Students Staff

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme


University of Essex

What is UROP and who can apply

If you are an Essex undergraduate, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) gives you the opportunity to get experience by assisting one of our academic researchers on a current research project, whilst getting paid for it. You will learn first-hand how to carry out research and what being a researcher really means.

What a placement involves and the benefits

Completing a UROP placement will help you in your final year dissertation or project, be a great addition to your CV and a valuable experience which will enhance your future career development. A UROP placement of at least 100 hours will count as 50 units towards the Big Essex award, which will appear on your HEAR.

Who can apply

Students can complete one UROP placement in each academic year. You can apply for up to five placements, but will only be able to choose one if you are successful.

You cannot complete a frontrunner placement at the same time as UROP. You must only be doing one or the other.

As an Essex undergraduate student, you can apply for a UROP placement if you're a:

  • first year: only if the placement begins after the end of year exams (i.e. not before 1 August 2019)
  • second year (or middle year of study): all placements regardless of when they begin/end, are open to you
  • final year: only if the placement is fully completed before end of year exams (i.e. before 21 April 2019)

In order to qualify you should have achieved an average of 60% in your first year modules (some discretions may be made- let us know if you have any queries on this).

International students

International students can apply, however a Tier 4 Visa Declaration form must be signed and valid right to work documents provided. For immigration purposes, the hours spent on a UROP placement will constitute as part of term time hours. A careful record of UROP hours must be kept. Please be aware of the official term time dates- visit our University website for further guidance.

Masters and PhD students may not apply for UROP placements.

ERASMUS, exchange or study abroad students may not apply for UROP placements.

Placement hours and timings

  • When placements run

    Placement vacancies can occur at any point in the academic year depending on the timetable of academic research taking place.

  • Placements hours

    Total placement hours

    A placement can be either, 100 hours, 150 hours or the maximum of 200 hours. If you want to count your UROP placement towards the Big Essex Award you'll need to complete a minimum of 100 hours on the placement.

    For each placement hours will be deducted for you to:

    • complete the compulsory online training modules via Moodle
    • complete a UROP journal part 1 in the first 2 weeks of your placement
    • complete a UROP journal part 2 in the last 2 weeks of your placement

    Hours per week

    If you are selected for a placement, the distribution of your hours will be discussed with your supervisor but during term-time they're limited to a maximum of 10 hours per week.

    During official University vacation, this limit is raised to 36 hours per week.

    Please note; all hours spent on UROP constitute as work, and therefore count towards Tier 4 student's weekly maximum. Please keep a track of hours worked and do not exceed your visa.


At the beginning of the placement you'll need to complete three compulsory online training modules (for which you'll receive payment). Any other training necessary will be provided by your supervisor and/or the department.

If you have previously completed these Moodle modules as part of a frontrunner or other on campus part time role - please let us know. The 2.25 hours can instead be put back into your placement.


You will receive an hourly wage of £9.09 an hour. Authorised timesheets need to be completed by the placement supervisor and emailed to HR before monthly timesheet submission deadlines.

You'll be paid on a monthly basis into your UK bank account, according to how many hours you've spent on the research project each month, until you reach the maximum of your placement.

How to apply