University Centre South Essex offers a diverse range of degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes, and teacher training opportunities. To see what is available please explore our website.
General entry requirements
The Centre has general entrance requirements for all our BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons) degree programmes, and Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HND). UK applicants should possess the following:
64 UCAS Tariff Points or above (programme specific)
GCSE English Language at Grade C/4 or above or a pass at an equivalent Level 2 qualification such as functional skills/Learn Direct (mandatory for all higher education programmes of study)
GCSE Maths Grade C/4 or above or a pass at an equivalent Level 2 qualification such as functional skills/Learn Direct (selected programmes of study)
If English is not your first language, we will accept English Language tests scores such as IELTS or TOEFL. To find out more please see the English Language Requirement section below.
Some of our programmes require applicants to attend an interview and/or submit examples of their work in the form of a portfolio, or produce a written submission.
Mature Entry Portfolio
Some of our programmes offer a Mature Entry Portfolio (MEP) option an alternate entry route into higher education. This means that relevant industry/life experience is considered alongside an applications formal qualifications, where those qualifications may not meet all entry requirements.
If you are not applying directly from a school or college you will be expected to be able to show recent evidence of your ability to undertake degree-level work and that you have the necessary study skills. You will be asked to demonstrate an equivalent knowledge of the subject and if you have not had any formal education for a period of time you may need to undertake some sort of preparatory programme before studying with us.
If you would like to discuss the content of any of our programmes or the eligibility criteria, please contact our HE Admissions Team at HEAdmissions@southessex.ac.uk. If you leave a mobile or phone number they will arrange for a tutor from any specific programme to contact you to discuss your individual situation to before you go ahead and submit a formal application.
UCAS Tariff Points
The majority of our degree programmes require a minimum of 64 UCAS Tariff Points, gained from one or more of the following:
This list is by no means exhaustive and the Centre will assess other qualifications that we regard as equivalents. Please refer to the programme pages in our HE prospectus for more detailed description of the specific entry requirements for each programme.
If you are unsure how many UCAS Tariff Points your qualifications equate to, or understand what grades you need to achieve from pending exams in order to be eligible to apply to study with us, please use the UCAS Tariff Calculator on the UCAS website.
Some of our creative programmes require applicants to attend a portfolio-based interview with a tutor from their chosen programme.
University Centre South Essex welcomes applications from foreign nationals based in other European Union (EU) countries and from elsewhere in the world. We are happy to make offers of admission based on overseas qualifications such as the International or European Baccalaureate or on other qualifications that are considered equivalent to our general entrance requirements.
If you are an overseas student, living within the EU, and are not sure how the qualifications you possess from your home country equate to UK qualifications, please contact HEAdmissions@southessex.ac.uk stating which programme it is you are interested in and providing details of your qualifications and experience.
Please note that we refer to UK NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) guidelines to make international comparisons. If the HE Admissions Team need to verify the status or level of a qualification with NARIC, they will request permission from the applicant/enquirer before they do so.
English Language Requirement
If English is not your first language you will be expected to meet our English language requirements as part of any offer of admission to University Centre South Essex. These are described as follows:
IELTS (Academic Version)
Please see individual entry profiles as this may differ between programmes
TOEFL (paper-based test)
540, 76 on IBT for first year entry to all programmes
The Centre will consider results from other tests including:
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Overall Cambridge English Scale score of B2 with 52+ (Prior to January 2015)
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Overall Cambridge English Scale score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill (From January 2015)
Test in English for Educational Purposes (TEEP)
Test score of 3 (minimum)
GCE O-level or GCSE English Language or Use of English
Grade C/4 or above (minimum)
Hong Kong Certificate of English Education
Test score of 3 (minimum)
International Baccalaureate English B Syllabus (Standard Level)
Test score of 4 (minimum)
Some of our programmes accept applications via a Mature Entry Portfolio (MEP) route. This means that relevant industry/life experience is considered alongside related formal qualifications, as an alternate entry onto a programme.
The process for considering MEP applications involves an interview and applicants are expected to demonstrate their suitability for their chosen programme. This may include submitting a portfolio of evidence of (paid or unpaid) work experience and/or a written piece of work.
