Undergraduate application information

How to apply and entry requirements

View of Colchester Campus lake

Make it happen

Applying to Essex is straightforward. We make things as easy for you as possible, so you can get on with the important business of planning your Essex experience.

From starting your application, to visiting us if you can, finding out more and confirming your place, we will support you at every stage. 

When to apply

Applications are now open for 2020 entry.  Once you have made your mind up that you would like to apply to Essex you should submit your application as soon as possible. 

A small number of courses may close on 15 January 2020 but the majority will remain open until 30 June 2020, after which time you may be able to apply through Clearing. 

Applications can be made either via UCAS or our Direct Admissions form.  If you are applying to other institutions or already have a UCAS application you will not be able to use our Direct Admissions form.  

How to apply

Applying through UCAS?

You can apply to Essex through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Applications are made online via the UCAS Apply and Track service. UCAS charge a small fee for processing your application. 


The UCAS code for Essex is ESSEX E70. Our individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively. There is no campus code for Colchester – please leave this blank in your application.

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements are described on each of our course pages. The wide range of qualifications that we consider include:

  • A-levels
  • BTEC qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificates
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diplomas
  • Open University courses
  • Practicing professional qualifications

If you have not already completed your qualifications, our typical offer will require you to achieve specific grades in three A-levels (or equivalent).  We are also happy to consider your application if you are taking a mixture of A-levels and BTECs, or qualifications other than A-levels. If your results fall short of the offer level by a small margin, your results in other qualifications such as the Extended Project, a Core Maths qualification or an additional AS-level may be taken into account. We want you to stand the best chance of benefiting from an Essex Education. 

If you’re from outside the UK, we are more than happy to make offers based on EU and international qualifications that are considered equivalent to our standard A-level offer. Up-to-date information is also available on our course pages. Contact our Admissions team for more information on specific qualifications.

English language requirements

You are required to have GCSE English at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). If English isn’t your first language, you can demonstrate your level of English language by achieving a specified score in IELTS or another equivalent test that we accept. You don’t need to achieve this level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer. Our IELTS requirements are published on our course pages.

Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept:

English language courses

If you do not meet the IELTS requirements then you may be able to take a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to meet our English language requirements without retaking IELTS. These courses are delivered by the University of Essex International College.

 

What to include in your application

It’s important that you complete your application fully to give us all the information we need to make a decision as quickly as possible.  A few key things that we will need are:

  • Details of all qualifications, including those you may have not finished yet and any predicted grades.
  • Your personal statement (we have some tips for this here!)
  • A suitable reference. If this is not provided or does not meet our requirements this may be a condition of any offer made and will be required before your place can be confirmed.

Applying as a UK student in school or college

If you are a UK student and still at school or college, you can apply through your school. Your careers advisor or teacher can check and submit your completed application to UCAS.

Applying as an EU or international student

If you are an EU or international student, it may be possible to apply through your school or college but this is not common practice. You can apply online through UCAS or via our Direct Admissions form as an independent applicant.

Immigration and applying for a visa

If you’re applying from outside the European Economic Area and require a visa to study in the UK, you’ll need to apply under Tier 4 of the UK Government’s Points Based Immigration System (PBIS). We are required to ensure compliance with Home Office regulations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. In order to apply for your visa you will require the University to issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS). In some circumstances, we may be unable to make an offer or issue a CAS if an applicant is unable to meet all Tier 4 requirements, including when there have been changes to these requirements made by the Home Office.Find out more about immigration and applying for a visa.

If you're not applying directly from school or college

If you are a mature student (aged 21 or over) or no longer at school or college, you can apply online through UCAS or via our Direct Admissions form as an independent applicant. You may also find this UCAS information for mature students useful.

You need to show evidence of your ability to undertake degree-level work and the necessary study skills. If you have not had any formal education for a period of time you may need to undertake a preparatory course before joining us, or you might be able to join us on a Year 0 pathway. 

If you are made an offer to study at Essex we will need to see evidence of your qualifications before you can register.  If you took your qualifications some time ago or have misplaced your certificates, there is some useful information online about what to do if you don’t have copies of old exam certificates or you may wish to contact your school/college to obtain evidence of your qualifications. 

