Students Staff

myEssex: the student portal

New students

My course

Study resources

Exams and coursework

Health and wellbeing

Access and disability

Campus and travel info

Student experience

Student communities

Money matters


Get help and support

There are lots of healthcare services avaialble on Campus, find out all about our Health Centre and how to register with a doctor.



Just Play

If you are physically or mentally unwell make sure you get support from the appropriate healthcare services. You can also get support for your studies.

Don’t wait until you become ill to register with a doctor. If you are worried about your health you can call 111 for health advice (this service is free from any phone).

Emergency help

If you need more urgent support, a Walk in Centre offers access to a range of treatment including dealing with minor illnesses and injuries. No appointment is necessary.

You can also search for your nearest NHS services such as local doctors, dentists, pharmacies, A and E (Accident and Emergency) departments or Walk in Centres.

Contact us if your health is having a negative impact on your studies, we can offer you advice and support.

  • Registering with a doctor

    As a student studying on a course for more than 6 months, you're required to register with a local doctor throughout your period of study if you live on campus or in the local surrounding area.

    Register as soon as possible after you arrive, in case you should suddenly need medical treatment. If you are not registered you may be referred to the local Walk In Centre for treatment, as a doctor is not obliged to see you (unless deemed a medical emergency).

    Colchester Campus

    Our Colchester Campus has its own health centre, situated behind Rayleigh Tower on the north side of campus, offering NHS services. The centre is operated by our NHS partners Rowhedge Surgery and you can find out more online.

    Services include appointments with doctors, a nurse triage system for emergencies during opening hours, and specialist nurse clinics including asthma, diabetes, sexual health and contraception.

    For Colchester and our other campuses, you could use the NHS Choices postcode finder to find your nearest doctor and register with them.

    Southend Campus

    Use the NHS Choices postcode finder to locate your nearest doctors' surgery.

    Loughton Campus

    Contact us for details of local doctors. Alternatively, find a local NHS doctor.

    If you don't live on campus

    If you don't live on campus and wish to register with a doctor/GP you can search for the nearest GP surgery in your local area. You must first contact the surgery you wish to register with to check if you live within the surgery area. If so, you will be asked to produce evidence of living at your address. If accepted by the surgery you will need to complete a registration form.

  • Dental treatment

    We recommend you find and register with a local dentist as emergency treatment can be difficult to obtain if you are not registered. You will then need to contact each dentist individually to ask if they are still registering NHS patients and make an appointment accordingly.

    Southend Campus

    The University hosts an Academic Dental Clinic, which provides free basic dental care (one course only), include all types of fillings, simple crowns and bridges, straight forward/simple root canal treatment, dentures and simple extractions.

    The clinic is used to provide training to students training at the Barts and the London in a primary care setting. The clinic is equipped with the latest dental equipment and patients are treated by students under the close supervision of senior academic and NHS staff.

    In order to register, you should go to the reception area on the first floor of The Gateway Building, accessed via the rear of the building.

    Colchester and Loughton dental services

    Local dental services are available close to the Southend and Loughton campuses, but students are encouraged to register at the earliest opportunity to avoid any problems with accessing services.

  • Paying for prescriptions, NHS treatment and opticians

    As a student you may be entitled to full or partial exemption (on the grounds of low income) from prescription costs, as well as dental and optical charges. With prescriptions you will either qualify for full exemption or no exemption. To claim exemption, complete a HC1 application, which is available from your Student Services Hub, your doctor or dentist surgery.

    If you have already paid for treatment, it is possible to claim a refund within three months with form HC5, which is also available from your hub. If you regularly have to pay prescription charges (ie for more than five prescriptions in four months) it will be more cost effective to use a pre-payment certificate.

    Southend Students can register for the Academic Dental Clinic, which provides free basic dental care.

    International students

    European Economic Area (EEA) students

    If you are a national of an EEA country then you should be able to access NHS care whilst you are ordinarily resident in the UK as a student. You will need to apply for an EHIC card from your home country before you travel to the UK.

    Non-EEA students

    If you are a student from a country outside of the EEA and you are taking a course that lasts less than six months you will be treated as a private patient. Non-EEA students on courses lasting six months or more are entitled to NHS treatment from the time of your arrival in the UK.

    Your spouse and any dependent children are also entitled to full NHS treatment. You can also apply for exemption from prescription, optician and dental charges on form HC1. Your doctor will require a letter of enrolment from the University before registering you.

    Further information

  • Travelling outside the UK

    If you are planning to travel during your vacations or as part of your course please ensure you take out travel insurance that offers you the level of cover you require. For instance if you are going skiing make sure you have winter sports cover including mountain rescue.

    Not all health care is provided free of charge and provision differs from country to country so it is important for you to have travel insurance that provides the relevant cover for your trip including repatriation. European nationals should apply for an EHIC in their home country.

    UK nationals and non-EEA nationals who are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK are able to apply for a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). An EHIC card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. It covers treatment that is medically necessary and is provided on the same basis as to a resident of that European country.

Related information