A new kind of university… where students could live and learn… and research really mattered’ – this was the founding vision of Essex’s first Vice-Chancellor Sir Albert Sloman. His commitment to research and education remains at the heart of our mission.

Essex’s architecture was designed to link social and educational space to encourage a sense of community. ‘Brutalist’ buildings such as the Albert Sloman Library and The Hexagon, created by architect Kenneth Capon, have now become iconic. Capon said he didn’t want his designs to be ‘shaggy and soft’ so aimed to create ‘something fierce to let them work within’. Something Fierce became the title of a major exhibition about the foundation of the University of Essex and 50 years of student life. The impact of the exhibition has continued with elements integrated into the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition Futures Found: The Real and Imagined Cityscapes of Post-war Britain.


Biological Sciences, School of
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
East 15 Acting School
Economics, Department of
Edge Hotel School
Essex Business School
Essex Pathways Department
Government, Department of
Health and Human Sciences, School of
History, Department of
Human Rights Centre
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre
Institute for Social and Economic Research
Language and Linguistics, Department of
Law, School of
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Mathematical Sciences, Department of
Philosophy and Art History, School of:
Art History at Essex
Philosophy at Essex
Psychoanalytic Studies, Centre for
Psychology, Department of
Sociology, Department of
Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of (from 1 August 2017)
UK Data Archive
University of Essex Online


The University of Essex is a public research university in Essex, England. It was established in 1963, welcomed its first students in 1964 and received its Royal Charter in 1965. Essex’s largest campus is the Colchester Campus within Wivenhoe Park, less than a mile (1.6 km) from Wivenhoe and two miles (3 km) from Colchester. Apart from the Colchester Campus, there is a campus in Southend-on-Sea and East 15 Acting School is based at the Loughton Campus. Essex’s motto, “Thought the harder, heart the keener”, is adapted from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon.

Essex has collaborative partnerships with a number of institutions across eastern England including the University of Suffolk, Colchester Institute, South Essex College and Writtle University College. Other partnerships include the Edge Hotel School and University of Essex Online with a further nine international academic partnerships around the world.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 ranked Essex in the top twenty universities in the UK for the quality of its research and the top five for social science. Essex is in the top 50 for the social sciences and law in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 by subject. Overall Essex is ranked 251st-300th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 and 22nd in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 in which it was also shortlisted for University of the Year.


Choose your university and course

Before you choose

  • Talk to a careers/guidance adviser.
  • Visit to get more information and compare the courses and universities that interest you. When you apply, you can select up to five choices.
  • Do a keyword search on UCAS – if there’s a specific course title or course combination you want to do, type it directly into the UCAS course finder engine.
  • Do your research carefully – check out university websites, as well as UCAS, so you get a real feel for the place.
  • Consider the course content and not just its title – English at one university is not the same as English at another university.
    Check the entry requirements – will you need specific subjects (including GCSEs) or work experience? Are you on track to achieve the grades you need?
  • Attend university open days – see our handy checklist for suggestions on things you could ask about. If you’re considering Anglia Ruskin, we’d love to see you at one of our undergraduate Open Days.
  • Get advice from friends, family and school staff – but don’t forget the ultimate choice is yours.
  • Try to get to a UCAS HE Fair where you can pick up prospectuses from lots of different universities and speak with their representatives.
  • Have you chosen courses with a range of entry requirements? Try to maximise your chances by making your ‘Insurance’ option a course with lower grade requirements than your ‘Firm’ choice.
  • Think about a range of universities with different entry requirements.
  • Above all you should be comfortable with your choices: it’s all about finding the ‘best fit’ for you.
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