Supporting you over the winter break

We’re continuing to offer support, events and services to all students if you are staying on our campuses over the winter break, which runs from Saturday 18 December 2021 to Sunday 16 January 2022.

Some services will vary over the winter break due to national holidays in the UK and the smaller number of students on our campuses.

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.

Health and clinical services

COVID-19 testing

The opening times for the COVID-19 testing clinics during the winter break are:

  • Colchester Campus: 21, 23, 28, 30 December and 4, 6 January, 10am to 4pm
  • Southend Campus: Closed from 18 December until 6 January
  • Loughton Campus: Closed from 18 December until 6 January

Home test kits are available to collect from clinics and other locations.

For more information about testing clinics and home test kits, see COVID-19 student testing.

University Health Centre, Colchester

University Health Centre, Colchester will open according to the published surgery timetable.

Student information and support

Accommodation

Accommodation services will operate as normal until 23 December and will resume on 4 January. For more information about accommodation services, visit the accommodation pages.

New students

If you're a new student arriving on campus, the Information Centre is available to take your enquiries.

Internet

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

Copse, Meadows and Quays reception open hours

  • Until 24 December: normal hours
  • 25-28 December: closed 
  • 29-31 December: 9am-5pm
  • 1-3 January: closed
  • From 4 January: normal hours

Exams

Exams are scheduled between 4-14 January. 

Contacting the Exams Office

The Exam Office is available by live chat, phone and email up until and including 23 December.

The Exams Office will be closed from Friday 24 December and reopen on Tuesday 4 January.

Study spaces

Silent study spaces in Labs will be provided for students in the following locations:

  • Lab C
  • Lab E
  • Lab G
  • Lab K

The Silberrad Student Centre, Library, rooms in Levels 2 and 3, and CTC will also be available for study use.

Finance

The Income team will available until 23 December.

From 4 January the Income team will be available weekdays:

  • Income team counter: 10am-4pm by appointment only
  • online payments will remain active throughout the winter break

If you experience any problems with online payments between 24 December and 3 January, you will be able to resolve these with the Income team from 4 January. This will not prevent new students moving into University accommodation.

Students experiencing problems with hardship will be directed to our Funding team.

IT and computer labs

IT Helpdesk

Normal IT Helpdesk support and services will be available until 23 December and will resume from 4 January.

Study and lab space

The following IT labs 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.

Library

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

Colchester

Library services will continue to be available during the winter break, however live chat and 'Click and Collect' services will be closed from 8pm on 23 December until 4 January. During this time students will be able to return books via the external slot and book sorter.

Access to online resources will continue throughout.

The ASL Reading Room will be open and Postgraduate Study Room will be open throughout the winter break.

Southend

Learning Hub and access to the Library floor will be available to students 24/7.

The Library services in The Forum will be available during normal opening hours (Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm) for browsing and click and collect services with the following exceptions:

  • 23 December: 9am-5pm 
  • 24 December: 9am-2pm
  • 25-28 December: closed
  • 29-31 December: 9am-5pm
  • 1-3 January: closed
  • 4 January onwards: 9am-5pm

Loughton

Library services and IT centre will continue to be available during the winter break up to 11pm on Thursday 23 December and again from 8.30am on Tuesday 4 January.

Access to online resources will continue throughout.

New students starting in January

All new students starting in January will be able to undertake full registration online, including making fee payments, allowing remote student to commence their studies.

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

Self-isolation support

Our self-isolation support team will be available throughout the winter break (except 25 December). Students who are required to self-isolate for either part or all of the University closure period will be contacted to ensure they have everything they require and are aware of how to access support if it is needed.

Food parcels for those self-isolating

Quarantine packs for isolating flats at Colchester and Southend will be provided as necessary.

Self-isolation meal plan orders will continue to be fulfilled throughout the winter break. See our self-isolation support for full details.

Wellbeing goodie bags

Wellbeing goodie bags of non-perishable snack foods will delivered to any students in self-isolation on our Colchester and Southend Campuses between 24 December and 3 January, including 25 December.

Student Services Hub

The Hub is open for live chat, email or telephone until 4pm on 23 December and will reopen at 10am on 4 January.

Advice, support and information can be accessed during the University closure period (24 December - 3 January) on the Student Services Hub pages.

