School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

Essential information for all students

Student handbooks for Engineering & Design and for Informatics (UG & PG) can be downloaded from the handbooks page of the School website. The University also provides a student handbook covering topics that relate to all students in the University.

Click on a header to expand and find the answers to the following frequently asked questions:

How will I be contacted by the University?

We need to communicate with you for various purposes. Sussex email is the main mode of communication within the University so it is very important that you check your Sussex email account regularly - every day if possible.  University emails will be sent automatically to this account and not to any other personal email accounts.

Official University communications are sometimes sent to you by post so it is vital that you keep your term-time address and contact details up to date on Sussex Direct.

Paper-based communications are also sent via pigeonholes so you will need to check these regularly. Engineering & Design pigeon holes are located in the Student room at the top of stairs in the Richmond Building (2D6). For the Informatics pigeon holes, follow the signs round from the lift/ stairs on the second floor of Chichester 1 Building (boundary between Chichester 1 & 2 on level 2, just off the photocopier room).

Where can I find out whether a lecturer/tutorial/practical has been cancelled or rearranged?

Teaching faculty are encouraged to use an automated text messaging facility to issue emergency messages to class groups in cases of cancellation of classes, e.g. due to staff illness.  This is another good reason to ensure that your mobile phone details are up to date and accurate on Sussex Direct.

Where can I find lecture or seminar notes?

These can be found on Study Direct. You can see which modules have this resource by the Study Direct symbol shown beside the module details on your Sussex Direct pages.

To access these sites you will need to use your normal University username and password.

Where can I find term dates?

The Registrar's Office publishes information on term dates.

Where can I find information on School Health and Safety?

For guideance on Health and Safety in the School, go to Health & Safety section of the School internal website

Where can I get a letter that confirms that I am a student?

Undergraduate students can request a 'To Whom It May Concern' letter, on University letter-headed paper from the Engineering & Informatics School Office.

Postgraduate students can get this letter from the Student Systems and Records Office (SSRO), by filling in a To Whom It May Concern Letter request form.

This letter can be used by you to confirm your status as a student of the University of Sussex to landlords, government agencies, foreign governments, or any other organisation or person requiring proof beyond that of your student card. We require at least 24 hours' notice for this service.

Where can I get a Council Tax Exemption letter?

Council Tax Exemption letters are NOT provided by the School Office. The Student Systems and Records Office deal with Council Tax exemptions – for details see Note that the regulations vary depending on where you are currently living.

Who can I talk to if I am going through personal problems?

Visit the Student Life Centre, located in the heart of campus on the ground floor of Bramber House, where you can talk to one of the Student Life advisors about any personal or financial concerns or difficulties and receive guidance, information and advice.  The Student Life Centre is open from 9.00-5.00 every weekday.

Who can I talk to if I am going through academic problems?

Contact your Academic Advisor. You should see their name and contact details on your study page of Sussex Direct. If your query is related to a specific module, you should speak to the module tutor.

What should I do if I cannot attend my timetabled teaching sessions?

An important part of the learning process is attendance at your lectures, laboratory sessions, workshops and seminars.  We expect that you will attend all of your timetabled sessions, as these are compulsory.  We also expect all of our students to attend at least 80% of their teaching sessions and if this is not the case you will receive an email warning notification.

If you are experiencing any difficulties, or have other issues which may prevent you from attending your classes, you can contact the Student Life Centre. If you are unavoidably absent from any class you should email the tutor, or let the School Office know at: or: - please give details of your absence and expected return date.  

Should your attendance remains poor (without a valid reason) you may be invited to attend a meeting of the School Student Progress Committee, who may then recommend that you be required to withdraw from the University, either temporarily or permanently.

Why do I need to meet with my Academic Advisor regularly?

Students have the responsibility for their own learning, just as faculty have the responsibility to provide teaching.  Studying for a degree should be regarded as occupying as much time as a full-time job: around 40 hours per week.  You should attend your Academic Advisor sessions and make sure that you do enough work each week to keep up with all your modules.  This includes submitting all the work set for each module, whether assessed or not.

Where can I find my candidate number? Why do I need it?

On your Study pages on Sussex Direct: click to view your candidate number. This number is also shown on your University ID card.

You will need both your candidate number and ID card for submitting work and when you sit exams.

What should I do if I lose my University ID card?

