Students Staff

Student experience

19 July 2016

Discover new way to map your research and join new ArcGIS user group

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact, Student experience — Communications Office @ 12:13 pm
Map of Essex created with ArcGIS

Map of Essex created with ArcGIS

Essex academics and postgraduate students are being offered the chance to use a powerful suite of software, apps and online tools to map out their research in a new and exciting way.

The University has a license for ArcGIS which allows you to create and share beautiful maps based on your research. An ArcGIS user group has now been setup to share experiences and provide support.

The system is already being used in history, sociology and biological sciences and Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, who is promoting ArcGIS thanks to a Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund award, is now looking to create a users’ group to help other people find out more and start using it in their research and teaching.

  • For more information about learning to use ArcGIS and to join the user group email Leanne at:

Leanne said: “We use the software in both teaching and research and employers specify this skill in many graduate level jobs.  We are inviting anyone across the University who is interested in learning more about this software to get in touch so that we can encourage interest and set up a meeting.

“Our license covers the whole University so we want to make people aware we have this resource available. “

Case studies

Mapping marine and terrestrial habitats

Leanne is using the ArcGIS Collector app to map environments being studied by students. She said: “I’m using ArcGIS apps in the field for practical work by students where we are mapping marine and terrestrial habitats.

“We are also starting a new Oceanography and Marine Conservation field course in Greece this year where student will be using ArcGIS to map the distribution and abundance of protected Poisdonia seagrass beds – which are a vital part of the Mediterranean ecosystem.

“We also use ArcGIS to map the Blackwater estuary native oyster population which was used as important data in the designation of the area as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).”

Mapping domestic abuse

Ruth Weir, from the Department of Sociology, who is researching domestic abuse patterns in Essex, added: “I’ve been using ArcGIS to identify predictors of domestic abuse.  I’ve used Geographically Weighted Regression, from the spatial analyst extension, to model predictors and look at how the relationships vary across Essex.

“I also ran a Proficio course for postgraduate students in April and I’m working with Professor Pamela Cox to introduce ArcGIS into teaching for third year undergraduate criminology students and Masters students.”

Helping visualise history of Colchester

Dr Justin Colson from the Department of History is excited about enriching the learning experience for students: “On my new module ‘Mapping History and Heritage in Colchester’ students will be using ArcGIS to interact with historic maps of the town from various eras, as well as information such as the census and trade directories. They’ll use ArcGIS to produce their own projects mapping change in different aspects of Colchester’s shops, industries and culture.

“I’m also working with the same material, as well as data shared by Colchester Borough Council and the Colchester Archaeological Trust, to produce a comprehensive atlas of the town’s development.”

Training opportunities

In 2016-17 staff and postgraduate students will be able to take advantage of Ruth’s course on ArcGIS while Justin will be running additional courses on concepts of mapping and using the online ArcGIS app.


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22 March 2016

Naseem showcases research at House of Commons

Filed under: People pages, Research impact, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:58 pm
PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP.

PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP at the House of Commons.

PhD student Naseem Ramli was shortlisted to showcase her research at a special event at the House of Commons.

At the SET for BRITAIN event, Naseem presented a poster demonstrating her research into renewable energy to several MPs, including Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin.

Naseem, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, said: “It was a prestigious event, with my session being quite competitive. I’m working on renewable energy, but it was a great opportunity to meet those from other engineering disciplines.”

SET for BRITAIN aims to connect researchers with MPs and highlight Parliament’s role in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Naseem, who was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants, added: “Not only did the event highlight new technologies, but also it was a great way to showcase renewable energy and how it benefits the planet.”

Naseem’s research focuses on using lithium-ion batteries for low power applications and she would like to be able to gain funding to develop her research further.

With renewable energy being a key interest for Naseem, she praised the University’s Green Impact programme, which helps departments be more sustainable. “It’s a good scheme,” added Naseem, “I can see that the university has made large investments in solar technology.”


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11 January 2016

Repairs on site

Filed under: Campus news, Student experience — Heather Leathley @ 5:19 pm

Mobile phone and tablet repairs can now be taken care of through the Everything Essex shop on Square 4.

