University of Essex Guide – Fees, Course, Rankings And More

The University of Essex boasts more than five decades of experience in education. With a strong focus on research, the university integrates an innovative spirit into its teaching and learning practices, particularly in its flagship social science field. Notably, the Drama and Dance school consistently ranks among the top 10 in the country, and the university is the preferred choice in the UK for its dedication to applying knowledge in business practice.

Beyond academic pursuits, Essex students can enjoy a romantic life in one of the UK’s oldest cities, along with exciting water sports opportunities near the country’s award-winning coastline and the serene beauty of ancient woodlands on the outskirts of old London city.

Summary of University

university of essex guide

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University of Essex Overview

The University of Essex was established in 1964 with the bold spirit and “radical innovation” approach to research and education laid down by its founder, Sir Albert Sloman. This spirit of challenging conventions has become ingrained in the university’s culture, producing esteemed graduates like Nobel Prize-winning economist, Professor Chris Pissarides. Notably, the university has earned a strong reputation for its domestic research, particularly in the field of social sciences.

The university has a reputation of equipping Essex students with valuable research experience, which cultivates a wide range of transferable skills. As a result, graduates emerge well-prepared for the challenges of the real world, making them highly sought-after in various industries.

On the outskirt of bustling London in the background of Britain’s picturesque woodland, the University of Essex has built over 50 years of experience in innovating the drama and acting field in both re-interpreting classics, training new writers and creating new kinds of ensembles. Over the last decade, the seaside Southend campus has successfully instilled the university’s commitment to innovation in the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs and compassionate professionals.

The university offers a nurturing space for educational talents from 140 countries worldwide. A third of its 17,800+ student body is from outside the UK, among them 21.5% are from non-European students. Their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment is evident, as shown by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2024, which placed the University of Essex at an impressive 24th position globally for its international outlook.

Among the three available faculties: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Science and Health and Faculty of Social Science, Social Science is the strongest suit of the University of Essex. The university has four social science subjects in the top 10 of the UK for research quality (Grade Point Average, REF2021) and three more in the country’s top 10 for research power (Times Higher Education 2022), with outstanding results in science, health, and arts and humanities. The university is among the top 10 universities in the UK in Drama and Dance, with a dedicated conservatoire campus at the transition location between bustling London and peaceful ancient Epping Forest. Besides that, Law, Social Sciences, Politics, International Studies and Business and Economics subjects here are in the top 100 global rankings for their respective subjects.

The University of Essex is highly involved in applying its knowledge, technology and skills to improve local businesses’ products, processes and services. This effort has been recognised by the number one ranking for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) – the flagship Innovate UK programme dedicated to the purpose. (source)

As for career prospects, The University of Essex has a high post-graduation employment rate, with 89% of its graduates in employment or further study, according to Graduate Outcomes 2024.

Among the University of Essex’s most famous alums is the respectable Vice Chancellor of the University College of Technology Sarawak, Professor Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid.

University of Essex Courses and Programmes

BA Drama

Study theatre and drama at the UK’s sixth best Drama and Dance programme according to The Guardian University Guide 2024. When performing and producing work at the dedicated Lakeside Theatre, students will develop a wide range of practical skills from an experienced and practising team of playwrights, directors, actors and leading academic theatre specialists. The curriculum comprises of classic Ancient Greek and Shakespeare literature and contemporary issues such as political ideas, human rights, social justice issues and gender, identity, orientation and sexual politics on stage. 

BA Global Studies with Politics

Ambitious future leaders with an aspiration for a fairer world will find values from this course – ranking sixth in the UK for research power in politics and international studies (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021), ninth in the UK for Politics and International Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2024), and in the top 25 of The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. Students will figure out the forces behind contemporary challenges in the world from the geographies, politics, histories and relations to how democracies operates and the dominant ideas of capitalism and colonialism that shape our world. 

BA Social Sciences

The university’s excellent track record in social science research makes it an ideal place to pursue a degree in social sciences. The course is offered by three of the UK’s leading social science departments – The Departments of Sociology, Government and Economics. While the Department of Sociology is ranked 59th globally and 10th in the UK for sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subjects of 2024, the Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe and ranked second in the UK for research outputs in politics and international studies by Grade Point Average from Research Excellence Framework of 2021. And the Department of Economics is ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings by Subjects of 2024. Students will learn about the world through a wide range of topics, such as democracy and its relation to good government, economic functions, and economic impacts on the material well-being of human societies.

University of Essex Entry Requirements

For Malaysian students, most of the Undergraduate Bachelor degree courses will consider:

  • BBC – ABB from A-levels;
  • BBB from STPM;
  • a pass in all subjects in the UEC Senior Middle Level examinations with a minimum of five subjects at B4 or above
  • ATAR 80.00 or above.

International high school qualifications may also be accepted.

Students who have not met the above requirements can also take the university’s Foundation Programmes that lead to the desired undergraduate degrees. For courses that have higher entry requirements and other admissions criteria, please contact us for more information.

University of Essex Entry Deadline

In the UK, all university applications (including those submitted by international students like you) go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, more commonly known as UCAS.

Most undergraduate courses will share the same deadline of 31 January of every year. Some courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have an earlier deadline of 16 October in the year before admission.

For more information about key dates and other UCAS deadlines, take a look at our article UCAS Deadlines 2024.

