University Centre Colchester | Life in Colchester


University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute is set within Britain’s oldest recorded town. Recently awarded city status, Colchester exudes history, modern culture and creativity. With a growing population in excess of 192,000 and a vastly growing diversity of cultures and backgrounds, Colchester demonstrates a dynamic and exciting urban lifestyle.

Studying with us means being only about a ten-minute walk from the city centre, where you can find an abundance of shopping facilities, bars, clubs and restaurants. Whether your taste is English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian or perhaps Indian – Colchester has it all and, what’s more, caters for all budgets!

Colchester’s nightlife has something for everyone too. If a traditional pub is what you’re looking for, or a livelier club atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Instead of dancing until you drop, perhaps shopping until you drop is more your style. Alongside larger, more famous brands and stores, Colchester offers quirky, independent boutiques along the little lanes.

There’s a diverse range of modern and historic cultural activities to take in and enjoy, from the wonders of Colchester Castle – the largest Norman Keep in Europe set in the beautiful Castle Park to the highly regarded Mercury Theatre. Well known for the quality performances staged throughout the year, the venue has also played host to some well-known acts, including Lee Evans and Michael McIntyre!

The Minories Art Gallery in Colchester High Street hosts regular events and exhibitions with our student’s involvement in a multitude of projects. We are also proud to host live performances and showcases of our own – an exciting mix of live events and shows for all ages with some unmissable touring acts. An exciting programme of exhibitions, lectures, films and events takes place at Firstsite, Colchester’s spectacular new venue for world-class contemporary arts.

There is also the Charter Hall and the Colchester Arts Centre (whose home is a converted church – which has seen the likes of Lucy Porter, Tim Vine, and Adrian Edmondson perform over the years, to name a few).

If that wasn’t enough, Colchester offers many more attractions, including one of Europe’s finest zoos, a multi-screen cinema and a spa combined with top-notch leisure facilities at Leisure World. Colchester really does cater for all ages, interests and tastes.


Colchester is visually stunning. You’re never far from a Roman ruin, heavily beamed medieval buildings or grand Georgian houses in Colchester. If it’s modern architecture that gets the thumbs up, Colchester also has this in abundance too, including Firstsite, the contemporary art gallery designed by award-winning architect Rafael Vinoly.

Making Colchester your place to study or live means you are in good company. TV presenter Dermot O’Leary lived and studied in Colchester, whilst Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame and X Factor winner Matt Cardle are also from the area. Situated in northeast Essex, Colchester is just a few miles from the Suffolk border, with more towns, countryside and coastline to explore.

For those seduced by the bright lights of the big city, they are less than an hour by train from London. The Campus is only a ten-minute walk from North Station, where you will find regular trains into the capital. If a little sea air is what you’re after, then you’re in luck too. The beautiful sea shores of the award-winning Frinton coastline are only a half-hour drive away, along with the seaside towns of Clacton and Walton. There is also the ever-popular V Festival in nearby Chelmsford and Latitude festival in Suffolk to enjoy.