If you lose your card, or if you suspect it has been stolen, you should immediately report the loss to the Library ( The Library will prevent your card being used by anyone else, but you are responsible for any borrowing up to the time when the card is reported lost.

To obtain a replacement card, which you will need if you want to benefit from University services, you must go to the Print Unit in the York House undercroft (access is via the York House car park, off Norwich House Road). There is a charge (currently £10) for cards replaced as a result of loss, or because of accidental damage. Please note that payment cannot be taken from your student account. However, if your card has been stolen and you can provide a Crime Reference number from the police in support of this, you will not be charged for a new card.

When and where do I hand in my work?

You will find instructions on coursework submission on Sussex Direct in your Assessment Deadlines & Exam Timetable.

The coursework submission page contains full details on how to submit your work. Please read this information carefully.

Where can I bind my work?

The majority of coursework does NOT need to be bound, but on the rare occasion when you are asked to bind your work, the main University Library offers self-service comb binding and the Print Unit in York House under croft offers a thermal binding service (with a normal turnaround time of 24 hours).

There are also a number of companies in the Brighton area (not linked to the University) that offer binding services. A few of these are: The Print Room, One Digital, Prontaprint, Mailboxes Etc, Bookbinders of Lewes (for thesis binding).

Where do I collect my marked work from?

The School Office will email you when your work is available to collect. It will usually be available for collection from the feedback filing cabinets located in the foyer area in front of the Engineering & Informatics School Office (Room C1-001). The filing cabinets are arrranged by department and year of study; your feedback will be filed in candidate number order.

What happens if I miss an assessment deadline or submit my work late for medical reasons/exceptional circumstances?

If you believe that your late or non-submission of assessed work (or absence from a test/examination), is due to medical or other 'exceptional circumstances', you can submit an Exceptional Circumstances Claim.

This should be done as early as possible as you must start the claim within 7 days of the assessment deadline.

If you would like to discuss your circumstances before submitting your claim you should visit the Student Life Centre and speak to a Student Advisor.

Claims are submitted through your Sussex Direct pages.  Medical certificates or other relevant evidence must be obtained; retrospective certificates will not be accepted.  Such certificates must be signed by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional (self-certification will not be accepted).  Detailed instructions on how to submit a claim are available at:

The following common problems will not be accepted as a mitigating circumstance:

  • Transport delays, either to public or private transport
  • Postal delays
  • Failure of a third party, such as a typist or messenger, to complete tasks
  • Failure of computers, printers, CDs, memory stick, photocopiers or binders and data loss due to theft.  You should ensure that your work is backed-up separately.
How do I find out if my mitigating circumstances have been accepted?

Decisions will be fed back to you via Sussex Direct, and those decisions are also passed on to the Exam Boards, which consider your year-to-year progression and your final classification.

If you are required to provide more evidence you will be emailed and you will be told when/where to submit additional documentation.

If the claim is rejected you will be informed by email and given information about the appeals process. Appeals can only be made after the exam board has met.

Where can I see my marks?

Your marks will appear on Sussex Direct. If you log on and click to view your Study Pages, you can click on the Course Results tab to see your marks.

Where can I get an official transcript of my marks?

All undergraduate finalists who have completed their degree will receive a single copy of their transcript with their degree certificate.

For graduating postgraduate students, official transcripts of marks are posted to your home address normally at the end of November. Please check that your address is up to date - it can be changed via Sussex Direct.

Your degree certificate is given to you at the Graduation ceremony. If you are unable to attend the ceremony, it will be posted to your home address soon after the ceremony.

If you have not yet completed your degree the School Office can provide you with an unofficial academic record at the end of the academic year. This lists the results of completed modules but NOT individual coursework marks. The School Office requires at least 24 hours' notice for this service.

Official transcripts are available from Transcript and Alumni Services. You must clear any outstanding debts with the University before you will be allowed to graduate or receive your certificant and transcript.

Where can I check the assessment and progression rules for my degree?

Please refer to the Examination and Assessment Handbook relevant to your level of study.

Who do I ask for reference letters for jobs, etc.?

Your Academic Advisor is the best person to go to for a reference, as they will have had regular contact with you throughout your University career. You can also ask your final year project supervisor.  Requests for references are not usually refused, but it is polite to ask the proposed referee before submitting your job application.

School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

School Office:
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ
T 01273 (67) 8195

School Office opening hours: Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00
School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]