Our ambition is that by 2019 we will be acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leading research-intensive university. As a result of achieving this ambition by 2019 we will be firmly established in the top 25 of UK universities, and all of the subjects offered by the University will be ranked within the top 20 per cent of their discipline within the UK.

We have a broad spread of subjects covering humanities, science and health and social sciences. We have particular strengths in the social sciences and humanities and especially in interdisciplinary research, notably in human rights and quantitative social and economic research. We are proud of our track record of business engagement. Our commitment to this area has been consolidated by a £7m investment in the Knowledge Gateway, 43 acres of parkland at our Colchester Campus created so that small businesses and blue-chip companies can benefit from close links with our academic community, our research facilities and business development activities.

The University is organised around three faculties comprising: the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Health. Our academic community comprises 12,500 students and 2,200 staff. The University has three friendly purpose–built campus environments. The Colchester Campus, Essex’s largest and original site is set in 200 acres of parkland. It incorporates teaching buildings, shops, banks, a gallery and theatre, bars and cafes, and sufficient student accommodation to house over half of our student population and 90% of our students are based here. The East 15 Acting School – founded by Joan Littlewood and one of the top five acting conservatoires in the UK – is in Loughton just five minutes from London Underground’s Central line. The Southend Campus, in the heart of Southend-on-Sea, opened in 2007 and is home to courses delivered by Essex Business School, the School of Health and Human Sciences, East 15 Acting School and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies.

We also have some 4,500 students studying for University of Essex-validated degrees at our partner institutions across Essex and further afield at: Writtle College; South Essex College; Colchester Institute; Kaplan Open Learning; and Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust Foundation.

A further 5,000 are studying for jointly accredited University of Essex-University of East Anglia degrees at University Campus Suffolk.

Essex also has a great reputation for the campus-based experience that we offer our students, providing opportunities for participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, engagement in an amazing range of student clubs and societies, and an extensive programme of student volunteering and sport. At Essex we are especially proud of our close working relationship with our award-winning Students’ Union, which plays a key role in enhancing the quality of our students’ experience.