Requesting to study remotely

Essex is a campus-based university and we know that our students value being together on campus. On our campuses we can better support you to achieve success, and you can also experience all the benefits of being part of our diverse, global and inclusive community. It is these experiences, both academic and cultural, that play such an important part of your time at Essex. For these reasons, in academic year 2021-22, we are expecting all our students to learn, in-person on our campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

We know that COVID-19 restrictions may still affect many of you. That’s why we will offer a level of flexibility for those who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the start of term.

If you are currently overseas, we understand there may be barriers to you getting to campus for the beginning of term. For this reason, for some but not all courses of study, it is possible to start the year studying remotely until you can join us on campus.

Eligibility for remote study

We want and expect all our students to learn, in-person on campus.

Remote study is intended for students who are currently overseas and cannot travel to campus. We will consider other reasons that may affect your ability to arrive at your campus, but approval will only be given under exceptional circumstances (eg. you have been advised by a doctor not travel to campus). Please remember that remote study is not possible for some courses of study.

Overseas students

Remote study is primarily for students who cannot come to campus due to international travel restrictions (or for those waiting for their CAS/visa to be issued - see below). 

Students in the UK

If you are in the UK, we understand that you cannot or do not want to come to campus. However, permission to study remotely will be only exceptionally granted for students who are currently in the UK and won’t be agreed if you have a student visa/CAS.

Remote study is intended for overseas students who cannot come to the UK due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

Where remote study may not be possible and latest dates to arrive on campus

When you complete the remote study request form with all of your details, your department will be informed of your request to study remotely and will confirm the latest date by which you must be on campus and attending in-person teaching or supervision to meet the learning outcomes for your course, if your request is approved. Should it not be granted, the department will contact you to discuss your options.

Courses and programmes of study for which in-person attendance is essential, such as those with laboratory time or other essential face-to-face sessions, will require you to be on campus by a specific date. If you are applying for remote study on a taught course in any of the following departments, and cannot come to campus by the start date specified below, it is unlikely that your request will be approved.

  • East 15 Southend and Loughton –1 November 2021
  • Computer Science and Electronic Engineering –22 November 2021 and 31 January 2022 (January start courses only)
  • Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy – 17 January 2022
  • Edge Hotel School – 29 November 2021 and 17 January 2022 (January start courses only)
  • Nursing – 18 October 2021
  • Occupational Therapy – 1 November 2021
  • Social Work – 30 November 2021
  • Speech and Language Therapy – 11 October 2021
  • FdSc Oral Health Science – 27 September 2021
  • MSc Health Research and MSc Global Public Health – 1 January 2022
  • Mathematical Sciences - 31 January 2022 (January start courses only)

If you can’t arrive on campus by the deadline

If you request to study remotely and you cannot arrive until after the latest date of arrival set by your department, we will be unable to approve your request. In this case, once you have completed the study form we will get in touch with you to explain the position and to advise you on what your options are.

To find out more about how your student visa or CAS will be affected if you aren’t able to arrive by the deadline, please visit our immigration web pages where you will find a section regarding studying remotely in 2021-22.

Students affected by international travel restrictions

If you plan to arrive before the latest date of the arrival set by your department you will be able to study remotely.

As soon as you’ve completed online registration, you will be able to access a form to contact your department with details of your arrival date. Your department will then get in touch to let you know how remote study will work for your course.

If you have a student visa or are issued with a CAS, the Home Office have extended the Temporary Covid-19 Concessions, allowing you to study remotely whilst you are overseas. To keep your sponsorship/student visa, you will need to register as an Essex student, attend, and engage from the start of your course overseas.

You must be on campus to attend in person by the date your department agree or by the Home Office deadline stated in the concession, currently 6 April 2022, whichever date is earliest. It is not possible for us to continue to sponsor you remotely if you arrive after this date. For more information about your responsibilities as a sponsored student visit the immigration pages of our website.

Students with a visa or CAS

If you are in the UK and have a student VISA or are issued with a CAS, current Student Immigration Rules and guidance require you to attend in person, so it won’t be possible for us to allow you to study remotely within the UK.

