Applying to Essex

International Applicants

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Applying to Essex as an EU or international student

If you are a student from the EU or further afield, we look forward to welcoming you to Essex. Our students represent over 30 different cultures from 140 nationalities, making it one of the most diverse academic communities in the UK.

You're just a few simple steps away from joining them...

Application Process

All applicants need to make sure they meet the course-specific academic entry requirements and provide the following:

  1. Details of all your qualifications and grades, including any not yet completed
  2. A personal statement - See our handy guide
  3. A suitable reference
  4. Evidence of English language

We are more than happy to make offers based on EU and international qualifications that are considered equivalent to our standard A-level offer.  See the country-specific page for your country or browse our courses to find out the general and specific entry requirements for your country.

Academic and English language requirements vary by course and level of study. 

Contact our Admissions team,, for more information on specific qualifications.

Additional requirements and next steps

English language requirement

You are required to have GCSE English at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). 

If English isn’t your first language, you will find our IELTS requirements on our individual course pages.

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 the conditions of your offer.

Further details of English language requirements:



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 for a Student Visa under the UK Government’s Points Based Immigration System (PBIS).

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 Student Visa 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.

International applicants under 18 years old

If you require a student visa and will be under 18 at the point of the CAS being issued, you will be required to provide additional documents:

  • You will need to complete an under 18 form as part of your offer conditions
  • You will need to provide parent/guardian approval for your application
  • If you are still under 18 at the point of entry, you will need to provide details of an emergency contact in the UK aged over 21 

Further details are available on our Undergraduate Admissions Policy and on this webpage.

Please note: Offers cannot be made to applicants who will be under 16 at the point of starting their degree.

Are you no longer at 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. 

We recognise that students come from all backgrounds and embrace the different experiences that mature learners bring to our community. If you have a non-traditional academic background, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference, to gain a deeper knowledge of your suitability for the course when we assess your application.

Our mature students page will help to answer your questions. You may also find this UCAS information for mature students useful.

  • In addition to the standard requirements outlined at the top of the page, you need to show evidence of your ability to undertake degree-level work.
  • If you have not received formal education for some time you may need to complete a preparatory course, or, if you are from the EU, you might be able to join us on a degree course with a foundation year, through our Essex Pathways program.
  • If you receive an offer to study at Essex we may 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.

You can find further information about applying as a mature student on the UCAS website.

Foundation and International Pathways

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 international students are eligible:

  • 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


Submit your application

Once you have met all of the above criteria, and have all your necessary documents, you can apply online through UCAS or via our Direct Admissions form as an independent applicant.

You can find alot more information on applying to Essex as an international student on our International pages.

Communication of offer

Where the University decides to make the applicant an offer, this is communicated to applicants via the UCAS Hub and/or via the myEssex applicant portal.

Applicants will receive:

  • An offer letter,
  • 'Important information about your offer' booklet
  • Information on the University's Terms and Conditions (and other policies that make up the 'student contract') via the myEssex applicant portal

Unconditional offers

If you've already met all the requirements for the course you have applied for, your offer will be unconditional.

Conditional offers

If there are additional conditions that you need to fulfil in order to meet the entry requirements for the course you have applied for, you may receive a conditional offer.

Additional conditions include:

  • Completing an academic or English language qualification
  • Providing additional documentation such as a reference or an ‘under 18’ form

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?

If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, we may be able to offer a small amount of flexibility once we have your results. We’ll review each part of your application, including previous academic achievements, personal statement and reference before a final decision is made.

If you are a student from the EU or EEA, and we are unable to accept your application for your chosen course, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year

If you are an international student, you may be able to take advantage of our Kaplan International Pathways degree preparation programme.

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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.