Get involved

When you arrive in Southend, you’ll be greeted with a jam-packed calendar of events and a whole range of different clubs and activities to get stuck into.

Our SU's new social venue, the SU Lounge, is fully run and owned by students and is the ideal place to catch up with friends. This is your home-from-home, for studying, grabbing a coffee and a snack, playing Xbox or Playstation, or just hanging out between classes.

We’ve also been awarded a prestigious purple flag award for our amazing nights out. With great comedy nights, seafront pubs, shows, bars and clubs, the Southend nightlife is hard to beat.

  • Students’ Union

    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, clubs and societies to join, and opportunities for volunteering and paid work, you’ll never run out of things to do.

    What our students say

    Ancuta-Florentina Savu

    Ancuta-Florentina Savu

    Second year BSc Marketing

    Everything is possible

    Our Students’ Union is the best because it really makes you feel like you’re a part of a big family of Essex students.

    What I’ve learnt from the SU is that everything is possible. If you can’t do it by yourself, you’ve got 11,000 other people to help you.

  • Sport

    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're new to sport or just want to try something different, there's sure to be something to inspire you.

    As an Essex student you get a great discount at Rush Fitness in Southend.

    You're also a member of Essex Sport, for free! This gives you access to a whole host of sports opportunities.

  • Theatre, art and music


    You’d expect a thriving theatrical scene where so many of our acting and drama students are based, and Southend doesn’t disappoint. Our Clifftown Theatre and Studios provides rehearsal space for our East 15 Acting School students within a renovated gothic-style church, and hosts regular public performances which range from the extraordinary to the absurd.

    And you don’t have to spend your time waiting in the wings – there are plenty of opportunities for others to get involved too, with workshops, summer schools, and community events where you can show off under the spotlight. Alternatively, why not check out a show at the Cliffs Pavilion, or visit our other East 15 students at the Corbett Theatre on our Loughton Campus.

    Art and music

    Studying in the centre of town means that you’re immersed in a creative space throughout your time here. We’ve got an incredible live music scene, from classical music at Concert in the Park to fresh talent at Battle of the Bands. The Focal Point Gallery in The Forum, in addition to the many other galleries dotted around town, provides plenty of reason to pick up a paintbrush or camera. And where better to be inspired than on the sunny south Essex coast? All of this, plus numerous film, book, and cultural festivals, make Southend a hotbed of creative activity.

    Discover more

  • Clubs and societies

    At Southend there are clubs and societies for interests ranging from debating to travel.

    But if your passion is for fashion, or you’re mad about magic and you can’t find what you’re looking for, there’s always the opportunity to set up your own society too.

    What our students say

    Ancuta-Florentina Savu

    Ancuta-Florentina Savu

    Second year BSc Marketing

    Get involved in the things you love

    Being a member of a society allows you to get more involved in the things you love. You can make new friends, have lots of fun, and even bag yourself some valuable contacts. Being part of a society (and even better, having an important role within a society) will also look great on your CV and enhance your employability.

    I’m a member of the Enterprise Society. As well as the social side (we put on games nights, movies, and parties); there are also some serious benefits. We have guest speakers and local entrepreneurs who come in to talk to use about the real business world. I learn a lot, and it gets me thinking about possibilities once I graduate.

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.

Clubs and societies

Clubs and societies

You can choose from more than 165 clubs and societies at Essex. These cover the arts, sport, politics, culture, music and more more, giving you a chance to discover new talents or develop new interests.

Students' Union

Students' Union

Our Students' Union (SU) is one of the most active in the country. Our SU will be there to offer you support, plus the opportunity to join numerous clubs and societies and to enjoy lots of events and nights out.

Sports facilities

Our sports facilities include outdoor pitches stretching across 40 acres as well as extensive indoor facilities.