If the MEP route is one you would like to consider we recommend you contact our HE Admissions Team at HEAdmissions@southessex.ac.uk where someone will be able to discuss your application and advise you on the next steps.
If you have started a higher education programme at another academic institution already and wish to continue your studies at the University Centre South Essex, we are happy to consider your application. The Centre works within the guidelines of the structures of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and will assess your application on the basis of qualifications obtained elsewhere. More information about Transferring can be found here on our website. If you would prefer to speak to the HE Admissions Team please contact HEAdmissions@southessex.ac.uk with a phone number and a member of the Team will call you.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
Some of our faculties are happy to consider applications for entry to the second year or third year of study on the basis of qualifications achieved already from another higher education institution. For direct entry to the second year we would normally expect you to meet the standard entry requirements for admission to the first year and be able to demonstrate relevant additional academic achievement. We will expect to see formal transcripts as evidence of prior learning.
Univeristy Centre South Essex operates within the structures of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Please contact us for more information about the Policy and Procedure for the accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (APE)L.
South Essex College was perfect for me, especially when it came to Further Education
My Story Tony Waghorne
My name is Tony Waghorne, I am 26 years old, I studied Digital Animation and TV and Television Production and Screen Media at South Essex College from 2012 until 2017 and this is my story.
Before coming to study at South Essex College my background was, ‘I don’t know what I want to do’. I always had a heavy involvement in sport but sadly we can’t all be Premier League footballers. I’ve always been creative and when picking GCSE subjects an art teacher convinced me to take it and I developed an interest. I knew I had the ability to tell a story and it wasn’t until an open day at the college I stumbled across animation.
South Essex College was perfect for me, especially when it came to Further Education. I was a short 10 minute train journey away and to be honest I really didn’t want to move away to university. I knew I’d get distracted and not get the grade I was hoping for and eventually finish with.
The college prepared me for the workplace by putting me in real world situations. Strick deadlines, communicating with me like a colleague and not a pupil and not to mention the industry-level equipment.
I finished college with a Triple Distinction** and finished Further Education with a 1:1.
I was lucky enough to be accepted for an internship two weeks after completing further education at a digital sports agency in London. The company then employed me full-time and I stayed with them for a further 13 months. I then decided to try freelance work but I didn’t enjoy it. Luckily my previous employer took me back as senior videographer. Shortly after, a video agency in Westminster working for big fashion brands including Ted Baker and GHD employed me to be their sole videographer. My current employer contacted me regarding an opening and I’ve been with them for the best part of three years now.
I currently work as a senior videographer for Nash Tackle Limited. Nash Tackle are one of Europe’s leading carp fishing brands and in the media department we make anything from studio-shot product videos to feature-length documentaries shot all over Europe.
I do everything you’d expect in terms of shooting and acting as a lead on these shoots, but I also do a lot pre and post-shoot. This can be anything from booking hotels, contacting venues, assigning shoots/edits, watching edits and providing feedback and am just a general point of contact to the other videographers in the team. My manager is hoping to develop me into head of video in the not too distant future.
I think I would have been lost if I just left secondary school and attempted to get into this industry on my own. The college guided me into employment that I wanted to do and a career that I can strive in. I was able to change course easily and therefore find the right path for me through great mentorship and available opportunities.
At South Essex College I gained all of the basic skills I need to do my job. When I started further education I didn’t even know what aperture was and just five years later I’m leading crews of six on European shoots and being considered for a head of video role.
One of my most recent achievements was being flown out to Thailand to shoot. One of the many reasons I wanted to do this career was because of the travelling aspect and an experience like that is one many don’t get in their career.
The equipment at the college, especially the editing software's and machines are identical to what I use and what I always have used in the industry.
My time at the college helped 100% with my confidence. I’m not a confident person and there’s many moments you don’t look forward to when studying, presenting in front of a class for example, but these are the things that really help develop you and confidence is something that has been key to my career development.
