Students Staff

18 January 2019

Happy New Year from VP Andrea

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 10.22 am

Happy New Year to you all. I hope your holidays were merry and that the gym memberships you started on 1 January are still being used.

Your VP, Andrea Lungay

At the SU we are excited to say that it is New Year Same Us – only with some extra cool stuff planned.

First and foremost, the Leadership Race is here! Now is the time to put yourself forward to be the voice of our Southend student body. There are many part-time roles such as BAME Officer, LGBTQ+ Officer, Disabled Students’ Officer, Student Parents’ Officer, Women’s Officer and of course the big full-time role of VP Southend, *cough cough*, that’s me. Nominations close at 4pm on Friday 25 January so make sure you get involved and start planning your campaign!

Last term also saw a few wins in our Big 4. In case you missed it, the SU asked what are the four most important things to students and you chose

  • Mental Health
  • My Course
  • SU Lounge
  • Environment

We are pleased to say that not only did we secure many wins last term, we have ultimately completed one of our Big 4 objectives. We have introduced new paper takeaway packaging in the Lounge, new SU travel mugs and of course the SU Bike Hire Service to become much more sustainable. We hope to take more steps towards becoming even more environmentally friendly.

So Welcome back and Welcome home!

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17 January 2019

Three Minute Thesis competition 2019

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 9.49 am

The Three Minute Thesis competition is back. We spoke to Dr Tuesday Watts-Overall, who’s just got a job as a lecturer at the University of East London, to find out more about her experience of winning the competition in 2017.

Dr Tuesday Watts-Overall

Dr Tuesday Watts-Overall

How did you first get involved with the Three Minute Thesis competition?: I entered the 3MT competition when I was in the final year of my PhD.

What was the best thing about taking part?: Being able to confidently and concisely explain 3 years worth of work to a layperson, which I’ve done quite a lot since then.

Do you think the Three Minute Thesis competition helped you once you’d finished your PhD?: Yes, definitely. I became quite good at summarising my research speciality in job interviews, interviews with the media and at conferences.

Can you tell us a bit more about your current research? : My current research builds on that of my PhD, investigating the factors that contribute to the development of sexual orientation and gender related expression.

Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to people thinking about entering the competition, what would it be?: Go for it! It’s a great, confidence-boosting experience, which will come in handy in a range of situations throughout your PGR study and long afterwards.

If you’d like to enter this year’s competition just email a 300 word summary of your research to

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16 January 2019


Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 3.19 pm

We know lots of you have been using LEAP to see how you’re engaging with your course. We wanted to let you know about two of the most frequent questions we have been asked about the portal.

Average overall attendance:To view your overall average attendance in LEAP, go to the attendance tab and change the data range to the beginning of term. Your average attendance will display above the summary table. Please note that this is different from your attendance percentage in the circle at the top of the page which shows your attendance average percentage for the last 28 days.

Attendance for specific teaching events: You may notice that LEAP is showing you as absent for a teaching event that has been cancelled. Please don’t worry about this as it can take seven days for LEAP to reflect changes to your timetable.

You can log in to LEAP with your Essex ID and usual Essex password or head to My Essex or Pocket Essex.

If you have any questions about LEAP, just email

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12 December 2018

PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund Competition

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 3.19 pm

Our Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education, Professor Sanja Bahun, tells us more about a new fund to support a more interdisciplinary approach for our postgraduate research students.

Professor Sanja Bahun

Professor Sanja Bahun

Ever got excited about doing research that stretches across disciplines? Ever wondered how your research would be viewed from the perspective of someone working in a completely different research area? Ever wished you could network with researchers in other fields? Ever asked yourself how all these new research trends and funding opportunities for interdisciplinary work could be squared with your own research passions? Ever aspired to publishing your research? Ever wanted there to be a greater sense of a postgraduate research community encompassing the University as a whole?

If your answer is yes to at least one of these questions, here is some good news! We are delighted to invite you to apply for our PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund.

To enhance research collaboration and networking at postgraduate level we are launching an award fund of £5000 for the best proposal for an interdisciplinary research conference organised by postgraduate researchers. To enable bold thinking across disciplines, the key condition of the grant is to have PGR researchers from at least two different faculties and at least three different departments on the organising board/committee.

This is an opportunity for you to explore a research question or a research methodology that stretches across disciplines. You can think about big overarching themes and challenges faced by the contemporary world or conference topics linked to specific methodologies used across disciplines. The list of such themes could be endless and we want you to be courageous and innovative in choosing the most pressing subject and the most suitable model for your conference.

You may deploy different methods of presentation – from traditional panels and displays through visual presentations, performances, an exhibition, or any combination of these. You may decide to invest the funds into bringing exciting external speakers – academics or non-academics – to campus, or gathering similar-minded researchers with the aim of producing a conference publication such as a book or a Special Issue; or you may use it as a springboard to international research relevance and visibility through the use of research social media. Or you can do all of these.

