Always wanted to test your ultimate frisbee skills? See yourself dazzling
under the bright lights of the stage? Want to help change the world? Now's the
time to try something new, rediscover an old hobby or find your voice.
Get stuck in
You can choose from art, sports clubs
and societies to make
your Essex experience unforgettable.
work experience is unbeatable, which is why we provide lots of opportunities
for this through placement schemes, volunteering and career skills development.
It’s impossible to get bored at Essex. With an extensive arts programme involving
music, theatre, exhibitions, and a world-renowned Latin American art collection,
we play a major role in the cultural life of the region.
Paintings, sculpture, film, installation and photography all made up this
portrait of student talent at Essex, find out more about our Student Open Art
Exhibition in this video:
What our students say
Third year BSc Genetics
Not content with just
being a great uni, Essex also has a world of culture on offer,
easily accessible to every single student.
The Lakeside Theatre
is home to a variety of shows, ranging from Jeffrey Lewis and
the Jrams to Omeros, a Nobel Prize-winning epic, performed by
Josesph Marcell (from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air!). Alongside
these events are comedy nights, workshops, and performances by
our own incredibly talented drama and theatre arts students.
Every Friday in the Lakeside Café, you’ll find The Hook – a
free open mic event, where all students (and non-students) can
scribble their name on the chalkboard, stand up, and do
something awesome. From singing to stand-up to spoken word,
Essex is also the proud home to
(or the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America), which is a
700-piece strong collection of art, ranging from 1900 to the
modern day, and is a world-renowned curation, for all students
to use. From sculptures dotted around campus, to entire
exhibitions held at firstsite and in Southend, it’s a fantastic
way to get a bit of culture in without even realising.
Art Exchange on
the Colchester Campus is a diverse and fantastic creative space,
again available for all students. Alongside having free
exhibitions from global artists, using a variety of different
media, private views, banner-making workshops, African drumming
sessions, art skills exchanges, and live performance art, it’s
also a great place to have a quick break during the day. Never
satisfied with the ordinary, Art Exchange has so far released
15-foot lobsters, singing post-boxes, and a pair of Victorians
on the lookout for depravity – what they’re planning next is
A final fact-nugget to top all of this off, is that the
famous landscape artist John Constable painted
Wivenhoe Park (home of our Colchester Campus) in 1816. You
can just about work out where he sat near the library too.
Sports clubs and societies
Work hard, play hard
This is your chance to pursue your passions.
You can meet like-minded people or try out
something new with our SU’s 165 sports clubs
From the departmentally-focussed and culturally-based, to the
downright weird and wonderful (Harry Potter Society, anyone?), there’s an SU society
for everyone. Whether you enjoy cringing through those ‘so-bad-they’re-good’ films, have a
passion for cheese and wine, want to gain even more support and experience in
your subject, or just want to see some friendly faces from your home country,
the chances are there’ll be a club or society for you to join. If you can't find what you’re looking for, why not set one up?
What our students say
Third year BA History and Politics
I joined 11 societies and never looked back!
I don’t think I could possibly name all of the societies at
the University of Essex if I sat and thought about it for an
entire week. I’m not even sure what some of the ones I’ve heard
of do. There’s just so much variety and so little time to try it
all. From the Cheese and Wine Society
to sci-fi – whatever you’re after, the chance is Essex will have
20 or more people to do it with you.
I joined 11 societies in my first year and never looked back.
I’m now part of the executive committees on four, and I try to
get involved with everything, and so far, I’ve loved every
minute of it.
Getting stuck in is the best way to experience student life,
you’ll meet all sorts of people, do weird and wonderful things,
find new hobbies, acquire arcane knowledge of lovely things, and
all of it will cost you so little, it’ll feel like cheating!
For those with eyes on a prize job, it’s endlessly useful to
have experience running projects and events, something I’ve been
getting involved in, and if you’re up for a good time, joining a
club or society is the best way to do it. I’ve helped to run
several nights. My personal favourite was the 5.300 20s club –
I’ll never quite forget swanning into the SU Bar, extravagantly
clad in a cream three-piece suit to a smatter of applause; it’s
a memory to treasure.
What our students say
Third year BSc Biological Sciences
There really is something for everyone
There are so many clubs and societies at Essex, you’ll
struggle to choose which ones to join. But because the clubs are
free, I guess you could join them all! You can join societies
that are departmental, religious, arts-based, musical, or
cultural – there really is something for everyone, so make sure
you check them all out at the Freshers' Fair.
I’m a member of the Snowsports club and the
Biological Sciences Society.
The Biological Sciences pub-crawl around Colchester was very memorable for a
number of reasons. I definitely recommend joining just for that.
It was great to meet so many people in one night and go out to different places.
Which is the most unusual club or society? I’d say the
Harry Potter Society
is pretty unique. Join it if you want to be sorted into a house and then chosen
to play on the Quidditch team.
It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests,
especially very early on in your first year. You’ll become
really good mates with the people in the clubs and societies,
you’ll go out with them all the time for socials and events, so
I’d definitely recommend getting involved! There are all sorts
of events, from trips to other countries, careers fairs,
quizzes, socials, volunteering and fundraising.
What our students say
Second year LLB Law
You can even start your own society
There are hundreds of societies
available to students. You can even start your own society, so in that sense, it’s
unlimited. I’m a member of the Law Society
and Metal Society at
the moment, but I’m planning on joining more at Freshers’ Fair.
Joining a club or society means you make new friends, you can
take your mind off studying for a couple of hours and do
something you enjoy. There are loads of events put on by
societies. I go to Metal Meltdown, which is put on by the Metal
Society. I learnt to ice skate with skating society.
Get your kit on
You know that motto 'a healthy body means a healthy mind'? Well here at
Essex, it’s not just your brain we’re interested in training. We know that
exercise improves your mental wellbeing, can help keep you calm during those
stressful exam periods, and boosts performance in your studies.
So whether you want to pump some iron in our
state-of-the art gym; shimmy those hips in a Zumba class; or grab yourself a
racket and head down to some no-strings badminton with
Just Play, you’re sure to have fun and make a load of new friends along the
way. And the best part? Being a member of Essex Sport is
absolutely free, meaning you’ll have access to a whole host of sports
opportunities, and not pay a penny!
Welcome to the family
When you join Essex, you’ll automatically gain over 11,000 new brothers and
sisters – your Students' Union
family. This lot won’t steal your clothes, tell on you, or fight you for the TV
remote – they’re here to support you, make sure you get your voice heard, and
help you make the most of your time at Essex.
Our award-winning Students’ Union is one of the most active in the country,
and with events on every night of the week, hundreds of
societies to join, and opportunities for volunteering and paid work, you’ll
never run out of things to do.
We’re building generations of past and present Essex students, find out about
the SU Heirloom.
Employability and careers
What do you want to be when you grow up? Maybe you haven't got a clue, or
perhaps you’ve always known your dream job, but aren’t quite sure how to get it.
That’s where our
Employability and Careers Centre can help.
Shortlisted in the National Placement and Internship Awards for outstanding
work to support students in 2013, they’ll provide you with help and advice, and
the chance to develop your employability through some truly fantastic and unique
experiences and opportunities.