The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling
Sophie Wade, from Stanford-le-Hope, is in her second year of the Graphic Design BA (Hons) course at University Centre South Essex.
She was nominated for the award for her professional manner and her proactive attitude to work.
Sophie has many notable achievements at the university centre so far such as securing a web design work placement based in London, working at a Leigh-On-Sea based marketing agency and collaborating with the RSPB on her final second year project.
Her tutor said: “Sophie has approached her work placement unit in a professional manner since day one and her proactive manner has meant that she secured many work placement opportunities, including working with the RSPB on her own self-directed project.
Sophie has been a really great peer mentor throughout the academic year and all her interactions with employers have helped prepare her for the professional world when she completes the course next year.”
Sophie returned to education after three years of working in local authority administration roles to embark on a new creative career path and was very nervous about starting her degree studies in 2020, but said the staff at the university could not have been more accommodating and helpful.
She said: “I feel privileged to have been selected to receive this award and I am extremely grateful to the staff across the UAL creative portfolio who have selected me as the winner.
The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling. I could not think of a better way to conclude my second year of study here at the university centre.”
Sophie’s ambition for the future is to embark on a career where she can combine her love for graphic design and digital technology and create solutions which make a positive difference to people's lives.
Learning is ageless and I’ve really enjoyed being a student again and pushing myself to reach my potential
Mark Ganyu, from Stanford-le-Hope, studied HNC General Engineering at University Centre South Essex.
He was nominated for being a motivated, punctual, well-mannered, hardworking individual and for consistently maintaining his high standard performance since in his level 3 part-time engineering course four years ago.
His tutor said: “Mark’s work and performance have been exemplary and has exceeded expectations in the last four years whilst tending to family commitments, changing jobs and overcoming a language barrier. He has been an asset to this programme and we wish him all the success.”
Mark would recommend University Centre South Essex as a mature student as it helped him in many scenarios and was very flexible and supportive.
Mark commented on his nomination and said: “It was a complete surprise to be winning an award and makes me feel good. Learning is ageless and I’ve really enjoyed being a student again and pushing myself to reach my potential.”
“It’s a kind gesture from the awarding bodies and tutors to recognise my efforts and would like to thank them all for their dedication during my time at the university centre.”
Mark has aspirations of studying for a higher education degree course but may take his knowledge and skills to his current company, where he can continue accepting new challenges and opportunities.
I would recommend people to look at University Centre South Essex, especially if you have a disability as there is good access and amazing support.
UEA Student of the Year, Billy Gibbons, won his award for his determination to succeed in spite of the challenges he faces.
Billy has significant speech and language delay, developmental delay and an auditory processing impairment. He communicates using ‘total communication’ which combines British Sign Language, lip reading, speaking and listening. He also has mild cerebral palsy affecting mainly his lower limbs.
His tutors have praised him for not letting barriers get in his way and for always striving to achieve his best.
Billy said he was ‘very proud’ to have won the award.
He said: “I knew I would be very committed and determined to do my very best this year and very thankful to be recognised by my tutors for this.”
Billy was quick to recognise and praise the ‘excellent’ support he is receiving, which was one of the reasons he chose to study at the university centre.
He added: “I wanted to study at University Centre South Essex because there was opportunity for me to keep the fantastic support I had had during my time on my Further Education course at the college.
“I would recommend people to look at University Centre South Essex, especially if you have a disability as there is good access and amazing support.
Billy’s ambition is to complete his degree, something he has been working towards and dreaming of since he was young.
He said he also wants to become a role model for other students who believe they can’t go to university when in fact they can.
I would highly recommended the university centre for its variety of different courses, professional and expert tutors, it is extremely well organised and student orientated.”
Aniku has carried off the HNC/HND Student of the Year award because of his excellent attitude towards learning.
He said: “It is an absolute honour to win this award and I'm humbled that my mentors/teachers think of me so highly.”
Aniku said he chose to study at University Centre South Essex because it is one of the only higher education institutions that offer the course he wanted study - electro-mechanical engineering. Being employed as a multi-disciplined engineer, this was the perfect course for him.
