Accommodation at our Colchester Campus

Make yourself at home

Starting university is about so much more than just studying – it’s about making lifelong friends, growing in independence, encountering new cultures, nationalities and experiences.

We've got a wide range of accommodation to choose from, so you can find the perfect place for you.

We know that for some of you, moving away from home may seem like a daunting prospect; after all, this might be the first time you’ve lived away from your family. That’s why at Essex, we try our hardest to help you settle in, starting by guaranteeing accommodation for all our first-year students.

What's included?

Included in your rent is wifi, heating, hot water, electricity and the cleaning of communal areas (such as kitchens) – so no need to worry about arguments over whose turn it is to vacuum! Rooms are normally let for the full academic year from late September to the end of June, which means that even if you’re away from the University during the winter and spring vacations, you don’t have to remove your things from your room.

Happy students

We understand how important it is for you to be happy in your new home so we strive to continually improve the experience we offer. We are continuously upgrading our residences to create vibrant living and learning environments. Everything is at your fingertips with launderettes, gyms, and convenience stores close at hand.

Supported students

The purpose of our Residence Life team is to create a harmonious community in which to live and learn. A Residents’ Assistant is based in your area of accommodation and will meet you soon after you arrive. They ensure that you have opportunities to get involved in University life and social activities, and provide support outside of office hours.

What our students say

  • The Quays

    What our students say

    Kit Cherry-Hulley

    Kit Cherry-Hulley

    Third year BA History and Politics

    A quieter life at The Quays

    Houses are not automatically homes. A home needs good friends, a warm welcome, and memories soaked into the walls. The accommodation at the University of Essex has all of that in spades – there’s something for everyone.

    Those with a taste for good views and company, will slot neatly into a life in the North or South Towers. If you want a quieter life, out by the river, as I did, The Quays will suit you perfectly.

    I would do it all over again

    I loved my time in campus accommodation, and if I could do it all over again, I would. To be able to roll back from a night out without a care in the world and know that my kitchen would be clean, no matter what horrors student cooking had committed to the poor surfaces, was a joy I will never again experience.

    If at all possible, try to live on campus. The student experience at Essex is never complete without at least one party in the early morning, throat sore and howling along to music I’ve never heard before and never will again. Brief moments in a giddy arcadia of studenty existence, only slightly marred by the resultant hangover…

    Great support

    I never had a problem with my flatmates, or any of the brilliant people I met in Hawkins Quay, but I was glad to know that the Residence Life team were just a phone call away if I ever needed them. It was a brilliant time, and I sometimes miss it sorely, as I survey my messy, messy kitchen now.

    Living off campus

    I now live off-campus, in a small village just five minutes’ bike ride down the road, called Wivenhoe. I share a five-person house, with mates that I met in the History Society, and working as a Student Ambassador. They might make the kitchen messy, but they do so making stacks upon stacks of glorious, crispy, syrup-drenched pancakes for everyone, so I can forgive the occasional splash of batter when I’m nine pancakes in of a Sunday morning. As much as I miss my first-year flat, I could never give up those pancakes.

  • South Towers

    What our students say

    Emily Armstrong

    Emily Armstrong

    Third year BSc Genetics

    Different types of accommodation

    Essex has seven different types of accommodation, falling into two categories, en-suite, encompassing The Houses, South Courts and University Quays and The Meadows.

    Logically, these are more expensive than our non-en-suite accommodation; The Towers. The Towers are Grade II listed so are here to stay! With 13-16 people per flat the Towers, and up to six people per flat in the en-suite accommodation, there’s more than enough for everyone!

    Loudest, silliest and weirdest places on campus

    As an ex-South Towers girl, my heart will always firmly lie with Eddington and Bertrand Russell. They are undoubtedly the loudest, silliest, and weirdest places on campus, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

    I’ve lived in Greenstead for a year, and I’m just about to embark on my second. It was incredibly easy to find somewhere to live; we just used the SU Lets service provided by the Students' Union.

  • The Meadows

    What our students say

    Tricia Beer

    Tricia Beer

    Second year LLB Law

    The Meadows accommodation was perfect

    There are lots of different types of accommodation offered on campus. They vary in price and atmosphere, and all have their own endearing character. I lived in The Meadows last year and loved it. I’m a bit funny about toilets so wanted an en-suite, so The Meadows was perfect.

    The kitchens were spacious enough to have friends round for dinner, and there were only seven people to a flat, which was just enough for me. We all got along really well, and it was a real community atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend it.

    The best things about living in The Meadows for me were my big bed, the design and decoration of the rooms and having an en-suite. I was able to make my room my own, which made me feel at home. I found it really easy to make friends in halls. We had get-togethers in The Meadows, where I made lots of friends, and once I’d met some people from my course, we’d often walk to lectures together.

    Good value for money

    When you break the costs down, living at university is very good value for money – bear in mind that rent includes wifi and all of your household bills. Plus, it’s really safe – you have 24 hour security, which is nice to know.

    Favourite memory

    I can’t really pick just one favourite memory from living on campus – I enjoyed it all – but, if I had to choose, it’d probably be my second evening at uni. We had a get-together in The Meadows to meet new people. I made loads of friends that night and had so much fun. I even got pushed around in a trolley for a while (I’d lost my friends) and ended up making a new friend, who shared a mutual fondness for trolley rides.

    I now live in Wivenhoe and I love it! I live with three other girls from my flat in The Meadows and we all get on really well. It’s lovely and quiet, which is great for getting an early night and doing some hard work! Finding a place for our second year was pretty easy; we visited quite a few different houses but settled on this one quickly.

    I’d definitely recommend living on-campus during your first year. The experience of living in halls isn’t something you can put down on paper, you’ve just got to do it.

After your first year

When you return to Essex in your second, third or fourth years, non-guaranteed returners can apply to the waiting list. Colchester Campus accommodation is guaranteed to international undergraduates for your entire course at Essex, provided you apply by the published deadline and make a prepayment when you accept an offer. Studentlets is a service run by our Students’ Union in Colchester. They maintain a register of recommended private accommodation for everyone moving off campus.

"We want all students to enjoy something of the communal life of the University."
Sir Albert Sloman, founding Vice-Chancellor in the 1963 BBC Reith Lectures

UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

PG events

Book a place at a postgraduate event to find out about studying at a top 20 UK research university. Staff will be available to answer your questions and you can speak to students about life at Essex.

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.