Undergraduate Study

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Undergraduate application information

You've chosen your subject and you're now just one small step away from embarking on one of the most exciting journey's of your life. Our wonderful community of students, representing 140 nationalities from around the world, already call Essex home. Come and join them!

We'll guide you through the application process, tell you which documents you need and what to expect.

Application requirements 

Entry requirements

For most of our courses, the A-level entry requirements are BBB-BBC (120-112 UCAS tariff points). Full details of the requirements for your chosen course can be found on our course pages.

A typical offer will require you to achieve specific grades in three A-levels (or equivalent, including international).  We are also happy to consider your application if you are taking a mixture of A-levels and BTECs, qualifications other than A-levels and equivalent international qualifications. 

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. 

You will need to provide the following:

  1. Details of all qualifications, including those you may have not finished yet and any predicted grades;
  2. Your personal statement - we have some tips for this here!
  3. A suitable reference - usually a teacher from your school or college;
  4. Evidence that you meet the English Language requirement - GCSE English at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) or specified score in IELTS, as published on our course pages.

Application Deadline

We would recommend applying by the UCAS ‘equal consideration’ date if possible. For 2024 entry, this date is 31 January 2024. 

If you missed this date, don't worry!  Though a small number of courses may close to new applications, the majority of courses remain open after this date. You can apply through the ‘main cycle’ (pre-Clearing’) up to 30 June. 

If you are not applying through UCAS, you can go straight to our own direct Admissions Form



Other qualifications we consider

Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list below

  • A-levels
  • AS Levels
  • Extended Project Qualifications(EPQ)
  • OCR Cambridge Technicals
  • BTEC qualifications
  • Cambridge Pre-U Certificates
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advances Skills Challenge Certificate
  • WJEC Applied Diploma or Certificates
  • Core Maths Qualifications
  • LIBF Diploma or Certificates
  • A combination of any of the above.

We can also accept the following qualifications too:

  • T-Levels
  • CTEC qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificates
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diplomas
  • Open University courses
  • Practicing professional qualifications
  • A range of different international qualifications (more details on our Country Specific pages)

This list is based on what we currently accept for the upcoming year of entry, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

If you have not already completed your qualifications, our typical offer will require you to achieve specific grades in three A-levels (or equivalent), or the equivalent in UCAS tariff points. 

We are also happy to consider your application if you are taking a mixture of A-levels, BTECs and other qualifications that hold UCAS tariff points. 

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.

Don't quite have the grades? You may still be eligible...    

If your predicted or achieved grades are lower than our published entry requirements, you can still apply to Essex.

We’ll review your application as a whole, including previous academic history, personal statement and reference before a final decision is made. If we can’t make you an offer for the course you have applied for, we’ll automatically consider your application for other related courses, including degrees which include a foundation year.

Foundation year

Essex Pathways

If you don't quite meet the entry requirements, you may be able to take a foundation year prior to the start of your degree.  A degree with a foundation year, through our Essex Pathways program, will help prepare you academically for university study and when you pass, you are automatically guaranteed a place on your chosen degree. The following students are eligible:

  • UK students
  • Students eligible for home fees but living overseas
  • Students from the European Union (EU)
  • Students from the European Economic Area (EEA)

Kaplan International Pathways

If you're an international student, you may be able to take advantage of one of our degree preparation programmes, created in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways


Supporting the potential of every student - Contextual offers

We are committed to supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds to access the University of Essex. 

A contextual offer is based on your potential to succeed as an Essex Undergraduate student and applies to UK applicants in the following categories:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus 

Further information, and full eligibility criteria, can be found in our Contextual Offers Policy.

Contextual offers will be made to eligible applicants taking A-levels, a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma, a combination of qualifications that hold UCAS tariff points (e.g., A-levels alongside a BTEC) and the International Baccalaureate.

Where possible, we will make contextual offers to eligible applicants holding other qualifications. If the standard offer is already at the contextual offer equivalent level based on your individual offer conditions or qualifications (e.g. UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma), we may be unable to make you a contextual offer. For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, please contact our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

How to apply

Register with UCAS to get your application started.

Or you can apply directly through our Admissions form as an independent applicant. 

More information about how to apply and your next steps can be found below...
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

Other things to consider

Courses with additional requirements

Compulsory interview, audition or workshop

Some courses at Essex have a compulsory interview, audition or workshop as part of the application process. This means that an offer of admission can only be made after being successful at the interview, audition or workshop required for that course, even if the other entry requirements for the course have been met. 

A compulsory interview is required for a number of our health-related courses:

  • If you’re invited to attend an interview, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to book an interview slot.
  • After your interview we will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.
  • You will receive notification of the outcome by email, or we will contact you by email if we need any additional information.
  • FdSc Oral Health Science applicants will wait longer for the result of their interview- further information is provided at your interview

An audition or workshop is required for all courses at our East 15 Acting School. You can find more information on our East 15 Auditions page.

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

Readmission to Essex

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.


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 Student visa to study in the UK.

The deadline is 15 July 2024 for October 2024 entry.


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: readmission@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).

Applying for deferred entry

We understand that you might want to take a gap year to travel, to work, or to recharge before starting your Essex journey.

We consider applications for deferred entry for all of our courses, except for our East 15 courses and our BSc and FdSc Oral Health Science.

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 you are made a conditional offer, you will need to meet the conditions of your offer in the academic year which you apply, ie the year before you would start your course.
  • If after you have accepted your offer you wish to defer your place, please confirm this in writing via email to ugquery@essex.ac.uk

Extenuating circumstances

We understand that sometimes circumstances beyond your control may have impacted your studies. 

The Admissions Selector may take into account any extenuating circumstances which have affected an individual applicant when deciding whether an offer should be made, or if an applicant’s place may still be confirmed where exam results miss the entry requirement. 

  • We will automatically consider information provided within the personal statement and reference about any extenuating circumstances which may have affected your academic performance.
  • If you wish to inform us of any extenuating circumstances not disclosed in your application, such as illness or any other serious difficulties during examinations, you should email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .
  • You should inform us as soon as possible and before your final results are issued, or at the point of submitting your application if you are applying through Clearing. 
  • If further information or evidence is required regarding any extenuating circumstances before a decision can be made, we will contact you at the point at which you have all of your results and any other conditions have been met. 
  • Please note any extenuating circumstances provided should only be those not already considered by an examination board prior to your results being issued. 

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 on our Student Support pages

Application 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.

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Undergraduate Admissions
Got a question? We're here to help and guide you through the process. If you have a question, send an email to our friendly admissions team.