Welcome new students

Arriving at Colchester


Get organised for your first day

We want you to feel as prepared as possible when you set foot on campus. That’s why we’ve put new steps in place to protect your health and wellbeing, so you can feel reassured when you get here.

If you’re contracted to stay in university accommodation and you need to self-isolate in order to join us and be ready to begin at the start of term, we will also be offering two weeks free accommodation

Arrivals day 

We know you're eager to arrive but COVID-19 travel guidance is currently subject to change so please check the UK Government website and our COVID-19 travel information regularly. Information on whether you need to quarantine upon arrival or not will vary depending upon your circumstances. All information about travelling to the University is published on our COVID-19 guidance for applicants web pages.

We know that due to frequency and cost of flights, it might be more difficult to plan your flight arrival with the beginning of the academic year. In order to help with this – and accommodate any need for quarantining/self-isolation on arrival – we will be staggering arrival times for students moving into University-owned accommodation.

These arrival dates vary depending on the country you are coming from:

If you are travelling from a red list countries

You will need to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel before moving into your University accommodation. The earliest you can move into your university-accommodation is 13 September. If you would like to arrive earlier, please contact accommodation.

If you are travelling from an amber list country and are required to self-isolate

You should plan to arrive from 13 September onwards.

If you are travelling from any other locations that do not require you to quarantine or self-isolate

We are still encouraging you to arrive early and you can come from 27 September.

A programme of activities have been arranged for all our students that are joining us early, whether that is in quarantine or on-campus. The majority of in-person activities, including your departmental induction programme, will start formally on all of our campuses from 3 October so try to complete your quarantining/self-isolation period by then.

From the 4 October, the rules around arriving in the UK from abroad and the quarantine and self-isolation instructions you must follow are changing. If you are arriving before that date you should follow the instructions outlined above.

Things to do

Explore our early arrival activities

Whether you’re joining us early and quarantining in a hotel, isolating with us in your accommodation or just want some fun and engaging activities to get you into the swing of student life, we have a whole a programme with something for everyone. Explore the full range of things we have planned to give you a feel for Essex before our Welcome activities begin

Get registered

One of the first things you'll need to do to let us know you are coming to Essex is to complete your registrationRegistration opens Wednesday 1 September and we’ll email you to let you know you can register online with us. Once you're registered, you’ll have access to our online Welcome portal where you can start exploring where you’ll be studying for the next few years and meet your department.

Move in to your accommodation

One of the first things you’ll probably want to do when you arrive is get settled into your home. If you’re travelling from outside of the UK, you’ll be able to quarantine on our Colchester campus for 10 days.

Your self-isolating accommodation will consist of a single bedroom within a cluster flat, where some facilities will be shared with other students in your household. Our accommodation allows you to walk to your lectures with ease and there are also many private accommodation options which are in walking distance of the campus, so you don’t have to use public transport.

First, you need to print off your Arrivals pass (which is available at the end of your e-induction) and have your ID, as you will need this to collect your key. When you arrive, take your Arrivals pass to one of our key collection offices.

Check here for more details on where you can collect your key, luggage, parking and moving into your new accommodation.

Get to know your Residents' Assistant

Your Resident's Assistant (RA) is here to help you feel welcome and make sure you have a positive experience of living and learning at Essex.

Register with a doctor

As a student studying on a course for more than six months, you're required to register with a local doctor throughout your period of study if you live on campus or in the local surrounding area.

Register as soon as possible after you arrive, in case you should suddenly need medical treatment.

Explore your new home

All our campus facilities, from eateries to PC labs will be set up to ensure there is the space to distance yourself from others.

Social distancing measures will be clear and easy to understand across our campuses. This will include markings on the ground to ensure queues remain distanced, to screens and dividers in study areas to ensure everyone can keep apart safely. We’re extremely lucky our Colchester Campus is based in a 200 acre award-winning parkland which provide an excellent outdoor escape where you can meet up to six people, get some exercise or have a picnic.

Get to know your new home and the local area:

Attend your departmental induction

Your departmental induction is your essential opportunity to learn more about your department and your course, and to talk with key members of staff like your personal tutor. You’ll also have the chance to meet the people you’re going to be studying with.

Your department will be in touch before you arrive with more details and we’ll also be sharing everything on our events pages.

For more information please see your department pages below:

 Faculty of Arts and Humanities:

 Faculty of Science and Health:

Faculty of Social Sciences

Your welcome week

For students starting their degree, Welcome Week will be a big part of getting started at Essex. One of the first things you'll need to do to let us know you are coming to Essex is to complete your registration. Registration opens Wednesday 1 September and we’ll email you to let you know you can register online with us. Once you're registered, you’ll have access to our online Welcome portal where you can start exploring where you’ll be studying for the next few years and meet your department.

You will be introduced to our online Welcome Portal where you will get to know the Students' Union, how to get started in your studies and the resources available from our student services.

You will also be introduced to your department/school and receive an informative induction from them. Alongside the academic information, we are designing online Welcome activities for you to get stuck into, including useful videos for settling in and ways to help you get to know those on your course with you. There will be information about keeping you safe on campus, learning online and starting/continuing your studies, our values at the university, who to contact for student services and support. Plus, you will be able access your online departmental induction as a resource all year round for you to refer back to whenever you need.


Take part in sport

We know keeping fit and taking part in sport keeps both the body and the mind healthy, so we want to ensure you still have the opportunity to get involved. Which is why we have been exploring a number of options for reimagined sport, recreation and green exercise programmes which comply with social distancing. We've put together some free online and socially distanced activities, to welcome you to sport on campus. From tennis to yoga and dance classes to climbing, we've found a way to help keep you active whether your able to join us on campus or not. To find out what we've got planned visit our sports pages.

Join extra-curricular activities

You will still be able to volunteer and make a positive impact on the local community with our VTeam (Volunteering Team), and we are developing a programme of open air activities which maximise the space on our campuses. We'll keep you updated on our plans! 

There will also be a variety of one-off, online programmes delivered throughout the year, such as virtual photography workshops, art workshops, origami workshops, card games, karaoke, virtual celebrations of cultural events - if you can't be on campus, there'll still be plenty of things to do!  

Fresher's fairs

Our Fresher's Fair has been redesigned so social distancing measures can take place, whilst also still giving you the chance to meet and join our clubs and societies. If you are starting your degree online, you won't miss out, there will also be an online platform so that you can sign up virtually.

Bars and nightlife on campus

We have already re-opened the SU Bar, with Sub Zero (on-campus nightclub) opening in October. Cine10 (on-campus cinema) will open in the autumn term. We operate all SU venues and activities in line with the latest COVID guidance from Government and the University, so please be aware that the level of provision may change as a result.

Find Your Way map
Campus map in your pocket

Our interactive Find Your Way map is the easiest way to get to where you need to be.

Find a location
Student at graduation with her family
Family member of a new student?

Are you a parent, guardian or family member? Here's some helpful information to put your minds at rest.