The Faculties

The University is organised around three faculties comprising: the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Health. Each Faculty is led by an Executive Dean with specific responsibility for the budget, education and research performance and staffing issues and who report to the Vice-Chancellor.

  • The Faculty of Humanities

    The Faculty brings together four research-active Departments, a leading acting school and the University’s Essex Pathways (providing an access route to our University degree programmes). The Faculty fosters creative and critical thinking applied to human practices and the creative arts, taking an interdisciplinary approach to applying fundamental theoretical and practice-led inquiries to the ethical and cultural challenges of the twenty-first century. The Faculty’s world-class research strength was confirmed by the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014 which ranked Art History 10th, Philosophy 14th, Law 17th and History 21st.

    The internationally renowned East 15 Acting School based at Loughton and Southend consistently ranks in the top five conservatoires in the UK. In 2009 the University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of our pioneering role in advancing the legal and broader practice of international human rights. Part of the School of Law, the Human Rights Centre has built itself a pre-eminent reputation for interdisciplinary research and teaching with an outstanding record for innovative research, publication and practice. The University has been awarded a £5m major ESRC programme on Human Rights and Information Technology in the Era of Big Data involving colleagues from the departments of Law, Sociology, Government, and Computer Science and electronic Engineering. The University is part of an AHRC doctoral training centre consortium of leading arts and humanities universities in the south east of England (CHASE).

    Departments within the Faculty

    • Department of History.
    • Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.
    • School of Law (departmental home to the Human Rights Centre).
    • School of Philosophy and Art History (departmental home to Interdisciplinary Studies Centre).
    • East 15 Acting School.
    • Essex Pathways.

    The Faculty comprises 230 academic and research staff supported by 95 administrative, technical and other staff. The Faculty hosts 3,750 students and has an income of £35m.


  • The Faculty of Social Sciences

    The Faculty of Social Sciences boasts an outstanding international research reputation that places the University in the top four of all universities for social sciences in the UK, as confirmed by Research Excellence Framework 2014. Politics is ranked 1st, Economics 5th, Sociology 12th and Essex Business School 24th. The REF 2014 results ranked the University in the top 4 of universities for social sciences in the UK.

    The University has ESRC-funded centres based in our Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER): the Research Centre on Micro-Social Change and the UK Longitudinal Studies Centre. ISER hosts Understanding Society, the UK longitudinal study of 40,000 households, which is the largest household panel survey in the world. The ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre is based in Essex Business School. In addition the UK Data Archive is funded by the ESRC and is the UK's largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities, providing a unified point of access to data from ESDS, the Census Programme and Secure Data Service. The University also co-hosts the National Administrative Data Research Network. In addition the University hosts the ESRC-funded ‘Human Rights, Big Data and Technology’ large 5 million pound grant project. The University is ranked first for receipt of funding from the ESRC. Reflecting our strengths in social science, Essex is the lead for the SeNSS ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and a partner in the Soc-B Social Biological Centre for Doctoral Training with UCL and Manchester. In addition the University is a Q-Step Affiliate supported by the Nuffield Foundation, the ESRC and HEFCE. The programme is designed to promote a step-change in quantitative undergraduate social science in the UK. In 2013 Her Majesty the Queen awarded the University of Essex a Regius Professorship in Political Science - one of only two universities to hold a Regius Professorship in the Social Sciences and one of the youngest universities to receive this honour.

    In addition the UK Data Archive is funded by the ESRC and is the UK's largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities, providing a unified point of access to data from ESDS, the Census Programme and Secure Data Service. The University also co-hosts the National Administrative Data Research Network. The University is ranked first for receipt of funding from the ESRC.

    Departments within the Faculty

    • Essex Business School.
    • Department of Economics.
    • Department of Government.
    • Department of Language and Linguistics.
    • Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.
    • Department of Sociology.
    • Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    • The UK Data Archive.

    Some 290 academic and research staff work in these Departments and Centres, who are supported by 195 administrative, technical and other staff. The Faculty hosts 5,190 students and has an income of some £61m.


  • The Faculty of Science and Health

    Our Faculty is outward facing, collaborating in research and exploring innovative ways of working to improve society. With world-leading and internationally excellent Research and Impact in health, life sciences, psychology, artificial intelligence, robotics, mathematics and Big Data, our strategy is to ensure that our research and education activities are mapped onto national and international research priorities.

    Our state-of-the-art facilities include our £1.5m Networked Media Laboratory, our £3m Centre for Brain Science, a new £13.7m STEM teaching facility opening in 2018), membership of two RCUK Doctoral Training Centres, and a diversity of expertise, infrastructure, and new technologies. Essex scientists are at the heart of interdisciplinary and collaborative national and international academic and industrial networks, such as with BT, Intel, NHS Trusts, environmental organisations and local SMEs.

    The University has two science doctoral training partnerships EnvEast DTP offers funding to doctoral students working on climate, marine and atmospheric systems; biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development; and natural hazards; and the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI) offers studentships in digital game research, design and development and artificial intelligence.

    Departments within the Faculty

    • School of Biological Sciences.
    • School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
    • School of Health and Human Sciences.
    • Department of Mathematical Sciences.
    • Department of Psychology.
    • School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences.

    Some 290 academic and research staff work in these Departments and Schools and are supported by 140 administrative and technical staff. The Faculty hosts 4,500 students and has an income of £44m.