The shop is trialling a new service in conjunction with a local company.   Damaged items can be dropped off at the desk before being sent off for repair and then returned when as good as new.

A price list is available at the counter.  All Apple models and androids must be less than four years old.


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Colchester fitness classes expand.

Filed under: Campus news, Sport, Student experience, What's on — Tags: , , — Heather Leathley @ 11:30 am

Kickstart your 2016 fitness plans with a week long guest pass to the Colchester Evolve Gym which includes access to 10 new fitness classes.

Introducing early bird classes every weekday morning at 7.05 am, the line-up of more than 30 sessions each week now includes Cycle Fit and Stretch and Mobility. Sign up here for the guest pass and book your place on a class through the Sports Centre reception on 3250.

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14 December 2015

Become a member of the Student Conduct Panel

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Communications, CER @ 1:22 pm

The University is looking to recruit new student members of the Student Conduct Panel.

What is the student conduct panel?

The Student Conduct Panel exists to deal with cases of serious student non-academic misconduct. The panel is made up of a mixture of about 16 members of academic staff and around 12 students. When a student is reported for an alleged breach of the Student Conduct Regulations the case is investigated by the Proctor or the Associate Proctor who may impose a penalty themselves in less serious cases. However, serious cases or repeated minor breaches are referred to a Student Conduct Committee made up of three members of the Student Conduct Panel: two members of academic staff and one student. The Student Conduct Committee meets to hear all the evidence in the case and follows set procedures to determine whether or not the accused student is guilty of the alleged breach and, if so, what the penalty should be. Penalties can range from a formal written warning to expulsion from the University.

What are the benefits of joining?

As a member of the panel you would be making a significant contribution to University life. Aside from finding involvement in the process very interesting and rewarding, you would gain some valuable transferrable skills that could be used during and beyond your studies. We encourage students who have participated in the process to make reference to their panel membership on their CV.

Additionally, students who join the panel in 2015/2016 and who complete their initial training session plus two observations and then sit on a minimum of four (4) committee meetings over a three (3) year period can achieve 25 units towards a Big Essex Award.

How will membership affect my studies?

Membership of the panel will not take up much of your time. A Student Conduct Committee usually lasts less than two hours and we have in the region of 15 per academic year. In a busy year it is unlikely that you would be expected to sit on more than three or four committees over the course of the year. Students who join the panel are expected to attend an initial training session and then observe a couple of committees before being ready to sit on a committee themselves. There is also an annual review and training event which all existing panel members are asked to attend which lasts about three hours.

How long would my membership last?

If you are happy to do so, we would hope that you would remain a panel member for the duration of your studies. Experience as a panel member contributes greatly towards the panel functioning well.

Interested? Want to know more?

If you are interested in joining, please email to register your interest no later than 4pm on Monday 25 January 2016. You will then be invited to a meeting to hear more about the process and how to apply formally to join the panel.

More information

In the meantime, you can find further information about the student conduct process on our student conduct webpage.

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7 December 2015

Big win takes Essex Blades to national final

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Sport, Student experience — Tags: , , — Heather Leathley @ 10:34 am

Essex Blades Women’s basketball team is off to the final of the Basketball England National Cup after a resounding victory over Mansfield Giants.

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1 December 2015

Southend screening for acclaimed Holocaust memorial film

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Student experience, What's on — Tags: , — Heather Leathley @ 11:29 am

To mark  Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 28 January the University of Essex is partnership with Southend Borough Council to offer a free screening of the acclaimed documentary ‘Night Will Fall’ in the Lecture Theatre in The Forum at the Southend Campus.

Night Will Fall, narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, is a 2014 documentary film directed by Andre Singer that tells the story behind a 1945 British government film which aimed to provide lasting evidence of Nazi crimes during the Holocaust.  Professor Rainer Schulze from the University of Essex’s Department of History was an historical consultant on this 75-minute documentary which derives its title from the original film: “Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach, night will fall.”

Rated as a 15, tickets are available through Eventbrite.