All currently registered students can access their certificate of registration electronically at any time and share it with third parties. This document can be used to confirm that you are a registered student, to register for council tax exemption or reduction, to open a bank account or to confirm your current status as a student.

Student wellbeing services

Student wellbeing and inclusivity services will continue throughout the winter break.

A reduced service will be provided during the University closure period (23 December - 3 January), prioritising out-of-hours emergency support, counselling and the Student Wellbeing Support Line.

Student Wellbeing Support Line (24 hours)

For wellbeing support at any time, contact the Student Wellbeing Support Line on 0800 970 5020 (or if you are outside the UK: +44 141 271 7168). This line is staffed by counsellors from our partner counselling provider Validium 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online drop-in services

Daily online drop-in services with a member of staff from the Wellbeing team will be available until 4pm on 23 December and will recommence on 4 January.

Counselling

Students are welcome to complete requests for counselling in the usual way via My Essex over the Winter Break. Any forms completed between 23 December 2021 and 4 January 2022 will be reviewed after that time. To receive emotional support during the break, you can still ring the Student Wellbeing Support Line on 0800 970 5020. This will continue to be open 24 hours a day, including on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

  • SilverCloud is a free online resource using CBT practices that you can work through on a number of different courses such as anxiety and depression.

Student Space

All direct support services offered by Student Space will continue to run as normal with extended phone support. Students can talk to a trained volunteer between 3pm and midnight every day, even during the holidays.

Further information

For more information about wellbeing services, see the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity page.

Travel

Find out the latest travel information for students.

Food and groceries

Food parcels for those self-isolating

See our self-isolation support information for full details.

SU Shops - Colchester Campus

The Store

The Store will be open as follows:

  • Until 23 December: 11am-7pm
  • 24 December: 11am-3pm
  • 25-27 December: closed
  • 28-31 December: 11am-3pm
  • 1-3 January: closed
  • From 4 January: 11am-7pm

The Mini Store

The Mini Store will be open 10am-6pm Monday-Friday until 18 December, then closed until 18 January.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen will be open 8.30am-1pm Monday-Friday until 23 December, then closed until 4 January.

For more information about Students' Union shops and food outlets, visit the Students' Union website.

Essex Food - Colchester Campus

A number of Essex Food outlets are open during the winter break. Find out more:

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

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 23 December and will resume on 4 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.

Activities and events

Events

There will be a programme of events available throughout the winter break. Visit the events pages below to keep up-to-date with the latest planned events across the University and Students' Union:

Students' Union

Essex Students' Union is staying with you this Winter. And they’ve made some big plans.

From care packages to free Christmas lunch, online adventures to Christmas carols, they’re here to bring you a winter break to remember.

For full details, or to book your place on any of the SU events, visit the Students' Union event page and Complete Guide to Winter Break.

Essex Sport

Essex Sport facilities

Essex Sport facilities winter break opening times:

  • 24 December:  6.45am-3.00pm
  • 25-28 December: Closed
  • 29-31 December: 10.00am-6.00pm (Arena closed)
  • 1-3 January: Closed
  • 4 January: normal hours

Fitness classes

A vacation fitness classes programme will be in operation, featuring in-person and virtual classes, including Facebook live sessions.

Technogym MyWellness Workouts

These will be continued through winter break and accessible to anyone logging on to MyWellness app and choosing Essex Sport Gym as ‘home’ gym.

Recreational sport bookings

Recreational bookings can be made for badminton, basketball, tennis, table tennis, squash, racketball and wheelchair sport sessions.

Active Campus sessions

Active Campus activities continue up to 23 December.

Southend Campus

Students at Southend can continue to access Simply Gym 24/7 throughout the winter break by purchasing a discounted membership.

Sports development and fitness instructor videos

Check out the Essex Sport Facebook page and Instagram account for continued videos on topics such as nutrition, cycling, running, meditation and mental health.

Residence Life

Residence Life have a schedule of events throughout the winter break.

All Residence Life programmes are open to both on and off campus students from any location. No booking is needed, just log on and join the event at the start time.

Faith

Events

Find out which faith events are taking place in the winter break.

Colchester Campus

Faith Centre

From 23 December to 3 January inclusive the Faith Centre at Colchester Campus will continue to be open for students and staff to worship from 6am to 10pm.

