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

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 they'll be studying this year.

Still want more? Why not read what our students have said about preparing for life at Essex and what to expect when you are here.

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.

If you are an international student you will need to set up a bank account. More information can be found here about how to do this.

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.

Accommodation applications are open for new students for the 2021-2022 academic year. The guarantee deadline for undergraduate students is 12 September 2021 and 31 July for postgraduate students.

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.

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.

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.

Download our apps

From finding your way around our bustling campuses to checking when that library loan is due, our official mobile apps will quickly become your new best friend.

  • Find Your Way - Our University Campus is pretty big and that means you might need help finding your way around. Our Find Your Way app is essential - trust us, you’ll need it. Search your app store for FindYourWay@Essex
  • Pocket Essex - Gives you instant access to events, your course info, timetables, modules and marks, library loans, contact details and much more. Search your app store for Pocket Essex

Find your future friends

During your first few weeks at Essex try and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, this could be during our Welcome Week events or through some of the ideas below.

Social media

We've got loads of Social Media groups for you to find your new BFFs. We've got just about every possibility covered from country groups and accommodation specific ones. Just search Facebook Groups for ‘University of Essex’ to get started.

Clubs and societies

At Essex, we have over 165 sports clubs and societies with over 3000 members. SU clubs and societies are a great way to get support and experience in your subject from fellow students, or if you just want to see some friendly faces from your home country. From the departmentally-focused and culturally-based to the downright weird and wonderful (Harry Potter Society, anyone?), there's an SU society for everyone.

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.

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.

Plan your journey here

Take a look at how to get to our Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses.

We can't wait to see you soon! 

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.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination is now available and is free for anyone over the age of 18 in the UK, including our students. International students will also be eligible. Find out more about the vaccination and how to book on our Student Information Directory.

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:

Shortcuts 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.

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.