His tutor commented: “Aniku is motivated, punctual, well-mannered, committed, hardworking, and an excellent collaborator. He is very thorough in implementing given feedback and is improving his work consistently.
“Aniku’s distance travelled in such a brief time since he joined L4 HNC programme in September 2021 is remarkable. He has flourished from a quiet student to an accomplished confident team member not hesitating to offer his assistance to his peers and tutors. He is an asset to his programme of study.
Aniku added: “It is an extremely well organised course. Considering my course is part-time it can get intense. Having a course that’s organised so well just makes everything, especially the learning part, easier to digest.
“I like that the different aspects of engineering are covered well and taught in a professional and easily digestible manner.
“My greatest achievement so far has been gaining promotion from maintenance technician to regional reliability engineer. I would highly recommended the university centre for its variety of different courses, professional and expert tutors, it is extremely well organised and student orientated.”
Aniku said that he would really like to continue his education and get a degree in Electromechanical Engineering. His future ambition is to take up a Chartered Engineering role or become a senior consultant.
The university centre feels more like a family environment; you get the opportunity to collaborate with other students from other courses as well as work with people who are a part of the industry.
UAL Student of the Year, Amy Slade has won the award for overcoming severe anxiety and showing impeccable determination.
Amy said she chose the course because there are units in it that are not included in other universities and they focus on what is needed in the industry.
She said: “I am surprised but happy to get this award, I enjoyed the course because of the concept of studying with a smaller group of students. You also get more one-to-one time with your lecturers for when you need help with your work or somebody to talk to.
I had the creative freedom to explore the units independently and include my own personal interests in my assessments.”
Amy’s tutor said: “Amy suffered with severe anxiety before attending our course and her skills were of a low standard for industry. Since September, she has embraced all wellbeing sessions with confidence and success, she has picked up all hair techniques, including the advanced techniques within six weeks. She has embraced every challenge that has been thrown her way, so much so, she has completed five work experience placements where all other students have declined them.
“Her attitude and drive has to be commended, as her confidence has soared, we are all extremely proud and it is a joy to watch her truly blossom In this short amount of time. It’s like she is a new person – it’s truly amazing.”
Amy feels that completing her first year having had the opportunities to collaborate with other students for their own personal projects as well as industry work experience has been her greatest achievement.
She added: “The university centre feels more like a family environment; you get the opportunity to collaborate with other students from other courses as well as work with people who are a part of the industry. In the future I would like to travel and to try to find my way in the industry to secure a career as a hair and makeup artist; particularly for film, TV and music.”
The course was very interesting and unlike other courses I had seen at other universities. Also, the centre was close to home and had multiple options for travel.
My name is Taylor Skevington, I am 23 years old, I studied Criminology & Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) at University Centre South Essex from October 2017 to June 2020 and this is my story.
I took my A-Levels at Seevic College in English Language and Literature, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology and applied for the degree straight after.
I have gone on to do a MA Criminology degree at the University of Essex and achieved a Distinction. I am now a 1st year PhD student in Criminology at Essex.
I have recently finished a part-time position as a research officer on the Understanding Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Project for the Home Office.
I was entrusted to do research for and write the literature review of the project and was also given administrative tasks for the overall project.
My PhD supervisor gave me the position as they were one of the researchers involved in the project and thought the topic was close to my own research.
The course was very interesting and unlike other courses I had seen at other universities. Also, the centre was close to home and had multiple options for travel.
The module on Personal Development was extremely helpful as it gave us tips on important skills such as writing your CV and job interviews. The work placements during the third (and last) year were also good experience for careers in the discipline.
Higher education gives you the opportunity to learn more about a subject you are passionate in and to further your personal development.
I gained valuable timekeeping and presentation skills because of the multiple types of assignments that were assigned. It also taught me skills in writing and research, especially important in further education.
My favourite memory of doing my degree was being in lectures with my peers as it was always a welcoming and fun atmosphere.
Not only was my degree interesting but my lecturers were extremely supportive and constructive in their criticisms.
My aim is to become a researcher/academic in criminology/sociology.
My time at the college helped me build my confidence in my work and in communicating with others.