University of Essex Student Union

university of essex logo

University of Essex Student Union

University of Essex Student Union

Students’ Union

Students’ Union across Square 3

The University of Essex Students’ Union is well regarded nationally with awards including: officially recognised as a leading Students’ Union by the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative, awarded Investors In People status as a good employer, winner of Sound Impact Environmental Award for ethical and environmental performance, Sub Zero was voted ‘Best Student Venue in the UK’ at the Smirnoff BEDA Awards. Some of the major music bands to play in Sub Zero include AC/DC, Blur, Iggy Pop, The Kinks, Can, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Smiths and The Specials.

The Students’ Union runs the majority of commercial services on campus. Its shops stock imported food products, reflecting the university’s international community. It has licensed venues including the SU bar and club-style venues: Frango’s, Base, Top Bar, and Sub Zero (formerly the Underground and before that the Dancehall), which have hosted many bands and DJs. Sub Zero was voted best student union venue upon its refurbishment and is one of the biggest in the country, with a capacity of over 1,200. The Students’ Union Bar underwent a £400,000 refurbishment in the summer of 2010.

The Students Union employs about 380 student staff and 50 permanent staff to work in its shops, venues, etc. The University of Essex Students Union was the first SU in the UK to receive the ‘Investors in people Gold’ award in late 2009.

The Students’ Union underwent reform in 2007-8, in which the trustee and executive functions were separated, and greater voice was given to satellite campuses. The Executive Committee is composed of seven full-time officers and ten part-time officers. In 2016, students tried to change the constitution in order to introduce an 11th part-time officer, the working class officer. This referendum failed by 3 votes. The Students’ Union is a member of the National Union of Students.

The Students’ Union newspaper, is called Albert.

Student life

Student body

The university has a very large population of international students, with over 5,000 international students in 2015. Nearly 50% of postgraduates, and 40% undergraduates are students whose country of origin is outside of the UK (including EU). The university boasts a large proportion of local students from state schools, and a third of its undergraduates are from working-class homes.

Get in touch

Course, admissions and general enquiries