Students Staff

20 April 2018

Degrees on the job

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 12.08 pm

Our apprenticeships manager  Rachel Brown  explains the different options of the degree apprenticeship scheme.

What are higher and degree apprenticeships?

Higher and Degree apprenticeships are available for a range of different occupations and combine work with study at an accredited education provider  Students work towards either a vocation work-based, academic or professional qualification relevant to their profession.

Higher Apprenticeships are available at levels 4 to 7 and include Degree Apprenticeships. Degree Apprenticeships must include an academic qualification at either Bachelors (Level 6) or Masters (Level  7).

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships include a minimum of 20% off the job training which will typically be delivered by a college, university or other education & training provider. The apprentices will all be employed  and will be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage.

Are they only on offer to 18 year olds?

No, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 18 and over and who is in employment.

What qualifications do I need to enrol?

Entry requirements for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships depend on the occupation of the apprenticeship and on any prior skills the applicant has developed.

Do I have to contribute financially?

Good news – your employer, or your employer and the Government combined, will cover the training costs of your apprenticeship.

I already have a degree can I sign up?

Yes, you can to gain a qualification relevant to your profession.

What occupations do the apprenticeships cover?

There is a wide range of occupations covered by Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, with more being approved all the time. These include:

Dental Technician (Level 5)

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner (Level 5)

Aerospace software development engineer (Level 6)

Chartered Manager (Level 6)

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Level 6)

Embedded electronic systems design and development engineer (Level 6)

Registered Nurse (Level 6)

Teacher (Level 6)

Accountancy / Taxation Professional (Level 7)

Senior Leaders (Level 7)

Solicitor (Level 7)

For more information about all the apprenticeship standards approved to date and those still in development visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website. 

What can I study at Essex?

We are currently delivering Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the following areas:

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional

Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

Registered Nurse

We expect to grow the number of apprenticeship standards we offer over the coming years.

How can I find out if I can take up an apprenticeship?

Have a look at our website or visit  and Get in Go Far for information on the apprenticeships running around the country.

How long do the courses run for?

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships must last at least a year but Degree Apprenticeships will take longer than that, typically anywhere between two and four years depending on the academic qualification included in the apprenticeship standard.

What qualification would I have at the end?

When you complete your Higher or Degree Apprenticeship you will be presented with a certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeship detailing the name of the apprenticeships standard you were following plus the academic or vocational award that formed part of the apprenticeship.

For example if you were working towards the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship and you were attending the University of Essex for your ‘off the job’ training you would receive a certificate from the Institute of Apprenticeships for the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship and a certificate for a Foundation Degree in Health Science from the University of Essex.



The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

Summer time, should the living be easy?

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 11.04 am

In a few years’ time today’s students will have to get used to the four weeks’ annual leave the rest of us enjoy. Do we take pity on our offspring and encourage them to make the most of the long summer holiday ahead or point them in the direction of the local restaurant for a part-time job?Beach Volleyball (300 x 200)

Earning some money can, of course, be a great motivator to get funds back up to an acceptable level for the academic year ahead or  to pay for a nice holiday at the end of the summer.   Boosting CVs can also be an inducement to get some employment over the summer, voluntary or paid.

Our daughter gave several options a go over the three years, combining voluntary and paid work and all seemed to help with the end goal of getting a good job and keeping student debt to a minimum. She  is not an intrepid traveller which would have been an exciting option, preferring (free!) family holidays instead.

Every summer our daughter helps out as a volunteer with a children’s club for a week, providing fun activities for young people who otherwise might not have a break. Whatever she is doing, that week is earmarked in her diary. It is a tiring but enjoyable week and certainly gives her a lot to talk about.

The summer between A Levels and University she took over running the home for us.   It gave us a bit of a holiday too as we set off for work every morning knowing we would have a lovely dinner when we got home (I’m a rubbish cook so that was a real bonus) and the ironing would be done. It also taught some valuable lifeskills as she worked out the menu for the week and got the hang of the vacuum cleaner.  I quite enjoyed it when we were told off for making a mess!

The next summer our daughter landed a job on campus, helping out with the busy events team. That was a very hectic time, working on shifts and at weekends, manning reception and helping to welcome the hundreds of guests who stay here during the holidays. It really boosted her organisational and people skills and has stood her in good stead in her current job.

As well as summer jobs on campus, we also run placements on our unique frontrunners scheme. Students can apply for employment opportunities, which help develop work skills, provide on the job training and pay!

Through our Employability and careers team you can also look to fix up an internship. Essex Interns creates paid internship opportunities that are exclusively for Essex students and graduates. Membership is open to current students and those who have graduated from Essex within the last three years.

Internships can be part-time, or full-time outside of term-time and after graduation, and can vary in length from around six weeks to up to 12 months.

During her second year our daughter set out to get an internship for the summer and, through the University, ended up with a great one in London, which expanded on the  skills she was learning through her degree.   Commuting into the capital every day was definitely an experience and has made her appreciate her 20 minute journey to work now.

By the time she finished her degree, she had her job lined up for a late September start, so the summer was spent relaxing and enjoying sport, reconnecting with old friends and making some new.  This has led to her taking on another voluntary role with young people.

