Undergraduate study

Start your Undergraduate degree in January

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Join us in January

We've launched a new range of undergraduate degrees with a January start date meaning it's not too late to join Essex this academic year. Here's what you need to know.


2020 was a year of unprecedented change. You've had to make decisions that are out of your control and deciding on what to study is difficult enough without a pandemic to contend with. But do not worry, we've introduced a range of undergraduate degrees that start in January 2021. To work out whether starting an undergraduate course in January 2021 is for you, we've pulled together some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a list of all the courses available to start this month, in the hope it will make your decision easier. 

If you were looking for information about our postgraduate January start options, look no further, you can find out more here.


Which undergraduate courses are available to start in January 2021?

Below these FAQs you will find a list of all the January start undergraduate degrees we are offering.

What can I expect if I am starting my course in January 2021?

Further guidance from the Department for Education and the latest UK Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January has required us to review our plans and our approach to the Spring Term. This means all students starting a course in January 2021 will need to study online until at least mid-February. We anticipate that it is possible that, depending on the rate of infections in the coming weeks, further UK Government guidance may advise that face-to-face teaching will not be allowed for the whole of the Spring Term. We will keep you updated as we receive further guidance and continue to review our plans in light of the changing context of the pandemic. 

Our dual-delivery plans are based on supporting your learning through a blend of on-line and face-to-face activities, whenever it is safe to do so. We will keep under review the possibility of face-to-face teaching for more courses, but recognise that this will depend on when we are permitted to do so by the UK Government, and our assessments of what is safe for students and staff. 

How can I apply?

Applications are now open for January 2021 entry, applications can be made either via UCAS or our Direct Admissions form (if you are applying to other institutions as well, or already have a UCAS application, you cannot use our Direct Admissions form).

What is the application deadline if I want to start in January 2021?

The deadline to submit a new application is Monday 11 January 2021, ready to start your studies from Monday 18 January 2021. Teaching will be offered remotely which offers some flexibility with travel for those of you outside the UK.

Will I still graduate with the same qualification as the October start courses?

Yes, if you choose to start in January 2021, you will graduate at the same time and with the same level of degree as students who started in October 2020.

If I start in January, will my first year of studies be condensed?

Yes, your first year is condensed so it runs from January 2021 to summer 2021. You will then begin your second year of studies in October 2021 along with all other students on that course.

Will there be accommodation available on campus?

Applications for accommodation can still be made after the deadline of 6 December. However, there is no guaranteed accommodation available.

We have provided substantial flexibility to students in University owned and managed accommodation, so that you are able to defer taking up your tenancy. We will maintain this flexible approach during the period of ‘Advanced Protection’, so that students don’t pay for accommodation before they have moved in, or during periods when tenancy is paused

When I start my second year, will I start in October 2021 or January 2022?

You will study the first year of your course in a compressed year from January 2021 until the summer term 2021. You will then progress to year 2 in October 2021 and will follow the traditional academic year for the remainder of your course. The only compressed year of your course is year 1.

Will there be a welcome week where I can meet other students who are joining Essex in January?

There will be virtual welcome events when you join Essex. Keep an eye on your emails where we will be in touch with more information.

Should I plan to travel to the UK to start my course?

The UK Government guidance allows some exceptions to the limitations on travelling to our campuses. If you need access to University facilities to study or if it is better for you to be in your term-time accommodation for your health and wellbeing, you can arrive, but you should not use any facilities on campus or interact with other students until you have tested negative for COVID-19. Details of how to access a test on campus are available here. A full list of reasons why you might be able to arrive is here.
If you are travelling from outside the UK and are not able to change your travel arrangements you can still travel, however you should follow all guidance on quarantine requirements and COVID testing, and check with your airline before leaving home. Please also make yourself familiar with the guidance for travelling to your accommodation on arrival in the UK.  
If you have not made travel plans yet, you should wait for further information before you make your plans. 

What happens if I need to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

If you are traveling to campus from outside of the UK, you can arrive at your accommodation two weeks early for no additional cost in order to quarantine (either because you are arriving from a country where quarantine on arrival in the UK is required, or because you either wish to self-isolate on arrival as an extra precaution or have concerns your country may be placed on the UK quarantine list between now and the beginning of the academic term).

For a full list of countries that currently require quarantine on arrival please visit the travel corridor pages on the Government website. The countries on this list are subject to change.

When will I finish my first year of study?

The course will run from Jan 2021 until the end of the traditional academic year in summer 2021. 

If I cannot make it to campus or feel uncomfortable doing so, can I do the first year of my course online?

We hope that if you begin studying online, you will be able to join us on Campus as soon as government guidelines allow. We are aware you may want to complete your first year of study online, please note that whether you can study online for the whole year is dependent on what department and course you are applying for. To find out more please visit our department pages which have further details about how teaching will be delivered. These pages will be updated further once we have more information, so please check back again over the coming weeks.

I'm a student from the EU, given that the UK has left the European Union, what fees will I pay?

As an EU student, you will qualify for Home fees and Student Loan Company funding for these courses as they’ll be starting in the 2020-21 academic year. You may require an immigration permission for your studies if arriving in the UK after 1 January 2021.

Am I still eligible for student funding?

Yes, as long as you meet the general criteria. This also applies to EU students joining us in January 2021.

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