University of Essex Ranking

The Students’ Union is ranked 7th in the National Student Survey of 2022 for representing the academic interests of students based on the feedback of read graduating Essex students (source)

University of Essex Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees

For international students studying in 2024-2025 academic year, the annual tuition fees will be as follows:


International fees

East 15

Edge Hotel School



Language and Linguistics

Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Philosophy and Art History



Essex Business School

Law and Human Rights



Mathematical Sciences

Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences


Life Sciences



Computer Science and Electronic Engineering


Oral Health Science


For courses with an integrated Study Abroad or Placement year, all students with the first registered year (including repeat year students) in the academic year of 2023-2024 pay 15% of the standard fee of that year for the Study Abroad year, and 20% of the standard fee of that year for the Placement year.

For continuing international undergraduate students who started in 2018-2019 or later, the tuition fee will increase by 5% for each academic year of study.

University of Essex Accommodation

The University of Essex ensures all first-year students get a place at the campus’s accommodation. The cost includes utilities (electricity, hot water and central heating), internet access, insurance, gym membership and more, so the students can enjoy a pleasant life even with a standard package. 

There are eight different accommodations at Colchester and Southend Campuses, with prices ranging from £107.52 to £219.73 per week. All single rooms here are fully furnished with a single bed and mattress. There is also a choice of double beds in premium or self-contained rooms. Besides bedding, towels and other personal items, students can move into the rooms without any extra purchases. As for cooking, all kitchens are self-catered and well-equipped with all essential kitchen appliances such as a cooker, fridge, freezer, etc. 

If a student wants to live in shared or self-contained accommodation, there are also options for single or double occupancy and self-contained apartments and studios. Students can also opt for single-gender flats depending on personal preference.

University of Essex Reviews

Names may be changed to protect anonymity

Rasheedat Olarinoye – BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience, 2019 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The support I received from my second year statistics lecturer was amazing; she inspired me in many ways, such as how to use my resources to connect with people that have similar interests. In my final year, the teaching style was supported by thought-provoking images, interviews and talks; this was the best module I took.”

Ernest Nyarko, previously Students’ Union Vice-President Southend ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“During my time here, Southend has offered opportunities to learn and excel academically and professionally – as well as a great student experience. With a small and diverse student community it is easy to get to know each other, access support services and meet with your academics. Throughout the year we have BBQs, parties, fireworks, cultural celebrations, live entertainment, inspirational guest speakers and competitions. Without any doubt, I’d recommend Southend as your place of study.”

Effie Lunde – BSc Management and Marketing student, Sandefjord, Norway ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Essex was the perfect choice for me as Colchester is only a 50-minute train ride from the centre of London and an hour from Stansted airport, where I can get a flight directly to my hometown. Another influential reason for choosing Essex is because it is a campus university and has everything I need on site.”

University of Essex Facilities


The main campus of the University of Essex in Colchester offers the six-floors Albert Sloman Library, full of e-resources, research resources, specialist materials and traditional paper books for  all students’ needs. Meanwhile, Southend campus students can enjoy The Forum public and academic library with over 150,000 public, university and college books with an entire floor dedicated to Essex students.

Student facilities

The university offers many facilities to all students. Among them is Silberrad Student Centre at Colchester Campus, with 24/7 access to both computers and study pods for individual and group study. Students here also have one-stop-shop access to finance and support services at The Centre. On the other hand, creative students can use Union Creative Studios for a wide range of creative outlets, from two radio studios, a newsroom, a TV studio with cameras, lights and equipment to an editing suite with Macbooks containing the full Adobe Creative package. On top of that, Essex students can access a NHS health centre on campus, a day-time nursery and a book swap corner to share their beloved literary selections with like-minded people.

Department facilities

Each department at the University of Essex also offers its own dedicated facilities to assist their students’ learning needs best. 

The School of Life Sciences has a STEM Centre, including a 180-seat wet lab and a 150-seat IT-rich exploratory learning space. Meanwhile, robotics lovers can enjoy world-leading robotics research facilities with robotic wheelchairs, spiders, dogs, football players, fish and robotic aircraft.

Law students have access to the the Essex Law and Human Rights Clinic, that offers free initial legal advice to the local community. Language students have a translation and interpreting training lab to host conference-interpretation for up to 20 people. Education students can study children in their BabyLab, while Business students can apply industry-leading Bloomberg data to their Virtual Trading Floor.

At the same time, medical students have access to a Dental Skills Lab with the latest simulation ‘phantom heads’ to practise on, a Hospital Ward with robotic patients to practise on a range of medical conditions and a Centre for Brain Science with equipment to directly measure and monitor brain activity, track eye movements and measure physiological responses.

Last but not least, the university’s Sports Therapy Clinic is designed for sports therapy students to assess and treat a range of sports and other musculoskeletal injuries.

University of Essex Student Activities and Clubs

Essex’s Students’ Union offers over 100 societies that suits all levels and interests. There are over 30 different cultural societies to meet and exchange culture with students from more than 130 different countries. The International Students’ Association will make sure the university’s cultural diversity is well represented and celebrated. Active students have over 40 sports teams to attend to. And last but not least, there are plenty of other activities on campus to keep a student’s life busy with latest films at the cinema, quizzes in the SU Bar, debate forums and more.

University of Essex Contact

Official website: 

Phone: +44 (0) 1206 873333

Address: Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

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