University of Essex Admissions

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University of Essex Admissions

University of Essex Admissions

Study with us


Study with us

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements are described on each of our courses. The wide range of qualifications that we consider include:

  • A-levels
  • BTEC qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificates
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diplomas
  • Open University courses
  • Practicing professional qualifications

Our typical offer will require you to achieve specific grades in three A-levels (or equivalent) for most courses, although we consider additional qualifications. For example, if your results fall short of the offer level by a small margin, your result in the Extended Project or an additional AS-level will be taken into account. We want you to stand the best chance of benefiting from an Essex Education.

We accept either General Studies or Critical Thinking as one of your three A-levels. We will also consider your application if you are re-taking one or more exams. This applies to students taking modular A-level examinations and those taking the reformed linear A-level examinations.

Our statement on UK qualification reforms

GCSE requirements

Our general entrance requirements are a minimum of two full A-levels and five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, or equivalent. Some courses also have additional GCSE subject requirements which you’ll find on the relevant subject pages. If you don’t currently meet our GCSE requirements, contact our Admissions team for advice.

If you’re not applying directly from school

If you are not applying directly from school or college then you need to show recent evidence of your ability to undertake degree-level work and the necessary study skills. Where there are course requirements, you will be asked to demonstrate an equivalent knowledge of the subject. We will also ask you to provide an academic reference from someone who is able to give a professional opinion based on recent knowledge about your ability to study at degree level. If you have not had any formal education for a period of time you may need to undertake a preparatory course before joining us.

Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions Office

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ

Telephone +44 (0)1206 873666

Study with us


Study with us

Applying to Essex

Apply online

Student with laptop

Applying to Essex is simple and straightforward. We’ll give you all the important information you need to make your application. Our online application takes about 20 minutes to complete.

When you apply to study with us, you’ll need to provide a number of supporting documents – we can’t process your application until we have these.

Copies of some of these documents you will have to upload with your application, others you may be able to upload at a later date. We may ask to see original documents if you are offered a place.

Application deadline

There is no deadline for applications but we advise you to apply by 1 July for a taught course or research degree starting in October. Many funding deadlines are much earlier in the year, so check your options and get your application in promptly.

To be eligible for research funding, you must hold an offer from Essex and complete the appropriate scholarship or funding application form by the given deadline.

Necessary documents

  • Personal statement

    If you are applying for a taught course and you need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, then a personal statement (no more than 500 words) is required at the time you make your application, and this should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study. Please remember to include details of any relevant work experience, why you think your academic strengths are suited to your area of study, and how this study will assist you to realise your career objectives.

  • English language

    If you have received your test results you may include a copy with your application. The main tests we accept are IELTS, TOEFL* or Pearson, and the test must be less than two years old at the time of admission. The IELTS requirement for your course, is listed in our coursefinder.

    * TOEFL is not accepted for students requiring a Tier 4 visa.

  • Transcripts

    Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).

  • CV

    If you are applying to one of our taught courses in the School of Law, Human Rights, a pre-Registration course or the MBA, you will need to provide a copy of your CV with your application. A CV is also required for some research degrees at the time of application.

  • References

    For taught courses we will require one academic reference during the application process (excluding the MBA, and pre-Registration courses in Nursing, Occupational Health, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy). Don’t worry if you cannot provide your reference when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide this at a later stage.

    References should be recent and verifiable, on official institution paper, signed and dated by the referee.

    Email references

    If a referee wishes to provide an email reference, it must be sent from an official email account (for example, not yahoo, gmail or hotmail).

Additional documents

Some of our departments, schools or centres require additional items to support your application. These include the MBA, Health and Human Sciences, Philosophy, Law, Human Rights and Literature, Film and Theatre Studies.

Please make sure you check the exact requirements of your chosen course.

Postgraduate research

Requirements vary across departments but two references and a research proposal are required for all research degrees. Please see our guidance notes for further information.

  • Research proposal

After you apply

We aim to respond to applications for taught courses within two weeks, and for research degrees within four weeks, once we have received all the relevant documents from you and your referee(s).

When you create your application, you will be issued with an application number (DE number), which is your unique reference number with us. You can use this to create your account on our myEssex for Applicants.

  • Accepting your offer

    If we offer you a place, we send you our decision electronically. You will be able to view and download your offer letter from myEssex within 24 hours of a decision being made. We will send you an email with instructions on this. You should use myEssex to accept your place and to keep us informed of any changes to your contact details by updating them online.

  • Interviews

    Applicants applying for research degrees may be invited to attend an interview as part of the admission process. If you are selected for interview, your department will contact you to arrange a convenient time, and to provide you with details relating to the interview.

  • Funding

    Before starting your course you need to consider how you are going to fund your studies. Depending on your course or research topic, funding deadlines will change.

Disability, dyslexia and health issues

Applications are considered against the same academic criteria as those from other candidates. If you are disabled, state this on your application form so that we can give early consideration to any support requirements you may have. Please contact Student Support if you would like to discuss this in more detail before you apply.

Contact us

If you have any questions about your application, please contact our Graduate Admissions Team at