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19 November 2015

Stand in Solidarity campaign day

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Student experience — Communications Office @ 1:52 pm
Walk-out at Colchester Campus

Walk-out at Colchester Campus

Essex students supported this week’s national Solidarity Stand walk-out to highlight the difficulties the Government’s immigration policies are causing for international students.

Students walked out of classes and stood in solidarity in Square 3 on Colchester Campus and outside the Forum at Southend Campus.

Students across the country took part in the walkout to highlight their dissatisfaction with government immigration policies and the restrictions and regulations being imposed on International Non-EU students (Tier 4).

Giving a speech at the walk-out in Colchester Campus, Vice-Chancellor Anthony Forster highlighted the value of international students to the University. “We are proud to say that at Essex, you can find the world in one place,” he said. “Not just because we have 140 nations represented within our student population, but because we share and actively promote global values. Our international staff and students enrich our community and provide an invaluable contribution to the University’s success both in terms of our research and in terms of the education and student experience that we pride ourselves on providing.”

Christine Anastasiou, VP International for Essex Students’ Union, added: “The University of Essex has a proud reputation as one of the most globally-diverse universities, with students travelling from around the world to study at Essex and form a vital part of the Colchester community.

“The UK already makes it difficult and expensive for international students to study and stay in the UK, and these proposals would remove them from the country when their studies are finished. These students bring talent and skills into the UK that the country would not otherwise attract, as well as adding to the local economy and community.”


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27 October 2015

Watch basketball live on campus this weekend for free

Filed under: Latest news, Sport, Student experience, What's on — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 11:38 am
Essex Blades in action

Essex Blades women’s team in action

If you enjoy the drama of watching sport live don’t miss the chance to watch top-class basketball at Colchester Campus on Saturday for free.

With the Essex Blades men’s team now playing in the National Development League, their fixture list features some premier clubs from around the region all battling for the top spot and the equally talented Essex Blades women’s team face an impressive line-up of clubs at home and away.

There is a double-bill this Saturday when the Essex Blades women’s team play London United at 5pm in the Sports Centre, followed by the men playing Northants Tauras at 7pm. The women will be back in action at home on Saturday 7 November when they play Hertfordshire Warriors at 5pm. The Herts men’s team head to Colchester on Saturday 14 November for their match against the Essex Blades.

The women’s team took a step closer to the final of the National Cup last weekend when they beat the West Herts Flyers 76-36. The quarter-final match against Ipswich will be held in the Sports Centre on Sunday 15 November.

If you like your entertainment with a competitive edge just take your student card with you to the Sports Centre on any of these dates to take up this free offer.



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23 October 2015

Students show they have a big heart for charity

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 11:05 am

Bags for the British Heart FoundationEssex students have bagged nearly £21,000 for the British Heart Foundation by donating unwanted goods at the end of the academic year.

More than 1.300 bags of clothes and electrical items were handed in to Accommodation Essex from Southend and Colchester campuses, the equivalent of more than 10 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill and providing valuable stock for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops.

Angie Flynn, Operations Services Manager Accommodation Essex, said: “This is the first time we have taken part in this nationwide campaign, which began in 2011. I was absolutely thrilled to see the enthusiasm from both Accommodation staff and our students in getting behind this campaign. Everyone pulled together and when I saw the results of the campaign I was just so proud to be part of this team.”

Students living on campus were given BHF bags to fill, and with each full bag estimated to be worth at least £14, the sum raised is likely to be more than £20,000 – the equivalent of 1,000 bags helps 40 young heart patients gain independence, new skills and confidence while meeting fellow patients.

Julie Paffett, BHF Regional Stock Generator, said: “We’ve been delighted with the response from Essex students and their overwhelming support for this campaign.

“Each BHF shop needs to receive 400  bags of unwanted items a week and thanks to generous donations from the students and staff at the University of Essex we have been able to help our shops across the county turn unwanted items into life saving research.”

“Dan Dempsey, the University’s Carbon Change Advisor, said: “The University of Essex has a strong commitment to the environment, we’re committed to cutting carbon emissions by 43 per cent by 2020 and we are always looking for new ways to improve so we are really pleased this project has launched so successfully.”


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