Transferring to Essex from another university

If you are currently studying at another university, either in the UK or elsewhere, and it’s not working out, you may be considering transferring to the University of Essex. Not all of our courses can accept second or final year applicants, please see the link below for details of which courses / departments accept applications for second year and final year entry.

We welcome enquiries and applications to transfer to the University of Essex and recommend that you read the guidance below before making an application.

Before applying to Essex from another university 

Transferring to another institution is a big decision, and can take time to complete. We would recommend speaking with someone at your current university (such as your personal tutor, supervisor or academic support services) who can provide advice and guidance on the possibility of transferring.

You should also discuss with them the impact that a transfer might have on your funding or visa arrangements.

If you decide that you wish to transfer to the University of Essex, information about how to apply is below.  If you wish to contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office before applying to check your eligibility please provide the following information:

  • the course you are interested in transferring to;
  • the point of entry that you wish to transfer into (for example second or final year);
  • details of your  A-level and GCSE qualifications (or equivalent);
  • for transfers into the second or final year – please provide a full list of modules that you have completed, or are completing, in your current university study. If this has already been completed, you should provide a copy of your results transcript;
  • a copy of your English language qualification, if you are not a first language English speaker;
  • confirm in your email whether or not you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

A final decision will not be made on your application to transfer until your application has been received and all sections of the application reviewed in full.

Please note that you will only be eligible to transfer into the second or final year of study at the University of Essex if you have studied the pre-requisite course modules in your current university, and have passed these at the required level.

How to apply

If your Admissions Adviser confirms that you would be eligible to make an application to transfer, you should make your application through UCAS or our Direct Admissions form. Please note that all UCAS deadlines apply to transfer applications, and some courses may have earlier deadlines to apply. Upon receipt of your application, the relevant department may invite you to interview and will assess your suitability for transfer to the University of Essex.

Tier 4 students

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, the above information will apply. However, in addition, we will consider whether you would be able to meet all Home Office requirements when determining whether or not you are eligible to transfer to the University of Essex.

Transferring from a partner institution

You may be looking to transfer to the University of Essex from a partner institution in the EU or overseas under one of our link agreements, which support the admissions of students to study with us through progression arrangements. You should make your application through UCAS or our Direct Admissions form and we will take the link agreement into consideration when assessing your application.

Transferring credit for individual modules

If you wish to transfer credits for individual modules from your current or previous university study or work experience, you should discuss the matter with the relevant Admissions Office in the first instance. Your request may be considered under the University’s Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning – AP(E)L procedure. This procedure may need to be completed in addition to submitting a standard application to transfer to the University of Essex.

Please refer to the University’s AP(E)L policy and procedure for further information.

Readmission

If you previously started but did not finish a degree course at Essex and are now thinking about coming back to complete your studies, we call this ‘readmission’ and there is a different application route in place.

This procedure doesn't apply to:

  • students who want to be admitted to study at a higher level after having successfully completed an award at a lower level
  • students who have successfully completed a degree and want to start another degree in a different subject area

Readmission policy

It is our policy, and part of national HESA rules, that you cannot normally be considered for readmission to the same programme from which you have been required to withdraw, or a similar programme which contained modules you have already taken, for a minimum of two years after you left (with the exception of students who have been required to withdraw for debt).

You can be considered for immediate readmission to a completely different area of study if there are good reasons to indicate that you chose the wrong course originally and there was evidence that you could be successful in a new area. This is subject to the University’s rules relating to the maximum period of study.

How to apply for readmission

In order for your request to be considered, please complete the application form for former undergraduate students. Please ensure that you select ‘Yes’ to 'Have you ever registered for a course at the University of Essex before?’

Supporting documents

Your personal statement should cover the reasons why you wish to be readmitted; what you have been doing since leaving Essex; and why you believe you will be successful if you return to your studies at Essex. If you have studied elsewhere since leaving Essex, please give full details of the course(s) you studied and the dates of your study.

If you are a recent Essex student and you have not studied elsewhere since leaving Essex, then you will not need to supply a new reference with your application.

Deadlines

The deadlines for the submission of a readmission request are set well in advance of the relevant course start date, as the process can be a lengthy one, especially if a student requires a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

  • Start date: September/October 2020 - deadline: 15 July 2020

Outcome

Your application will be considered by several departments within the University, so please don’t be concerned if you don’t hear from us immediately. Depending on your case, it may be a number of weeks before you receive a decision. If you have any concerns about the progress of your readmission request please contact: ugad1@essex.ac.uk

Complaints against decisions

There is no right of appeal against selection decisions made by the University, including decisions about readmission. Complaints will normally be considered to be valid only where there is evidence of procedural irregularity. In the event that you are dissatisfied with the University’s readmissions process, you can submit a complaint in line with the Complaints policy for applicants (.pdf).