The deadline for your grant proposal is Monday 21 January at 5pm. The PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Selection Committee will evaluate proposals and announce the winner for this year on 30 January 2019. Every proposal will receive feedback from the Selection Committee. Your conference must take place and all funds be spent by 31 July 2019.

You can find more information online, or feel free to contact the PGRE team at

To enable us to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible, please include the heading “PGR Interdisciplinary Conference”.

Good luck with your applications!

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11 December 2018

Choosing your next home

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 12.39 pm

Looking for private accommodation after your first year at University, can be daunting. Graduate Lucy Totman shares her experience.

Lucy Totman

How did you start looking for private accommodation?

We looked up various letting agents and read their reviews so as to get the best option.

How did you choose who you would live with?

This was easy! Unlike others who choose to move in with those they have already lived with, I decided to move in with my friends from my course.

What were the must-haves?

Good WiFi for those coursework deadlines and Netflix binges, a good number of bathrooms so we weren’t fighting over them before lectures (one bathroom: two people worked well) and a decent sized kitchen are a must! A good communal area is also good for house bonding.

  • What would be your top tip for house hunting?
  • Don’t go with the first one you see, even if you are in panic mode!
  • Have a list of questions you want to ask – for both current residents and for the landlord or letting agent
  • Have a look at the government website for renters. This will give you clues to things such as House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and gas certificates and what a landlord can and can’t do
  • Make sure there are no hidden fees to catch yourself out
  • Always look on the outside of your house – spot a crack? This might mean internal damage leading to mould or drafts!
  • You take the time to research for your coursework or exams, do the same for a place you’ll be living in for the next year or two!

How did you set up house rules?

Before we moved in, and then as you go along. It’s a cliché but house meetings are always key for a smooth ride.

Are there any rules that are essential in your eyes?

How long it’s acceptable to leave dishes on the side for.

What would you do differently if you did it again?

Be more thorough when looking round houses.  It’s easy to worry that you’re impinging on other people’s personal space when a house is lived in, but other people’s worldly possessions can hide potential flaws which only come to light after you’ve signed a contract.

What is the biggest difference between living on Campus and living off Campus?

Not being able to roll out of bed and be in your lecture in 10 minutes! That along with learning the rubbish collection rotas…

What’s the best thing about having your own place?

The space to yourself.

And the worst?

Paying your own bills. Glide is a really useful service for splitting bills fairly among housemates.





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4 December 2018

We’re getting into the Christmas spirit

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 3.02 pm

Andrea Lungay, our VP Southend, tells us more about what our SU has planned for Christmas and what’s in store for 2019.

Andrea Lungay

Andrea Lungay

Dark afternoons, hot chocolate and layers of outerwear, all mean that Christmas is near. But there’s no slowing down at your SU.  With activities, and more,  planned up to and  throughout the Christmas break, so be prepared.

Seriously I love Christmas and the lead up to this Christmas has been great.

With the end of Black History Month we have seen the rise of our first SU Student Parliament with representatives; Sam from East 15, Greta and Rahul from EBS Undergrads and Ayo for Postgrads.

In our first meeting, we discussed our Southend Big 4. The four most important things students voted for that they would like the SU to work on this year.

These are

  • Mental Health
  • My Course
  • SU Lounge
  • Environment

Together with the SU parliament I have already started working on the Big 4 and don’t worry, you’ll hear all about it in the new year!

But that’s not all we’ve been doing, we also had our Dragons’ Den where our students pitched their innovative new ideas to a panel of judges, congratulations to Mikaela Ruddel for winning with her Volcanic Sparkes business idea.

In case you’re suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) we still our Ugly Christmas jumper party this Friday 7 December in the SU Lounge from 9pm, this also involves free entry to MooMoo nightclub with your student card.

Happy Christmas everyone!

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27 November 2018

Become a peer mentor and help your fellow students

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 2.44 pm

Ever thought of becoming a peer mentor in Essex Business School or Health and Social Care in Southend? Rhia Gill explains why she took up the role.

Rhia Gill

Rhia, what are you studying?

I’m a third year BA Therapeutic Care student in Health and Social Care at the Southend Campus.

Why did you apply to be a peer mentor?

I applied to be a peer mentor to support first year students as they settle in.  I really struggled to settle into university and had so many questions which I believed weren’t academic enough to approach lecturers about and I had no one to ask. By becoming a peer mentor I provided a place for students to ask those questions.

What is the role of a peer mentor?

My role as a peer mentor is just to be there for students. I email them throughout the term to check in to see if they’re okay and to see if there is anything I can help with.

How would you encourage people to seek out their peer mentor?

One way students find out about me is through the department’s administration team. They can point you in the direction of the service you need.

What do you enjoy about being a peer mentor?

I enjoy meeting the students and answering their questions to the best of my ability.

Would you encourage people to apply to be a peer mentor next year?

Yes I would. It isn’t an overly difficult role and you are provided with all the training needed to support students. It also looks good on your CV!


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Meet the Accessibility and Wellbeing Advisers at the Southend Campus

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 2.08 pm

Tracey Khan and Lizzie Francis, who work in the Student Services’ Hub in The Forum, explain what they do as Accessibility and Wellbeing Advisers to Southend students.

