Applying to Essex
Applying to Essex is simple and straightforward. We'll give you all the important information you need to make your application.
Our online application
takes about 20 minutes to complete.
When you apply to study with us, you'll need to provide information on your academic
qualifications that you already hold or are waiting to complete. You must also
provide your supporting documents - we can't process your application until we have these. You can upload copies of documents with your
application form or you can upload additional documents at a later date.
Supporting documents include:
- English language qualifications (eg IELTS, TOEFL* or Pearson) if you have
received your test results
- transcripts of your university-level studies to date
- copies of certificates for any degrees or other awards already completed
- a research proposal (for research degrees)
- a personal statement or CV
- at least one verifiable reference (two for research degrees)
*TOEFL is not accepted for students requiring a Tier 4 visa. Find out about
applying with a Tier 4 visa.
We may ask to see original documents if you are offered a place, and some of
our departments, schools or centres require additional items to support your
There is no deadline for applications but we advise you to apply by 1 July
for a taught course or research degree starting in October. Many funding deadlines are much earlier in the year, so check your options and get your application in
promptly. To be eligible for research funding, you must hold an offer from Essex and complete the appropriate
scholarship or funding application form by the given deadline.
References should be on letterhead or official institution paper and signed
by the referee. If a referee wishes to provide an email reference, it must be
sent from an official email account (for example, not yahoo, gmail or hotmail).
Disability, dyslexia and health issues
Applications are considered against the same academic criteria as those from
other candidates. If you are disabled, state this on your application form so
that we can give early consideration to any support requirements you may have.
Please contact Student Support if
you would like to discuss this in more detail before you apply.
Your research proposal
Think about your research idea - during your PhD you will conduct and present the
results of your original investigations and research. You need to ensure that your
research topic will be interesting enough for three or four years. Start to research your
topic by reading around your subject area and begin to think what you might like to include in your research proposal.
Get in touch with a suitable department by contacting the Graduate Director - you
might still be developing your idea at this stage, but it would be great if you could send a short description of your research area
and a copy of your CV. This does not need to
be longer than one A4 page. You can search for a department or supervisor through our
Postgraduate Research Finder.
Writing your proposal
Your research proposal is an important part
of your application for a research degree.
Use it to explain your personal and academic
goals in undertaking an extended period
of research, and reﬂect on the contribution
you will make to the development of new
knowledge, ideas and solutions. Also comment
on how your research interests fit with the
academic focus and expertise at Essex.
Your research proposal needs to
demonstrate that you have, or are able to
develop, the competencies and skills needed
to complete your project, within the time
and resources available. The quality of your
writing is important and a good research
proposal may be rejected if it is poorly expressed
or badly presented.
Many of our departments, schools and
centres offer more detailed guidance on
preparing a research proposal on their web
pages. If you are applying for funding, ensure
your proposal fulfils the requirements of your
preferred funding body.
Visit our PG apply portal
for general guidance and details of word lengths for the department you're applying to.
Your research proposal should include:
- a working title and key words
- a summary of the aims and objectives of your research
- an outline of the ways you meet these aims and objectives, referring to research methods and specific resources you use
- evidence of your awareness of relevant literature and theoretical approaches
- an overview of the expected outcomes and the original contribution your research will make to existing bodies of knowledge
- a brief statement on how your research
interests tie in with those found in the
department, school or centre
After you apply
We aim to respond to applications for taught courses within two weeks, and
for research degrees within four weeks, once we have received all the relevant
documents from you and your referee(s).
When you create your application, you will be issued with an application number (DE number),
which is your unique reference number with us. You can use this to create your
account on our myEssex for Applicants.
Accepting your offer
If we offer you a place, we send you our decision electronically. You will be able to view and download your offer letter from myEssex within 24 hours
of a decision being made. We will send you an email with instructions on this.
You should use myEssex to accept your place and to keep us informed of any
changes to your contact details by updating them online.
Applicants applying for research degrees may be invited to attend an interview as part of the admission process. If you are
selected for interview, your department
will contact you to arrange a convenient time, and to provide you with details relating to the interview.
Before starting your course you need to consider how you are going to fund your studies.
Depending on your course or research topic,
funding deadlines will change.
If you have any questions about your application, please contact our Graduate Admissions Team at