Welcome new students

Before you start

students sitting on Southend beach looking at the sea

Get ready for life at Essex

We can’t wait for you to join us, but don’t forget that to become an official Essex student, you’ll need to register first. 

To help prepare you for your new life as an Essex student, we’ve put together some pre-arrival FAQs so you can get your questions answered and start planning from the comfort of your home. 

 

Pre-arrival information

Can I still apply to study at Essex in 2021?

We are accepting applications for all our programmes for entry in October 2021.

Further information can be found on our applying pages

How do I register if I am starting my degree online, and is there a deadline?

Online Registration is now open. All new students are required to register online with the University before starting to attend any teaching (remotely or in-person). You will be able to indicate whether you are starting your degree on campus or online on the Student Study form in your myEssex student portal. This will remain live all year round so that you can update it at any point if your circumstances change.

As registration is now open you are encouraged to complete the online task as soon as possible and in advance of your course start date in order not to miss any teaching.

Should I register online even though I don’t have my Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) / visa? 

Yes, registration is open and all new students are required to register online. Please don’t wait for your CAS to register, you will receive this as soon as it is ready. 

If you are unable to make it to campus for the start of your studies please don’t worry, you will be able to engage in learning remotely until you are able to travel to the UK. Once you have registered you will be given access to your myEssex student portal and you can engage with your learning to ensure that you do not miss out on any essential teaching.

How can I get my Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)?

CAS is an electronic document required to make a student visa application if you are applying from outside the UK and require sponsorship. 

In order to be eligible for a CAS you must have: 

CAS issue is not an automatic process.

We will aim to send you a CAS questionnaire to complete within 7 days from your offer becoming unconditional, or receiving a deposit payment (if this is required). We will also request any other documents/information required. 

Once this is received, we will review your responses to ensure that you meet Student Visa requirements. We will get in touch if we have further questions and will only proceed to issue CAS once we are confident that your visa application will be successful. 

We hope to issue CAS within 7 days of receiving a completed questionnaire, if you have not heard from us within 7 days please do not hesitate to contact us via visaquery@essex.ac.uk.

Find out more about Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Have you received my deposit?

Depending on method of payment it may take a few days for your payment to reach our account. You can help us by making it as clear as possible where the payment is to be assigned.

If you receive a CAS questionnaire from us you can assume that your deposit payment has been received as we require payment of the deposit in order to send this.  

If you do not receive receipt of payment or a CAS questionnaire within 7 days please send us proof of payment as we will ask our Income team to confirm the payment has been received. 

Further information on how to pay a deposit can be found on our tuition fee deposits webpage.

What if I can't travel for the start of my course?

We know that some students may not be able to travel to our campuses for the start of their academic studies and that is okay.

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

These changes will allow you to start your course whether you are able to attend campus or not. That way, if restrictions apply or circumstances change, we can move to blended and online delivery, offering the flexibility for you to continue your studies uninterrupted, whatever the circumstances.

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.

If you are an East 15 Acting School applicant, please refer to their website for updates on term information.  

Please note that the East 15 Acting School course deposit Terms and Conditions are different and can be read in full here

If I start online, when do I have to come to campus?

Even if you are not able to travel to join us on Campus for the start of your course, you can still benefit from a transformational Essex education and we will work with you to support you, whatever your circumstances.

We are currently only providing Face-to-face teaching for the following courses:

  • Nursing 
  • Allied health professions (excluding SRES)
  • Oral health
  • Social work 
  • Physiotherapy

For all students who are not studying on the courses included above, the UK Government has said that you should stay where you are if possible and study online until at least mid-February. Please check your department page for more details.

We recommend that you consider your circumstances at home in your decision making process. You should think about your study space at home, access to things like good WiFi and whether time differences will make it difficult or not for you to interact with live sessions.

We appreciate that our students are living through changed circumstances, and we are absolutely committed to doing all we can to help you to continue learning through this period.

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.

If you are going to travel to campus and have been issued with a CAS, you must contact visaquery@essex.ac.uk if you will are unable to travel  by the Latest Accept Date (LAD) stated in your CAS. For most applicants this date will be 6 April 2021, which is also the deadline by which students must arrive if they wish to benefit from the new Graduate Immigration Scheme.

If you are an East 15 Acting School applicant, please refer to their website for updates on term information. 

If I'm travelling outside of the UK; how can I make sure I get to campus safely when I arrive?

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 if I have to self-isolate on arrival in the UK?

If you are travelling 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 which currently require quarantine on arrival please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors - The countries on this list are subject to change.

If your circumstances change and you have to cancel your quarantine booking, please notify us by emailing askthehub@essex.ac.uk as soon as possible.

This only applies to our Colchester and Southend Campuses.

What if I contract COVID-19 in my home country as I'm due to start in the UK?

If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to the UK for the start of your course, you should not travel, and should follow the local health advice and guidance. You should wait for clear medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling.

You should contact the University to let them know the situation.

