ability to balance their studies with a demanding but rewarding sporting schedule.

Alongside a playing career, we also have a range of opportunities to support your professional growth, to navigate a path through placements including, but not limited to, Sports Therapy, Performance Analysis, Sport Science and game day support.

Your future

During your time at Essex, seize the chance to elevate your transferable skills. We provide platforms that spotlight your talents for potential employers in the UK. Your journey extends beyond the playing field, laying the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling career. Our performance programme is designed to help you prepare for a future career in or around your chosen field some way after your time here at the university comes to an end.

Read about some of the successful athletes, past and present on our Performance Sport Blog.

Rugby player in black about to be tackled by two other players in green and gold tops
Athlete Village

Both returning students who have previously represented the University in BUCS competitions, and new students who can evidence their level of performance in school, county or national level competition are welcome to apply to live in the Athlete Village.

Find out more about the Athlete Village