As you can see, she likes to keep busy! It wouldn’t work for everyone, but the experiences gave our daughter confidence and a healthy bank account, which we really appreciate even now.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

Exam prep – we’re in this together

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 10.24 am

Six secrets to great exam prep from Dr Mick Kavanagh, Academic Skills Senior Tutor at our Talent Development Centre.TDC-Helpdesk

If you’re not sure how to get ready for your exams, here are a few pointers. Perhaps the key messages are to get started and to pace yourself. If you’re worried, just remember that many students have been (and are) in the same situation as you, thinking many of the same things. Across Essex, everybody wants you to do well. The following suggestions are based on the imperatives: Organise, Personalise, Revise, Prioritise, Decide, and Cooperate. In the end, of course, you decide, but I hope these ideas will help! 

Organise: Get your notes in order, adopting a numbering and filing system (e.g. by module, lecture, seminar, tutorial, related reading, online links). Ask yourself, ‘Could I, within a minute, find my notes from Module X, Lecture 3, and any related material?’ Coordinate these records with any digital notes you have made. 

Personalise: If lecture notes are just a record of what was said, or a collection of PPT printouts, they’re incomplete. If you haven’t already done so, add your own questions and comments, and cross-references to other lectures (even modules) and reading. Use highlights, colours, sticky notes, arrows, circles, underlining, Bold, italics, different fonts, etc. 

Revise: If you’ve been organising and personalising, you’ve already been revising, but don’t let this take all your time. Make a timetable for the weeks leading up to your exams, so that you can use your time efficiently. (Remember to include time to relax). Chunk the content in order to spread it over your available time. (Don’t try to cover it all on Day One, nor leave it all until the last moment.) Attend any revision workshops that are on offer, and pick up on cues from the department about what will be included in the exam. 

Prioritise what you need to revise by considering what is essential and what is less so. Write revision cards to reduce your notes. Prepare last-minute cards – of things you think you may forget – to consult just before entering the exam. 

Decide how to work: Throw your phone away – or at least put it in another room while you’re revising. Impose no-social media periods on yourself. Vary your revision tasks (e.g. making cards; sorting; planning a possible ‘answer’). Eventually, move away from your revision cards. Overlap familiar and ‘new’ material (eg. morning.: familiar /afternoon.: new). If they help, use diagrams like mind-maps, spider diagrams, flowcharts, and process diagrams. 

Cooperate: If you’re happy working alone, carry on. But sometimes working with others can be very beneficial. Don’t let this accidentally turn into a relaxation opportunity, but if handled well it can provide motivation, encouragement, stimulus, shared problem-solving and greater understanding (eg. explaining something to a non-discipline friend is a good way to test your own understanding).

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

19 April 2018

Meet our UKES survey winner

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.16 pm

Keelan Badham is currently in his first year at Essex, where he’s studying Psychoanalytic Studies at our Colchester Campus. He has just won two VIP tickets to this year’s Summer Ball after completing his student survey.  We spoke to him to find out more.

Keelan Badham

Keelan Badham

What’s been the best thing about your time at Essex so far?

For me, Welcome week has been the best thing. There were events that catered to all different types of people and it is where I met most of the people that I am friends with now. It was also a great chance for me to look at the societies that i wanted to join.

What do you wish you knew before you started here?

I wish I knew that freshers’ flu is not a myth.  You will catch it and it will hit you hard. Two weeks of straight drinking whist also waking up early to go sign up for events is not good for your body!

Congratulations on winning our UKES competition. What are you looking forward to most about your prize?

I’m really looking forward to going to Summer Ball with all the people that I’ve met during my first year, and making some more memories of my time here at Essex. I am also very excited to see the live acts that are performing at Summer Ball.

Why did you decide to fill in your UKES survey?

I chose to fill in the survey because I wanted to share my opinion about the university and everything that goes on here at Essex so I can help to make changes to the things that I don’t like.

Did it take long to complete?

The survey was very quick to complete. It only took me around five to ten minutes.

Finally, what are your plans for the immediate future? 

Next week I am going to be writing my final essays of the year and then going out to subzero to forgot all about my essays.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

18 April 2018

It ends now

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 11.22 am

Zoe Garshong (SU President), Ernest Nyarko (VP Southend) and Maryhee Yoon (East 15 President) tell you about our upcoming report and support system.ends_now_banner_300x200 

We’ve been working with the University on the Tackling Sexual Violence, Harassment and Hate Crime Project to make it easier for you to report any instance of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime at our campuses.

In October 2017, we found an online report and support system that Goldsmiths and University of Manchester are using, which allows anyone to make a report anonymously, or to contact an adviser for information and support. This system is easy to use, mobile-friendly, and gets you the help you need. We’ve been working hard with Student Support and Human Resources to make sure our online report and support system has the right information, the right questions, and the right support, ready for it to go live in the Summer term.

Using this new system will make sure that your voices are heard and that the University will take any instance of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime seriously.  Whoever you are, and whoever you’re reporting, we will listen to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone in a position of authority, a member of staff, another student or someone from outside of our community. Whenever an incident is reported we will take proportionate action.

We want you to feel empowered to report an incident, and we hope that by making it easier to report, you will feel safer and know that we are all working together to make our community an inclusive and welcoming environment.

If you want to find out more, contact

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.