What are your roles?

We are Accessibility and Wellbeing Advisers working within the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS).  The main focus of our role is providing a confidential specialist advice and information to students who have disclosed a disability, long term medical condition or specific learning difficulty and those from non-traditional backgrounds so they can fulfil their potential as individuals and enable them to be active participants in their own educational experience.   Students can meet with us in person or we can work with students by email or by phone.

Head to the Student Services’ Hub to meet the Accessibility and Wellbeing Advisers.

How can you help students?

We can discuss a student’s support needs with them and advise on how Essex can support them. For example, via reasonable adjustments such as individual exam arrangements, student support notifications, accommodation on medical grounds etc. We can also provide information about external support and academic disability allowances where this is needed.

How do students get in touch with you?

We are proactive in contacting students who have disclosed a disability, long term medical condition or specific learning difficulty via their UCAS application and they can respond to our contact emails.  For those who have not been in contact before the best way to get in touch is via the Student Services Hub. The Student Information Team can provide initial advice and information and refer to our specialist services.  Students can also access our specialist services through the SWIS drop-in which is also the access point for wellbeing and mental health support enquiries.

When are the drop-in sessions?

Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS) drop-ins are offered each week day between 11 am and 2 pm although, as with any service, these can be subject to change.

Who should students contact if they have out of hours issues?

If you are onsite or in University Square contact security (who can also contact Residence Life for you).

If you are offsite and it is a health emergency then NHS 111 or 999 may apply.

If you want to talk to someone about your emotional wellbeing you can call the Student Wellbeing Support Line on 0800 970 5020

What one piece of advice would you give students if they are considering asking for support?

Don’t overthink it – pop along to SWIS drop-in and ask your questions – we will guide you from there.



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23 November 2018

Make the data count

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 10.03 am

The UK Data Service has launched a new campaign to get every student and researcher who uses data to cite the datasets they use correctly; in the same way they do articles, books, images and websites.

The aim is to support the reproducibility of research, which helps to establish the validity of scientific findings.  Accurate citation also makes identifying and finding data easier, because the UK Data Service provides digital object identifiers (DOIs) which will always link to the data used, even if the location of the data changes.

Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Service, says: “Citing the data we use – and doing it correctly – is crucial, because each dataset is one of the sources of evidence which support a researcher’s argument. So, any publication, whether it’s printed, electronic or broadcast, needs the correct citation and acknowledgement.

“We make it easy for researchers by providing a citation with every record in our Data Catalogue. Each citation comes in multiple formats, so when they publish, researchers can switch easily to the style of the journal in question.”

Citing data correctly also means the UK Data Service – and funding bodies – can measure the impact of particular datasets, because it’s easier to track which datasets are being used.

The UK Data Service is holding a competition to give students and researchers a chance to find out more about data and citation – and win a £200 Amazon voucher. Come and visit us near the Enormoboard opposite Zest between Square 2 and 3 between 12.30pm and 1.30pm from 27 November to 7 December.

There is more information about citing data correctly on the UK Data Service website.

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21 November 2018

New online system for extenuating circumstances and late submission

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 10.38 am

We’ve launched a new online system if you need to submit claims about extenuating circumstances and late submission of your assessed work.  We spoke to Kevin Delves, who has helped develop the system, to find out more.

Tell us more about the system – what is different for our students?

We’ve introduced a new online system for students to submit claims about extenuating circumstances and late submission. We wanted to make the experience as easy as possible for our students, so we’ve moved away from the old paper-based system and made sure everything is easy to find online. That means that you don’t have to queue up to hand in a form anymore, you can just submit it online and will automatically go to the people who need to see it.

The main change in the form itself is that the new form combines requests about extenuating circumstances and late submission. We made sure that we spoke to students whilst we were developing the system so we could make sure that it was as easy as possible for people to use the system. We’re really happy with the results.

Where can people access this new system?

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for students to find this form so you can access it in lots of different places like My Essex, Faser, and our own website, but here’s the link.

What about any supporting evidence people need to submit? Can this all be done online too?

Yes, you can now upload all of your evidence onto the system electronically. This means that you can scan, photograph or attach that evidence directly to your claim. We’ve also published some new guidance, so people can see what evidence they need to submit to support their claim.

When should people apply for something like this?

You should submit your claim as soon as possible if there are circumstances that are impacting your studies. We understand that this is not always possible, but the sooner you submit your claim we can explore ways to support you. There are deadlines for submission, which you should check on the website.

Once people have submitted the form, how long will they have to wait to know if a decision has been made?

A big part of the project to improve this system has been about improving the ways we keep students informed and we’ll be emailing you regularly throughout the process.

For late submission there will be at least two meetings a year in your department, where staff will meet to make a decision about your claim. After this meeting has taken place we’ll be in touch by email to let you know about what decision was made.

For extenuating circumstances the departmental meeting will make an initial decision, but if they think your claim is valid it will be referred to the Board of Examiners who will make the final decision about what action to take.

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