Any problems in accessing the Faith Centre during these hours should be addressed to the Patrol Staff in the Information Centre on Square 3.

Catholic Society

Mass services are detailed on the SU events page.

Islamic Society

The Islamic Society will continue to hold Friday Prayers in Colchester in rooms 5.300 A and B.

See SU Society page for contact details.

Southend Faith Centre

Mother Cherry is unavailable 27 December and 3 January (usual on-campus days).

Arts and theatre

The Lakeside Theatre will be offering Spoken Word Workshops and weekly Open Mic Nights.

The National Theatre has announced some forthcoming productions which students will be able to live stream. Full details will be made available soon.

Academic departments

Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

PhD labs, Lab 7 and the STEM building will remain open, but will not be serviced by technicians. Other CSEE labs will be closed.

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

East 15 Acting School

The school will be contactable via email at east15@essex.ac.uk until 23 December and will return on 4 January .

East 15 will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Economics

Online and on campus office opening will continue with reduced hours until 23 December and from 4 January.

The Department of Economics will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Edge Hotel School

Virtual office opening hours will continue as per the Edge Hotel handbook and Moodle until 23 December and will return on 4 January. The department will also be contactable at ehs@essex.ac.uk during this time.

Edge Hotel School will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Essex Business School

Virtual support will continue to be available from 9.30am-4pm until 23 December and will return on 4 January. Desks will be closed.

Essex Business School will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Essex Pathways

Virtual Reception will continue with reduced hours until 23 December and will return on 4 January. Essex Pathways will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

In the week commencing 4 January, staff will be working from home due to office repairs, but can be contacted via epd@essex.ac.uk and Zoom meetings can be arranged on request. Staff will be back on campus from 10 January.

Government

The virtual office will be open and 1:1 Zoom calls can be arranged if requested until 23 December and from 4 January. The department will also be contactable at govquery@essex.ac.uk (undergraduate) and govpgquery@essex.ac.uk (postgraduate) during this time.

The Department of Government will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Health and Social Care

The school will continue to be contactable via email until 22 December and from 4 January.

The School of Health and Social Care will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

History

The department is contactable at history-office@essex.ac.uk up until 5pm on 23 December.

The Department of History will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Institute for Social and Economic Research

Normal service will be available for postgraduate research students until 23 December and will resume on 4 January .

The Institute of Social and Economic Research will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive .

Language and Linguistics

The virtual reception will be open 2.30pm-3.30pm, or by Zoom appointment, until 23 December and from 4 January .

The Department of Language and Linguistics will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Law

The school will be contactable by email as normal until 23 December and from 4 January. A virtual helpdesk will also be available during these dates on a reduced schedule, but if you are unable to attend during the published times then adhoc meetings can be arranged.

The School of Law will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Life Sciences

The school will continue to be contactable via email until 24 December and from 4 January. The School of Life Sciences will be closed from 25 December to 3 January, except:

Week beginning 20 December

  • PhD research work can continue in labs on levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • PGR room will be open
  • Essential maintenance of livestock/plants
  • Stores open until 22 December

Week beginning 4 and 10 January

  • PhD research work can continue in labs on levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • PGR room open
  • Essential maintenance of livestock/plants
  • Stores open

Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Virtual office hours will be available with reduced hours (1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the afternoon) until 23 December and will return on 4 January. No appointment is necessary. The department will also be contactable via liftstt@essex.ac.uk during this time. Normal office hours resume from 17 January.

The Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Mathematical Sciences

Staff will be contactable via email until 23 December and from 4 January.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences will be closed from 24 December to 3January inclusive.

Philosophy and Art History

The Zoom reception (10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm) finishes on 17 December. The school is available and contactable via email and Zoom calls can be arranged until 5pm on 23 December and from 4 January.

The School of Philosophy and Art History will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Psychology

The department will continue to be contactable via email until 23 December and from 4 January.

The Department of Psychology will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

The department will be contactable via email or Zoom appointments from until 22 December and from 4 January.

The Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies will be closed from 23 December to 3 January inclusive.

Sociology

The department will be contactable via a reduced email service until 23 December and from 4 January. Normal levels of administrative support will resume on 10 January.

The Department of Sociology will be closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

The school will continue to be contactable via email until 22 December and from 4 January.

The School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences will be closed from 24 December to 4 January inclusive.