Preparing for Higher Education

Student working on computer in library

Are you hoping to go to university soon? Not sure where to start your research journey? Do you need help starting your personal statement? Do you want to be fully prepared for university study and life?

If you've answered yes to any of the above, we've got just the thing for you..

Beginning Your Research

 Not sure where to start in your research journey? No problem! Check out our resources and external links below to help you along your way.

Our guides, resources, and events 

  • Higher Education guidance (.pdf) - everything you need to know about Higher Education including making decisions, including choosing a course and university.
  • Essex Prospectus - find out what it's like to live and learn at Essex. Download or order a printed copy.
  • Open Days - attending an Open Day is an excellent way to get a feel for what life as a student is like, attend different subject tasters, and speak with academic and support staff. If you can't join us in-person, try one of our virtual open events.
  • Campus tours - get the inside scoop of life at Essex from a friendly student ambassador, or experience our campuses online with our virtual tours.
  • Schools and Colleges events - discover our online and in-person events. Many of our events are suitable for individual student bookers, making it the perfect opportunity to get a feel for your subject.

External resources

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) - offers a range of information, tools, webinars, and more to help you in your research.
  • Prospects - offer an online quiz to match your skills, motivations and desires to find a pathway that suits you.
  • UniTasterDays - is a one-stop source of university and higher education taster events, workshops and open days.

Applying to University

We know that applying to university can be confusing when you first start, so we've compiled an array of guides to help you.

Before you begin the application process, remember to check the course page for the course(s) you are interested in applying to for the entry requirements. We consider a range of qualifications and assess your application as a whole, looking at academic achievements, your personal statement, references, and any background information.

We are also able to provide contextual offers of up to two grades below the standard to students who meet our criteria.  

For further information:


Preparing for University Life


We have a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets, and we can even offer a 3 year deal for Colchester and Southend campus students so you can benefit from a fixed rent rate for the duration of your degree. 

We are able to guarantee accommodation for all international students for the duration of their course, and for all UK students who make us their firm choice on UCAS and apply by our accommodation deadline. Find out more about how to apply as a new student at Essex.

Careers and employability

Your future matters to us, and at Essex we make sure to offer you a wealth of opportunities to help you reach your potential.

Careers Service

Our Careers Service offers our students access to advice and guidance, from exploring your options to improving your interview technique.

More Than a Degree

We believe that developing your skills outside your degree helps you gain a competitive edge. Many of our students take part in placements, opportunities abroad, volunteering and much more.

Financial support

Scholarships and Bursaries

We offer many funding opportunities to support students from a variety of backgrounds. Some of  these opportunities are automatically allocated, while others require an application, so it's worth having a check before you begin your studies.

Cost of Living Support

We believe no one should miss out on an Essex education, so we've found ways to make life more affordable across our campuses.

Student community 

Find out how to get involved in out student community at Essex. From clubs and societies to SU events and volunteering opportunities, our campuses are buzzing with activities and you'll find a supportive network of like minds where you can pursue your passions and have fun.


Our sports clubs and facilities provide all you need to keep active, whether you're a competitive athlete or a complete beginner!

Our Performance Sport program allows passionate athletes to access extra support over the course of their studies, including coaching and financial support.



Exploring the arts at Essex couldn't be easier! Our Colchester campus is home to the Art Exchange, ESCALA Collection, and the Lakeside Theatre. Unleash your creativity by getting involved in our arts societies or using our Student Union's Creative Studios.


Religion and Faith

At Essex, we recognise and celebrate the different faiths and beliefs of our student and staff community. All members of our community can use our multi-faith facilities across our three campuses.


Student support

We know university life can throw up all kinds of concerns and questions. If you need some information, advice or support to succeed, stay healthy and happy, we've got it covered. 

Our Student Services Hub is the place to go to ask about wellbeing, accommodation, funding, exam-stress, and disability support.

Online Courses

We have brought together a range of excellent resources for students looking to get a head start in preparing for Higher Education. There's no pressure, no tests, and no charge - just tons of interactive activities, videos, blogs and tips to help you on your educational journey.

University Preparation Programme

To help you succeed, we've launched the University Preparation Programme which is an online short course made up of six modules. It covers topics like revision skills, independent learning, how to apply for university, student finance as well as how to write a stand-out personal statement.


Exploring a range of both study skills and higher education modules, this online course is designed to support you in your current learning as well as helping you make a successful application and transition to university.


Essex Preparation Programme


The Essex Preparation Programme is for students who are intending to enrol at the University of Essex having received an offer of study. It will give you a flying start when it comes to settling in as a student at the University. To top it off, if you complete the course by 23:59 on 5 October 2024 and are eligible, you will receive a £250 cash bursary! Terms and conditions are available online.


The course is divided into six topics, covering important parts of university life – such as study habits, reading and writing skills, and critical thinking.


Further Studies Preparation Programme


Our Further Studies Preparation Programme for students in Years 10-11 covers six exciting topics to give you the confidence you need to succeed.

This course will provide you with information and tips to consider when making future study choices, easing any uncertainty you may have about life after Year 11 and helping you to become a more confident and effective learner.

Student on a piggy back with another student on grass infront of the library
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Undergraduate Admissions We're here to help and guide you through the process. If you have a question, send an email to our friendly admissions team.