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 motto, ’Thought the harder, heart the keener’, is adapted from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon.

In October 1964, the first 122 students arrived with 28 teaching staff in three schools: Comparative Studies, Physical Sciences and Social Studies. Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Government, Sociology, Literature, Mathematics and Economics opened along with the Language Centre (later the Department of Language and Linguistics) and the Computing Centre (later the Department of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering).

Now the university is organized into three faculties, comprising 21 schools and departments, spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Health. Essex is ranked 251–300 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 and 37th in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.Essex was named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards in 2018.The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 ranked Essex in the top 20 universities in the UK for the quality of its research and the top 5 for social sciences. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 ranked Essex in the top 50 for social sciences and 51st for law. Essex is one of eight young universities which are part of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe alliance, which was selected by the European Commission to create one of the first European Universities,cross-border alliances of higher education institutions created to promote staff and student mobility. Essex is also a founding partner of the Young European Research Universities network.

Essex has produced many notable alumni in several fields, including two Nobel laureates, a head of state, foreign ministers, MPs, scientists, artists, and politicians.


This is Essex: home to the daring and the tenacious, a place for the ambitious and the bold. This is a close-knit, supportive and welcoming community, with a powerful and pioneering global outlook.

With over 15,000 students from more than 140 different countries, making Essex one of the most internationally diverse universities on the planet – you’ll find the world in one place here at Essex. Essex is University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018) and ranked Top 30 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. They are proud to have provided excellence in research and excellence in education for over 50 years.

At Essex you’re taught by world-leading academics in a supportive and research-intensive environment. Essex is ranked Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2017) which means they deliver an excellent educational experience. The trailblazing research continues to change the world for the better and Essex is ranked 25th in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019). Essex is loved by students too, and is top 15 in England for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2019, mainstream universities*).

Whether you study in the beautiful historic parkland of the Colchester Campus, the bustling lively town centre of Southend-on-Sea, or in the stately home at Loughton, this is your chance to become a member of the one of the happiest groups of students around. The flexibility of courses gives you the power to pursue the things that matter to you. Now’s your chance to join Nobel Prize-winners, award-winning directors, presidents, well-loved actors, astronauts, and over 100,000 other alumni who have gone on to shape the world and share their Essex spirit.

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