Students Staff

Summer 2017 residential experience

Monday 10 - Thursday 13 July, Colchester Campus

A summer school at Essex is an experience like no other. Pick up the knowledge and skills you’ll need for university life by living and learning like an undergraduate student.

Working alongside our internationally recognised researchers, you’ll explore and debate exciting issues of global importance. You’ll attend actual university lectures, take part in study skills workshops and have access to the same university facilities as our undergraduate students. While all of this is going on, you’ll meet some pretty cool, likeminded people, live in halls, cook meals together and enjoy a dynamic social calendar. Before you know it, you’ll develop a university mindset and become a part of our Essex family.

At the end of it all, you’ll have the best piece of work you’ve ever written. You’ll be ready to go out and bag that university place of your dreams and above all else, you’ll have had the best summer ever!

What to expect

  • An authentic university experience working on your submission essay, helping place you above others when it comes to writing university applications.
  • You’ll head back to sixth form with a whole new set of skills, full of confidence and ready for the year ahead.
  • It won’t cost you a penny. It's completely free of charge and we take care of everything: return travel to campus, accommodation, all meals and social activities.
“The ambassadors were really nice and friendly… the lecturers were very informative and helpful… and essay feedback was amazing!”
2016 summer school attendee


To participate in the programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 5 A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including maths and English language
  • on target to achieve 3 B’s at A-level or equivalent in BTEC or other qualifications
  • be a current year 12 student

Spaces on the residential experience are limited, so if we experience a high volume of applications, you're more likely to be allocated a place if you fall into one of the following groups:

  • students with no parental experience of university
  • students with a disability/specific learning difficulty
  • students who currently receive or have been eligible to receive Free School Meals at any point in their education
  • students who have lived or are currently living in local authority care
  • students who attend, or previously attended, a school with low progression to university


Applications are now closed.

How to apply

The process is in two parts and both parts must be completed.

  1. The first part should be completed by the student and include 500 words on one of the following global issues:
    • The war on drugs; Time for legalisation? Argue passionately for or against
    • Gender dysphoria; Nature or nurture? Critically consider both sides of the debate
    • Extremism, radicalisation and the politics of hate. Discuss whether these issues affect young people in the UK today?

    We suggest writing the 500 word answer beforehand, so it can be copied and pasted into the form. We’re not looking for expert answers, just some interesting ideas!

  2. The second part should be completed by a teacher in support of the student's application.

In the case of successful applications, we will need the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Successful students will develop their initial answer into a 1000 word essay during the summer school. They will be graded as undergraduates and leave with the best piece of academic writing they have ever produced.


Students will be split into three groups to develop their essays based on their application. Therefore, students are applying to work in one of three topic groups. At the moment, availability in the groups is:

  • The war on drugs; Time for legalisation? - moderate availability
  • Gender dysphoria; Nature or nurture? - fully subscribed
  • Extremism, radicalisation and the politics of hate - limited availability (2 spaces remaining)

Contact us

If you have further questions before applying please contact us at: