Will my work experience help my degree course application?


01st Sep 2016


In a word: yes! Here at University of Essex Online, we recognise that you can gain skills in a wide variety of ways and that prior academic performance is not the only indicator of a student’s ability.

That’s why we created our Open Entry and Work Experience Entry Routes, where our dedicated Admissions team review every applicant’s work experience to see if they are eligible to join one of our courses.

When we review applications for our degree programmes, we have a duty to ensure that the programme of study is suitable and there is a realistic prospect that you will be able to successfully complete your studies. So how do our team assess your work experience? What are they looking for in your employment record and personal statement? Our team review three important documents…


Your CV

Your CV should include details of the duties and responsibilities in your current and previous employment – particularly where they demonstrate the development and application of key skills.

Think carefully about the skills you have gained and how you use them in your duties. These skills could include:

  • Self-motivation
  • Organisational skills and the ability to prioritise tasks
  • Communication skills
  • Dealing with people
  • Dealing with money/managing finances or accounts
  • Problem solving

Struggling to write your CV? Check out our blog on how to write a successful CV.


Your personal statement

Your personal statement is your chance to shine. It is important to demonstrate a clear interest in your chosen subject and back this up with evidence where possible. You might want to address questions such as:

  • Why is the degree course important to you?
  • How might you use your degree in the future? Perhaps for career advancement? A change of career? To develop personal interests?
  • How has your previous work and life experience equipped you for study?
  • Have you made any plans to balance your work and domestic responsibilities with the demands of study?

Are you struggling to put your personal statement together? Check out our blog containing advice on personal statements.


A reference

For most of our courses, we will also need to contact someone to confirm your work experience and give us their opinion on your suitability for the programme of study. We need you to provide a referee who can comment on your work experience – preferably from a recent employer or one who can vouch for the employment where you demonstrated the greatest achievements. Providing the details of a friend or someone who employed or taught you many years ago is unlikely to be sufficient as we need to talk to someone who can verify the statements you have made about yourself.


If you have any questions about the admissions process or your suitability for one of our degree programmes, please contact our Admissions team who will be happy to help you.