Supporting you over the winter break

Staying on campus over the winter break? Christmas is a national holiday in the UK so campus may be a little quieter than usual, but there will still be plenty of facilities, food, fun and support for you.

Emergency contacts

Colchester Campus 

Emergency and non-emergency contact details for first aid or incidents requiring security or police attendance at the Colchester Campus.

Loughton Campus 

Emergency and non-emergency contact details for first aid or incidents requiring security or police attendance at the Loughton Campus.

Southend Campus 

Emergency and non-emergency contact details for first aid or incidents requiring security or police attendance at the Southend Campus.

Fire emergency action 

Emergency action steps to follow if you discover a fire.

Medical and mental health emergencies 

Find out who you can contact if you or someone needs urgent medical or mental health support.

Support at any hour

If you need to talk to somebody, support is available at any time of the day or night, see our out of hours support information.

University Health Centre, Colchester

The Health Centre will be closed over Christmas as per the dates below:
  • Monday 25 December 2023 – Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 26 December 2023 – Bank Holiday
  • Wednesday 27 December 2023 – Closed all day
  • Friday 29 December 2023 – Closing at 12.30pm
  • Monday 1 January 2024 – Bank Holiday

The Health Centre will be open from 9am to 4.30pm on the other days.

New patient registrations are also being accepted.

Activities and events

 Although services around campus will be reduced, there are a range of different activities and events over the winter break period.

  • SU events - including different Christmas related activities and mixer events.
  • University events - a whole host of different activities to keep you busy.

Student information and support


Accommodation services will operate as normal until 22 December and will resume on 2 January. For more information about accommodation services, visit the accommodation pages.

New students

If you're a new student arriving on campus, our Security teams are available to take your enquiries.


Our internet providers will provide a 24/7 service during the winter break.

Funding support

Hardship Fund applications will continue to be made via the Blackbullion system throughout the Christmas break.

IT and computer labs

IT Helpdesk

Normal IT Helpdesk support and services will be available until 22 December and will resume from 2 January.

Study and lab space

The following IT labs at Colchester Campus will be open during the winter break:

  • Lab D: 8am - midnight
  • Lab C: 8am - midnight
  • Lab G: 8am - midnight
  • Silberrad Student Centre: open 24 hours

For more information about study and lab space, visit the places to study page.

Southend Campus

Students can access the Learning Hub and Library floor in The Forum building, via the North access (SMACS) door. Security is on site 24/7 365 days a year.


For full details of Library services across all three campuses, visit the Library website

New students starting in January

All new students starting in January will be able to undertake full registration online, including making fee payments.

Once registered, students are able to access the online Welcome portal and benefit from the use of essential information and resources as well as departmental induction information.

You can also contact our enquiries team during the winter break, will we get back to you as soon as possible.

Find out more about starting at Essex

Student Services Hub

Our Hubs are open for live chat, email or telephone until 4pm on 22 December and will reopen at 10am on 2 January.

Advice, support and information can be accessed during the University closure period (24 December - 2 January) on the Student Services Hub pages, including how to access documents.

Student wellbeing and counselling services

The University's out of hours support will remain available for students throughout our closure period, full details are available on our web page.

Students are welcome to complete requests for counselling in the usual way via MyEssex over the Winter Break. Any requests submitted between 22 December 2023 and 1 January 2024 will be reviewed after that time. To receive emotional support during the break, students can still ring the Student Wellbeing Support Line on 0800 970 5020. This will continue to be open 24 hours a day every day, including on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Students can also access SilverCloud or Togetherall at any time.

Food and groceries

Essex Food - Colchester Campus

All Essex Food outlets will be closed on 24, 25, 26 December 2023 and 1 January 2024.

More information can be found on their web pages.

Wivenhoe House Hotel

Wivenhoe House Hotel will be open throughout the winter break offering Christmas lunch and dinners.

For more information visit the Wivenhoe House Hotel website.

Security and estate services

Patrol Officers and security

The Patrol Officers are available 24/7; this service will continue throughout the winter break.

For more information about security on campus, visit the security services pages.


Maintenance services are available throughout the winter break should an emergency arise.

To report a maintenance fault, visit the buildings, grounds and maintenance pages and report the fault to the Facilities Helpdesk.

Post services

Post Room services will operate as normal until 22 December and will resume on 2 January.

The Post Room will also remain open for parcel collection on certain days over winter break. For full details see the post services page.

Building closures

To reduce our environmental impact over the winter break, we’ll be closing buildings that aren’t in use and reducing the heating level.

Colchester Campus 

The following areas will remain open, except between 7pm on 31 December and 7am on 1 January:

  • IT Lab C (8am to midnight)
  • IT Lab D (8am to midnight)
  • IT Lab G (8am to midnight)
  • The Silberrad Student Centre (24 hours)

The Albert Sloman Library will have reduced opening hours from Friday 22 December to Tuesday 2 January, but some study spaces will remain open. Find out more.

Specific opening times for Essex Food and Essex Sport are also available.

The following buildings will be closed throughout

  • North Teaching Centre
  • Causeway Teaching Centre
  • Tony Rich Teaching Centre
  • Library
  • Art Exchange 
  • The Hex 
  • LTB
  • Networks
  • Psychology 
  • Brain Science
  • Health and Social
  • Rab Butler
  • Ivor Crewe
  • Constable Building 
  • John Tabor Building 
  • Ground Barns
  • Lakeside Theatre
  • IT Lab B (2.403)
  • IT Lab M (4S.2.4)
  • IT Lab K (4S.2.8)
  • IT Lab F (3.300)
  • IT Lab H (3.403)
  • IT Lab I (3.402) 
  • Organgery
  • Limehouse
  • Stem
  • EBS
  • Health and Social Bio / Life Science

Southend Campus 

The Gateway Building

Saturday 23 December – Monday 1 January the Gateway Building will be closed with no access to students. Staff will return on Tuesday 2 January and The Gateway Building will be open as normal.

The SU Lounge will close Friday 15 December at 3pm, until 11am Monday 15 January, other than when they run events. The café will be closed throughout this time.

The Forum

  • Friday 22 Dec 8am to 7pm
  • Saturday 23 Dec 8am to 5pm
  • Sunday 24 Dec - Christmas Eve Closed
  • Monday 25 Dec - Christmas Day Closed
  • Tuesday 26 Dec - Boxing Day Closed
  • Wednesday 27 Dec 8am to 7pm
  • Thursday 28  Dec 8am to 7pm
  • Friday 29 Dec 8am to 7pm
  • Saturday 30 Dec 8am to 5pm
  • Sunday 31 Dec - New Year’s Eve Closed
  • Monday 1 Jan - New Year’s Day Closed
  • Tuesday 2 January onwards 8am to 7pm

Throughout the Christmas period students can still access the Learning Hub and Library floor in The Forum building, via the North access (SMACS) door.  Security is on site 24/7 365 days a year.

Clifftown Studios

Clifftown Studios will be closed as of Friday 22 December and re-open on Tuesday 2 January.

University Square

University Square is open every day including bank holidays (staffed by security).