Performance Sport


Celebrating volleyball victory

Playing volleyball at the University of Essex, you'll join one of the top student-athlete pathways in the UK. Our dedicated and inclusive community offers personalised opportunities for your growth, both personally and athletically. 

If you love volleyball

We have men’s and women’s teams competing in BUCS inter-university competitions, including;

  • BUCS Premier League and Tier 1
  • BUCS regional leagues (men’s team only)
  • BUCS National Championships 
  • BUCS National Trophy well as many other opportunities at the University for coaching, officiating and performance analysis within the volleyball programme.

As the first performance sport introduced at Essex, Head Coach Alex Porter has nurtured a winning programme for over a decade – as former England player and Great Britain volleyball captain, Alex not only develops volleyball athletes of the future but progression of the sport in the UK.

Our Essex Rebels professional teams play in the National Volleyball Super League, England's highest level for volleyball teams.

Did you know…

  1. We are continuing to make history as we build on the success of past seasons. We are officially the first UK volleyball club to use an international visa to draft top-class professional players from across the globe.
  2. Our men’s and women’s volleyball teams have won successive promotion from BUCS Division 2 up to the Premier League, with our women winning the BUCS National Trophy in 2016 and men winning Essex’s first ever BUCS National Championship in 2019. Since then, they have been finalists in 2022 and 2023.
  3. Since the volleyball program launched in 2013, of the 142 student-athletes, 24 have gone on to sign professional contracts and 27 have gained their first senior national team cap. 
  4. Essex Rebels were Volleyball England National Cup finalists 2023.

Backing home advantage

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

  1. You'll make use of our outstanding facilities including state-of-the-art gym, Human Performance Unit and personalised Strength & Conditioning sessions, as well as the Essex Sport Arena, home of the Essex Rebels professional basketball and volleyball teams.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Essex Rebels Volleyball performance pathway

The programme

Our comprehensive volleyball programme is designed to nurture talent and fuel your passion for the sport whilst offering academic support for athletes.

A typical week will entail:

  • Three two-hour team court sessions and up to five hours of position specific sessions
  • One BUCS competition fixture
  • One Super League fixture
  • One individual and two team Strength & Conditioning sessions
  • One – two performance analysis film sessions 

Players will also have access to:

  • Daily on-court performance coaching
  • Strength and conditioning coaching
  • Performance analysis
  • Use of our onsite Sports Therapy Clinic
  • Access to campus accommodation
  • Allocated lifestyle practitioner
  • Workshop programmes with guidance in psychology and nutrition
  • Complimentary gym membership
  • Access sports science testing
  • Individual / small group workouts 

Volleyball scholarships and bursaries

Volleyball 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 generous fee waiver scholarships up to 100%, 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.

Alongside performance coaching, recipients of the Performance Sport Scholarship programme may also receive additional support services package benefits such as free kit, use of facilities and access to a range of support services worth up to of £1,500 per year (details outlined below). Our Performance Sport Scholarship programme has four different tiers:

Scholarship type; Award
Tier 1* Tuition fee discount up to 100%, performance coaching and support services package.
Tier 2 Cash bursary (of varying amounts), performance coaching and support services package (available for undergraduate students only).
Tier 3 Performance coaching and support services package.
Tier 4 25% tuition fee discount

*Some exceptional athletes in receipt of a tier 1 scholarship may also receive additional financial support.

Under tier 1 of the Performance Sport Scholarship programme, we award a number of tuition fee discounts to students on University of Essex undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research courses.

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 volleyball scholarship programme, please email Performance Sport Manager, Susy Davies -

Details and Deadlines

Volleyball scholarship application deadline is 31 May 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

Volleyball fee discounts available for students commencing their studies at Essex in 2024-25 are:

Number of awards Scholarship Award
Up to 8 PG awards for international students (full-time only) Between 50-100% fee discount
Up to 12 UG or PG awards for UK students Between 50-100% fee discount**

Apply for a Volleyball scholarship

Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme

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. 

Meet the coaches

Former England Senior National and Great Britain Volleyball Captain, Coach Porter, leads the Performance Volleyball programme here at Essex, driving the Essex Rebels teams to be one of the most respected in the country.

Working closely with Assistant Coach Chinery, they guide the men’s and women’s teams to overcome both mental and physical obstacles, giving each the opportunity to develop their own passion and goals within volleyball, with a global outlook. 

Your future

Sport scholars through our programmes have gone on to personal and academic success, venturing into professional playing contracts, coaching roles and rewarding employment opportunities. Since the volleyball program launched in 2013, of the 142 student-athletes, 24 have gone on to sign professional contracts and 27 have gained their first senior national team cap.

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 courts, laying the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling career.

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

Thomas Jefferson volleyball player in Essex arena
"Essex has this very homely atmosphere, which is upheld across campus. The support we as the players get from our lecturers, fans and teammates is unparalleled. The scholarship has allowed me to develop and further improve my game to compete at the highest level in the UK and within the National team. I hope to become a professional volleyball player and captain the England National Team. After my playing days, I would like to stay within the world of sport whether that be coaching, teaching or management and give back to inspire the next generation of volleyball players."
Thomas Jefferson Essex Rebels volleyball middle blocker, England National Team and sports scholar

For more information on our performance volleyball programme please contact or for information on our professional teams please contact

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