Students under 18

We want students that are under 18 to feel included and welcome at the University. We understand that you will also want to get involved in campus life and so we have a range of activities open to you.

All questions you might have about university life will be answered by the Student Information Team in your Student Services Hub. From accommodation to funding, exam stress to student support and wellbeing - any advice you might need, our expert teams are here to help. 

Whilst we do expect you to take care of yourself and to live independently, the University does have an additional duty of care to you and we want to ensure that you have all of the information you need to make your experience with us a happy and successful one.

Please note that it is the University's policy not to admit students that are under 16.

Your emergency contact details

We’ll want to know who your UK based emergency contact is.  We’ll only contact this person if we really have to – such as if we’ve tried to contact you and you’ve not responded, if we have serious concerns about your health or welfare, or if you’ve been unable to register and you need help getting back home. But we’ll never discuss details of your progress with your emergency contact unless you have given us permission to do so.

If you're an applicant and need to let us know about your emergency contact details please email

If you're a current student and need to update your emergency contact details please email

How we support you

Personal tutor and peer mentor

Personal tutor

You will be allocated a personal tutor when you start at University. Your personal tutor will be a member of staff from your department and is someone you can talk to if you have questions about your course or encounter any difficulties which affect your studies. If you aren’t sure who your personal tutor is, please ask your department.

Peer mentor

You probably have questions about University life. You can go straight to the source! All undergraduate students automatically have a peer mentor, a fellow student from your department who can answer your questions about university and share their experience.


We will try to make your transition to University life as smooth as possible. We require you to live in University accommodation so please make sure you apply by the deadline. You can choose from a range of accommodation options, including a single-gender flat if required.

The Residence Life team is made up of full-time staff and part-time student staff known as Residents’ Assistants (RAs). The RAs are returning students, who live on campus in University accommodation. The RAs will be a welcoming face from day one, helping you settle in and feel part of the community as well as being trained to offer support, advice and signposting.

Social activities

You have a lot of exciting opportunities to try something new and meet other students. Our University and the Students’ Union have a wide range of social activities from Day 1. Whether you’re into sports, films, music or a little bit of everything, we’ve got you covered.

One of the first things you get to do when you come here is to collect your heirloom (which you can learn more about here). It’s a customisable charm that shows you’re a part of the SU Family.

You’ll get to sit down with a student advisor in the Heirloom House and they’ll chat to you about what you’re interested and suggest what clubs, societies and events you might like. This will be one of your first steps towards easily meeting other students who are interested in the same things as you.


You can join a society or club at any time. If you’re not sure what societies you want to join, they have taster events and come-and-try sessions where you can get a sneak peek of what the society is all about, before committing.


At Essex we run a rota of ‘Just Play’ sports throughout the year. These are only £2 unless otherwise specified and you can attend ‘drop-in’ sessions, so even if you can’t commit to a team or weekly training sessions, you won’t miss out on the wide range of activities and sports available to everyone. There’s also Blades sporting events where you’re welcome to watch and cheer on your team.


Cine10 is your own on-campus cinema that holds screenings of the latest blockbusters and the classics we love, without the High Street price tag.

Under 18s can use all bars on campus until 8pm. We screen big sports games in the SU Bar and also have live music most Tuesdays in term-time 1pm – 2pm.

Things you won't be able to do until you're 18

  1. It is illegal for you to buy or for anyone else to sell you alcohol. A court of law could fine both you and the seller. This means you mustn’t drink alcohol in the bars on campus and you may not be permitted to enter some licensed venues or events.
  2. It is illegal for anyone to sell tobacco, cigarettes or fireworks to someone who is under 18.
  3. Under 18s are not allowed to gamble or work in betting shops or clubs. Over 18s are not allowed to place bets for those aged under 18.
  4. There may be age restrictions on movies that you would like to see or online games you are thinking of buying.
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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.