2020 applicants
Welcome New students

Top tips to get ready for Essex

A group of students talking

Being there for you from the start

We want to make sure that you settle into life at the University of Essex as smoothly as possible, so we’ve put together some top tips to help you along the way.

10 Things to do before you arrive on Campus

Book your accommodation

It may sound obvious, but if you’re moving to Essex you’ll need to find somewhere to live. It’s best not to leave this to the last minute.

The accommodation guarantee deadline has now passed, so we can no longer guarantee you accommodation for your first year, but you can still apply for accommodation on your myEssex portal, and we will offer you a room if possible. If we can’t offer you campus accommodation then we’ll put you in touch with SU Homes, an agency run by our Students’ Union.

If you’re a new applicant and apply after this date, we will still offer you a room if possible. If we do not have a room for you, we’ll put you in touch with SU Homes, an agency run by our Students’ Union.

We have a range of range of accommodation options at our Colchester and Southend campuses to suit different needs, preferences and budgets, all within walking distance of the academic departments and campus facilities.

If you are travelling to campus from outside of the UK, you can arrive at your university 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.

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. 

In order for you to complete your self-isolation period in time for welcome week, your accommodation booking will start on either the 17, 18, 19 or 20 September.  To make a booking please complete the booking form.  The accommodation team will then be in touch with your allocation and key collection information.

You must submit your booking request before Tuesday 15th September in order for us to accept your booking.

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.

Please note, this only applies to our Colchester and Southend Campuses. If you’re contracted to stay in university accommodation, you’ll be able to quarantine on our Colchester and Southend campuses for 14 days if you are arriving from outside the UK.

Alternatively, you may wish to find off-campus accommodation in the local area through SU Homes.

Please note, we do not have student accommodation at our Loughton Campus.

Begin your student registration

We can't wait for you to join us, but to become an official student you'll need to register first. Registration opens on 1 September. Find out how.

Sort out your finances

Make sure you take a look at our fees and funding pages to ensure you’re financially prepared for life at Essex.

Choose your modules with eNROL

Your course is likely to have a mix of compulsory and optional modules. You can select optional modules for your course with our online eNROL system.

Once you’ve chosen all your modules and they’ve been confirmed, they’ll appear on your online timetable.

Start packing

If you're living in campus accommodation, take a look at what's included in your accommodation and what you'll need to bring so you pack the right things..

If you're coming to our Colchester or Southend campuses, and packing really isn't your thing or you don't have much space in your suitcase, then you can order stuff before you arrive and it will be delivered to your room.

Alternatively, there are large supermarkets near to all of our campuses, so you can stock up on household essentials when you get here. If you plan to do this, then it is worth checking beforehand to see which shops and supermarkets will be open nearby when you arrive, particularly as most will have reduced opening hours on Sundays.

Plan your journey here

To safely transport our overseas students from airports to the university, we're running a coach transfer service for new students arriving from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Luton airports. See dates and times of our airport transfer service and how to book a place.

The University is unable to run coach services from London Stansted airports, but you can book a ticket through National Express to take you Colchester town, where you would have a short taxi journey or bus ride to the University.  

If you aren't able to use an airport transfer service, take a look at how to get to our Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses.

We can't wait to see you soon! 

Download Pocket Essex

Pocket Essex is our official mobile app for students. It gives you instant access to events, timetables, modules and marks, library loans, contact details and much more. Search your app store for Pocket Essex.

Get up to date with your vaccinations

All students should have their MMR jabs and be vaccinated against meningitis. If you're not sure if you're vaccinated, check with your doctor now. 

Take a look at our support and advice to help you stay healthy.

Get yourself ready for life at University

Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting experience, but it can also bring its own unique challenges. It’s natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed during the first few weeks and it can be a while before you feel like you’ve found your feet.  Take a look at the Student Minds ‘Know Before You Go' University of Essex guide (.pdf) for information and tips.

We also have a range of talks and tasters introducing our applicants to the courses their be studying this year.

What to do if you have additional support needs

If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, long term medical condition or mental health condition you can register with our Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Team before you arrive so that we can consider your support needs. Find further information on what is available:

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we’ll be ensuring support specific to an individual’s needs will be offered to students across all stages of protection, through our existing Occupational Health and Student Wellbeing policies and practices.

We’ll be undertaking careful risk assessments at every stage and implementing health and safety measures to protect our community.


Short cuts to success at Essex 

First in your family to go to Uni? 

Three students walking down the steps on the University squaresA number of undergraduate students at Essex are the first in their family to study at university, and if that's you too - you're bound to have some questions about what it's like. Have a good look around our student webpages to find out more about support for settling in, plus help to ensure your wellbeing, support for students with disabilities, help with money matters, and planning for your future career.

Move your mind and body

Staff across the University have created a whole range on virtual activities that will help you get ready for life with us. Find out more about Essex Life Online.

Discover our Faith Centre

We're proud of our vibrant and diverse multicultural community and we understand the importance that faith, belief and spirituality play in the lives of many people. Our Faith Centre is open to anyone, of any religion or none. It's a welcoming place to meet, chat and make friends.  

Get involved with the Big Essex Award

Why not join the 6000 students who have already taken part in the Big Essex Award, the University’s employability and skills award? There are over 100 different activities both on and off-campus to complete and everything will be formally recognised by the University of Essex and included on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR); your secure digital transcript of all your academic and extracurricular achievements.

Peer mentors
Any questions? Just ask.

Most new undergraduate students have questions about starting at university. Our Student Services Hub is the place to go for the information you need. Your question matters and you'll get answers from experts. You could also speak to one of our peer mentors. A peer mentor is another student (normally from your department) with experience of the University who can offer practical advice and information, and point you in the right direction to services that may be available to you.