Please remember that we want and expect all students to come to campus. The possibility of remote study is intended for students who are currently overseas and are prevented from travelling to campus. Permission to study remotely will be only exceptionally granted for students who are currently in the UK and cannot be agreed if you have a student VISA/CAS.

More detail about how your student visa or CAS will be affected if you aren’t able to arrive by the deadline, is available on the immigration pages of our website, along with specific information about studying remotely overseas in 2021/2022.

If you have a student visa or CAS, to retain our sponsorship you will have to be in the UK studying in person by the date set for your course. This must be before the Home Office deadline, currently 6 April 2022. It is not possible for us to continue to sponsor you to study remotely overseas if you arrive after this date.

Students with different circumstances

Students with particular circumstances surrounding their CAS or visa are best dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your department to discuss your situation and they will work with you to explain your options.

For more information about your responsibilities as a sponsored student visit the immigration pages.

Applying to study remotely

We are expecting all our students to learn, in-person on our campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

We know that COVID-19 restrictions may still affect many of you. That’s why we will offer a level of flexibility for those who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the start of term.

As soon as you’ve completed online registration, you can access our remote study request form and submit your request to study remotely.

You should request to study remotely if you are not able to arrive to study on campus before the start date of your course or programme of study. Approval for remote study other than due to international travel restrictions/visa delay issues will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

If you request to study remotely due to international travel restrictions/visa delay issues and you plan to arrive before the latest date of arrival, as set by your department, your request will normally be approved. If you request to study remotely and you cannot arrive until after this date, we will be unable to approve your request. In this case we will get in touch with you to explain the position and to advise you on what your options are.


Submit a request

COVID safety measures on campus

We have been working hard to ensure that all our students feel confident to learn with us on campus and have focused on:

  • Measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff
  • Ensuring the value, quality and transformative nature of an Essex education is maintained and
  • Developing contingency arrangements to manage any further impact of COVID-19 on the next academic year

We have completed a full risk assessment and are implementing control measures to reduce the risk of transmission and protect our community. We have produced guidance that we all need to follow to keep safe on campus which includes information on face coverings, social distancing, signage and cleaning.

Watch our three videos and hear from our Registrar and Secretary, Bryn Morris, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lorna Fox O'Mahony, and Dean of Partnerships, Professor Dominic Micklewright explain how we are helping our students stay safe on campus and how we are committed to delivering a transformational education by adopting a new blended approach to teaching.

Further information for applicants on starting at Essex is available on our website along with clear guidance for students on how to come to our campuses, safely.

Accommodation bookings

If you have already booked your accommodation but have now been granted permission to study remotely, you will have the following options for your accommodation booking.

Once you have completed the remote study form and your department has authorised your request, the accommodation team will be in touch to offer you the following options regarding your accommodation tenancy:

  1. cancellation of your accommodation – we can cancel your accommodation and remove your current rent charges. You will be invited to re-apply for a room as soon as you know your intended arrival date. Students who have completed the remote study form and been approved by their departments to begin their study remotely, will be guaranteed accommodation when they are able to travel to campus. Charges for your new room will begin when you collect your key. If you have made a rent pre-payment, this will be carried forward and deducted from your first rent payment once you have arrived.
  2. keep your current allocation – you can keep the room you are currently allocated to for as long as you require, however you will be liable for the rental charges from your allocation start date (your allocation start date can be found on your accommodation offer letter).

Find out more about booking accommodation.

Fee payment and withdrawing from course if remote study rejected

If you register to study with us and your request to study remotely is rejected you will not have to pay your fees as long as you withdraw prior to the start of the course or within 28 days from the course start date.

Returning to campus following a period of remote study

When you return to campus following a period of remote study you will need to be seen in person by either your department or the Student Information Team who can mark you as being ‘on campus’ in our systems. This will ensure that your timetable is updated with your in-person teaching events. This process can take 2-3 working days. If you will be living on campus and are required to quarantine in your campus accommodation (not in a hotel) you can NOT be marked as ‘on campus’ until your period of quarantine has been completed.