Studying at Essex

Information for parents and guardians

Parents and Guardians with a prospective students visiting the University

You must have plenty of questions...

So, someone you care for is interested in going to University. Congratulations! They are about to embark on an exciting journey; and like with any big event, it will no doubt bring with it uncertainty and nervousness. For you that is.

Fortunately, you can leave your nerves to one side with us, as here at Essex, we have two main aims, Excellence in Education, and Excellence in Research. This means that whatever you may study you'll be getting a transformational Education through research-led teaching.

We are committed to ‘research-led’ teaching, where every Essex student has direct experience of being a researcher themselves, helping our students develop critical, analytic, and transferable skills.

student ambassador stands with back to camera addressing a group of visitors to campus
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If you are a parent, guardian, carer or supporter of a student who is yet to start university, we welcome you to our community to receive information and updates from Essex. Alongside a regular newsletter, we will provide information to support informed university decision making, as well as invitations to events to hear more about higher education, including application advice, funding and what students can expect in their academic journeys.

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Applying to Essex

All our students are members of our global community, living and learning together, with everyone working towards achieving their University of Essex degree. We offer a wide range of courses delivered by our academic departments, covering everything from accounting to translation. We have three campuses across the county of Essex – Colchester, Loughton and Southend – where our students spend their time studying with us.

Once undergraduate students have decided what course they want to study, applying to Essex is easy and is normally done via the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. Our students then start in early October, which is the beginning of our academic year. Postgraduate students will also be making very similar decisions but will apply via our website for either a Masters or research degree. When our postgraduate courses start varies - we have entry points in January and April, as well as the more traditional September/October.


Ok, so let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Cost! Obviously we cannot shy away from the fact that going to university is a significant investment, but two things are definitely true: firstly, university is worth it – we provide our students with a transformational experience that will benefit them for the rest of their lives; and secondly, there’s loads of financial support available – many of our students have access to loans, bursaries, scholarships and discounts which will help them (or you!) pay for their education at Essex.

Undergraduate students from the UK are entitled to apply for a Government-backed loan to cover their tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of their studies with us. They will then start to repay the loan in small increments after they’ve graduated and are earning over £27,295 per year (accurate as of November 2022). This loan enables every UK student to undertake an undergraduate degree.

Most postgraduate (those studying Masters courses and research degrees) students from the UK are also entitled to apply for a Government-backed loan. These loans are generally for students studying on both full-time and part-time courses and they're not means tested, so they're not dependent on personal or family income. We also offer loyalty discounts to students who studied at Essex or one of our partner institutions.

There are also a wide range of scholarships and bursaries available for UK and international students, which will help to pay for tuition as well as living costs.


One of the big benefits of going to university is the prospect of getting a graduate-level job once you’ve completed your degree – and this is no different at Essex. We focus on helping students improve their employability by gaining new skills and having new experiences during their time with us. We help them find part-time work both on and off campus, either through the Students' Union or the Student Development Careers Service. We also help students develop their CV, and improve their ability to apply for jobs and interview successfully. We host employability-focused workshops and careers fairs, Chart My Path which will help you discover the range of extra-curricular and voluntary opportunities available, Essex Startups which offers a wide range of training, support and funding opportunities to our community of budding entrepreneurs, and a whole lot more!

Support and wellbeing

We’re a supportive community – willing to go the extra mile to help our students make the most of their time with us and to set them up strongly for the future. We provide comprehensive support for all our students from the very beginning when they register on campus to years after they graduate. If students have any issues at all – academically, personally, financially or with regards to their physical or mental health – we will support and guide them forward. 

For students living on campus, Residence Life will be their first port of call. For other issues, the Student Services Hub can offer a wide range of support.

International students

Coming to the UK to study a degree can be a very daunting prospect, but it’s also a very exciting time! We are a global university with students and staff representing over 130 nationalities.

We are Top 15 for international outlook (Times Higher Education, World University Rankings 2024) – offering an academic education and experiences of a lifetime to people from all around our globe. Wherever you’re from, we welcome you with open arms, and will help you achieve your goals.

For international students who would like to gain work-based employability skills whilst at Essex, whether a student can work during their studies will depend on what type of immigration permission they have. Students will need to refer to their visa to find out if they can work in the UK and, if so, how many hours per week during term-time.