Text books on a desk
Writing your Personal Statement

Our admissions team have plenty of tips to help you to nail writing your Personal Statement, including advice on where to start, what to include and how to really stand out in your application! 

Find out more

After you apply

Reviewing your application

Once we receive your application it is considered by our Admissions Team. When making a decision on your application, we take into account your whole application - including your qualifications, personal statement and reference.  

If you applied through UCAS, your UCAS Track will officially inform you when a decision has been made on your application. You'll also receive information from us if we make you an offer. Once you've received a decision from all your choices, UCAS will ask you to accept one offer as your firm (first) choice and one offer as your insurance (second) choice via UCAS Track.

If you applied via our Direct Admissions form you will receive all the information you need from us if we make you an offer via your myEssex applicant portal. You will need to follow the instructions provided in your offer letter to accept your offer.

Flexible offers

Here at Essex we are committed to offering a transformative education to as many applicants as possible. Our Flexible Offer means that eligible applicants could receive a dual offer. This means that if you choose Essex as your firm choice by the relevant deadlines, you are guaranteed to have your place confirmed should you meet the Flexible Offer stipulated in your offer letter.

A Flexible Offer will specify alternative entry requirements to those published in our prospectus and online, meaning that if your grades aren’t what you hoped for when you receive your results, you could still secure a place with us.

More information about eligibility and which courses have flexible offers is available in this document.

Applicant days

If you're based in the UK, we'll invite you to an Applicant Day, which may include an interview (depending on your subject). This gives you the chance to meet members of staff and students, and have a look around the University. If you're not resident in the UK but would like to visit our campuses, we would love to show you around. Alternatively, you can take a look online at our 360° campus tours.

Confirming your place

If your offer is conditional and you go on to meet the conditions specified in the offer, we'll confirm your place if you have accepted us as your firm or insurance choice. If your results don't quite meet the conditions, we may still confirm your place, but this depends on the results and the availability of places. If you don't meet the conditions of your offer and don't secure a place on your chosen course, you may be offered a Foundation option. Our decision is usually made within a few days, once we have received all the information we need, and you'll be notified by UCAS (if you applied through UCAS) and in your myEssex applicant portal.

Feedback

The Undergraduate Admissions Feedback Policy provides information on how to request feedback if your undergraduate application is unsuccessful. Please note that feedback is not available for all undergraduate courses, and this is explained within the Policy.

Other things to consider

Deferred entry

The majority of our courses enable you to take a gap year. You can apply in the normal way, but you should indicate that you would like to apply for deferred entry on your application. Applications for deferred entry will be considered on the same basis as those for entry in the current application year. If after you have accepted your offer you wish to defer your place, email the admissions adviser named on your offer letter for further information.   

DBS and Occupational Health Checks

Some courses require you to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS), when working with children and/or vulnerable adults, and a Occupational Health Check. Further information about DBS checks and the courses where this may be required is available online

Disability and health

When you apply you can declare whether you have a disability or health issues so we can provide support. We have a team of disability and wellbeing advisers, dyslexia tutors, and other specialist staff. Declaring a disability or health issue will not form part of our decision making and we are dedicated to offering equal opportunities to all. Further information about the support available at Essex is available via the Student Services Hub.

Reform of UK qualifications

For information about the reform of UK qualifications please have a look at our statement.

Accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (AP(E)L)

Policy and procedure for the accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (AP(E)L)

Under 18's

If you will be under 18 at the point of entry you will be required to complete an under 18 form as part of your offer conditions and will need to provide details of a UK-based emergency contact aged over 21. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK and will be 18 at the point of entry but will be under 18 at the point of a CAS being issued you will still need to complete our under 18 form.

Further details for applicants who will be under 18 at the point of entry to the University are available on our Undergraduate Admissions Policy and on this webpage.  Offers cannot be made to applicants who will be under 16 at the point of starting their degree.

Undergraduate Admissions
Want to know more? If you have any specific questions, please email our friendly admissions team.