Why go to university?

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Step into a world of opportunity

In choosing to enter higher education after school or college, you will not just enter another classroom. You will step into a global community of young people, looking to learn, grow and build friendships. 

Going to university offers so much more than a degree or a pathway to a career. You will experience a supportive environment in which to develop skills, knowledge and connections that will last a lifetime. 


Experience a taste of freedom and independence

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University is your opportunity to create your first home away from home, make new friends, discover your independence and explore the world for yourself. You'll have time to focus on what's important to you as well as learning life skills such as cooking and managing your money. 

At Essex, you'll find a range of accommodation options that will bring you together with fellow students and offer you a place to call your own.

Jobs on campus can put some money in your pocket and provide you with valuable work experience in a supportive environment.

Gain knowledge and expertise

Student selecting a book from a shelf in the library Going to university gives you the chance to explore a subject you’re passionate about and gain an insight and expertise in an area that can offer you an exciting and rewarding future.

Explore our range of subjects and courses and find out more about the incredible facilities we have at Essex that can give you the edge in your chosen field.

In addition to your chosen degree, you will have the chance to expand your knowledge in other areas. Want to learn a language, develop data skills, live a more sustainable life or fight for human rights and social justice? You can do just that through our Essex For All programme.

Enhance your career prospects

Student writing notes on glass in study spcae Whether you have a particular career in mind, or you want to explore your options, university will give you the time and space to try things out in a real world environment such as a work placement, internship, voluntary experience or paid job on campus.

Gaining that practical experience will enhance your CV and impress potential employers in your chosen field. At Essex, we have a range of workplace opportunities, both as part of your course or as an extracurricular activity, including placements overseas.

In addition to practical experience, at Essex you will receive support from our Careers Service. We will help you build your confidence through CV and interview workshops, and one-to-one advice. Our Startups team can help support your business ideas and our academics have established industry networks across the private and public sector which can help set you up for success.

Develop skills for life

A researcher in a lab. At university, you also have the chance to develop transferable skills and knowledge beyond your core degree course.  Taking advantage of the many opportunities available will put you ahead of the rest when you enter the world after graduation.

At Essex, we have a programme of academic and digital skills workshops that will support you through your studies and beyond. In addition, many of our courses have a practical element which will give you the chance to practice your chosen profession in a supportive and nurturing environment that echoes the feel of the real world. 

Check out the study and departmental facilities at Essex such as our science labs, mock wards, law clinic and much more at our main Colchester campus; our dental labs and business facilities at Southend; and our theatre and performance facilities at our East 15 Acting School in Loughton.

Broaden your horizons

Student on top of mountain during year abroad Continuing in higher education offers fantastic personal development opportunities that will open your mind in new and exciting ways. You will meet people from different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds who will change and challenge your perspective and inspire you to think creatively. 

There will be opportunities to study abroad or take overseas summer internships, and volunteer in areas such as sustainability and social justice.

There are mentoring schemes that put you in touch with a network of students and professionals from all walks of life who can provide valuable insights into your fields of interest.

At Essex we have students from 140 countries representing over 30 different cultures, making us one of the most diverse academic communities in the UK. When you come to Essex you don't just join an institute of higher education, you become a member of a global family.

Make lifelong connections

Students taking a selfie on the beach University isn't just about hard work!  There will be plenty of time for having fun and making friends, many of whom will endure throughout your life. 

When you arrive, you'll be introduced to the Students' Union - run by students, for students - where you'll find clubs, societies and events to suit your needs and tastes. 

From club nights to board games,  gardening to disc golf, debating and DJing, you'll meet like minds who share your passion and want to connect. 

The Students Union at Essex is where you'll find our V-Team, who organise a range of volunteering opportunities including the chance to work at an animal sanctuary, grow vegetables in our on-campus allotment and work on our clothes exchange, raising money for local charities through sustainable fashion.

Improve your health

Essex Rebels Megan Haines dribbles a ball on a basketball court, she is wearing the home kit and is edging round a defender Attending university clearly has benefits for your personal development, knowledge and career prospects, but it is also good for your health, and may even lengthen your life! Yes you read that right.  Research published in The Lancet Public Health journal indicates that attending full time education is linked to longer life expectancy.  

Universities support the physical and mental wellbeing of their students through sport, and Essex is no exception.  Visit Essex Sport to check out the outstanding facilities that helped our Essex Rebels female basketball team storm to the national finals in 2024. We have more than 40 sports clubs covering everything from archery to volleyball, we have a gym, a climbing wall, indoor and outdoor courts and a 40 acre campus offering plenty of space for green exercise.

We know that leaving home and coming to a new city can be stressful, and at Essex we pride ourselves on the support we offer to students throughout their studies.  We provide a range of physical and mental health services to help you through difficult times such as adjusting to your new home, and getting through exams.

Get the support you need to succeed

Graduates throwing their graduation caps- ready to join the working world If you think that university is out of reach for you, or you're the first in your family to consider it, there is plenty of support out there to ensure you too can benefit. From financial help to alternative academic routes such as a foundation year, finding your university place might be easier than you think. 

At Essex we have a wide range of funding support available including bursaries, scholarships and charity funded awards. Our Essex Futures Bursary is just one example of the type of support we offer to incoming students from households with an income of £35,000 or under.

If you don't quite meet the entry requirements or haven't studied for a while, we can help with our Essex Pathways programme, which offers a gateway to a degree through a foundation year.

At Essex, we welcome applicants from under-represented groups and ensure that all of our students have the same access to opportunities, irrespective of background, identity or circumstance.

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Want to know more?

Chat to our friendly students and staff to find out more about our courses, student life, clubs & societies and much more! You can speak to an individual or join a community group chat.

Meet our current students and staff