Many of our courses will now be taught in a way that blends face-to-face classes with a range of online lectures, teaching, learning and collaborative support. These changes will allow you to start your course whether you are able to attend face-to-face teaching sessions during the academic year or not. Your learning will also be tailored to your needs; with flexibility for you to manage your studies.

If you are an East 15 Acting School applicant, please refer to their website for updates on term information

What would happen to my deposit if I become unable to start the University because of COVID-19?

If you are asked to pay a deposit to secure your place and scholarship, you should do so by the relevant deadline. Our refund policy will be applicable in any circumstances related to COVID-19 that might make you unable to join us this autumn.

Please note that the East 15 Acting School course deposit Terms and Conditions are different and can be read in full here

Will I get a refund if I register online and then my visa is refused? 

We complete rigorous checks to ensure that CAS is only issued if we believe that your visa application will be successful. Our visa refusal rate is extremely low. However, in the rare instance that a visa is refused you should contact us to determine if other options such as online only teaching is possible. 

Do I have to start on/or return to campus this year?

We are currently only providing Face-to-face teaching for the following courses:

  • Nursing 
  • Allied health professions (excluding SRES)
  • Oral health
  • Social work 
  • Physiotherapy

For all students who are not studying on the courses included above, the UK Government has said that you should stay where you are if possible and study online until at least mid-February. Please check your department page for more details.

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.

Our facilities such as libraries, study spaces and, on our Colchester Campus, a limited range of essential amenities will remain open for students to use in a COVID-secure way.

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.

What if I can’t arrive for the start of my studies?

Once you have completed your registration online you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are. Our dual-delivery plans are based on supporting your learning through a blend of online and face-to-face activities, whenever it is safe to do so. In this way we will support you to study in a way that suits your needs in this difficult time.

Things are a little different for those studying at our East 15 Acting School. You can find out more information on the East 15 website.

What is the process for letting you know I won’t be arriving this January?

Whether you are an existing student who is returning to your studies or a new student, you should let us know, as soon as your plans are clear, if you intend to study remotely via your myEssex student portal. This will mean your timetable and student record are updated and we will know your plans.  We will communicate with you nearer the time about how to do this. The option to change your study arrangements will be available all year: you can update your status to let us know when you have arrived on campus.

How do I register and take part in welcome and induction activities if I intend to start my study remotely?

Whether you are able to start with us on campus or are studying remotely, all students will be able to register online. You will receive information about the welcome activities for your course.

What do I do when I am able to join you and travel to campus?

Following the latest Government guidelines, face-to-face teaching will be scheduled for the following courses only:

  • Nursing 
  • Allied health professions (excluding SRES)
  • Oral health
  • Social work 
  • Physiotherapy

For all students who are not studying on the courses included above, the UK Government has said that you should stay where you are if possible and study online until at least mid-February. Please check your department page for more details.

When you are able to travel to campus, you should make the appropriate arrangements relating to quarantine if necessary. You should update your student portal when you arrive so that we can adjust your timetable to enable you to take part in small group face-to-face teaching, with social distancing.

Further information about your Welcome and induction activities will be confirmed once you have registered.

How do I book accommodation?

We have provided substantial flexibility to students allocated rooms in University owned and managed accommodation, so that they have been able to defer taking up their tenancies. 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 their tenancy is paused. This flexible approach provides a fair means of recognising the impact of changes in study patterns on students in University accommodation.

Applying for a visa

You’ll need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order to apply for a Student visa if you require sponsorship to study. The Admissions teams are issuing CAS as usual to applicants that they are confident meet all of the requirements, and they might ask you some additional questions as part of the process. Once you have your CAS it is valid for 6 months, giving you plenty of time to make your Student visa application, but you should let Admissions know if you do not think you will be arriving by the Latest Accept Date on your CAS.

Find out more about Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Visa requirements after 1 January 2021

European and Swiss students who travel to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for immigration permission to study, unless you already hold settled status. Irish students will continue to have the right to live and study in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Find out more about applying for a visa to study at the University of Essex following the new immigration rules from January 2021.

Will I be able to study off campus for the whole year?

Essential face-to-face teaching will be scheduled for the following courses only:

  • Nursing 
  • Allied health professions (excluding SRES)
  • Oral health
  • Social work 
  • Physiotherapy

For all students who are not studying on the courses included above, the UK Government has said that you should stay where you are if possible and study online until at least mid-February. Please check your department page for more details.

Our dual-delivery plans are based on supporting your learning through a blend of online 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.

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.

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. 

Under 18?

Our student communities pages are a great source of information about all the support and services that are available to you if you're under 18 and coming to Essex.

International student?

Whether you are arriving at our campuses straight away or if you need to study remotely for a short time, a warm welcome awaits you at Essex as soon as you are able to join us. We are proud to be a global community and we recognise that living and studying in the UK may be very different from your own country. Make sure you read all the guidance for new international students to help you arrive and settle in to your new life at Essex. 

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