Department of Informatics

Frequently asked questions

General

Q: How does Informatics at Sussex compare to other computing departments?
A: We are a department with an excellent reputation in a university ranked in the top 150 in the world. In the 2017 National Student Survey, 91% of Informatics students were satisfied with their course, almost 12% higher than the sector average.

Q: Are your degrees accredited?
A: All of our undergraduate degrees have professional accredition, from BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT. BSc (Hons) Computer Science and BSc (Hons) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence are accredited to the highest possible level, as contributing to the requirements for registration as Chartered IT Professional, Chartered Engineer, and Chartered Scientist.

Q: I am interested in studying for a degree in Informatics at Sussex. How do I apply?
A: You should apply via UCAS. Read Sussex University's guide on how to apply.

Q: Can I change courses within Informatics if I find I prefer one of the other degrees?
A: Yes, up until the start of the 2nd year. We know that your preferences might change when you find out more about the fascinating range of topics in computing, so the first year of our degrees is largely common to allow you to change between any of our degrees.

Q: Should I apply for more than one degree?
A: If you are unsure about which subject you would like to study or are restricted to this geographical area, then there is no harm in applying for more than one course at Sussex. However, as we allow a change of course between Informatics degrees in the first year (see the answer above), there is little point selecting multiple Informatics courses – unless you are including Computer Science with a Foundation year. If you want to talk through your choice, then please contact us:

E: ug.applicants@sussex.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)1273 678416

Q: Do you offer scholarships?
A: Yes. The University maintains a searchable database containing details of a wide variety of scholarships.

Qualifications

Q: What qualifications do I need?
A: For 2017 entry, our typical offer for applicants taking A-levels is AAB-ABB. We accept a wide range of alternative UK and overseas qualifications. In addition, we require grade B in GCSE mathematics, or equivalent.

We also offer a Foundation Year, which is particularly suitable for mature candidates with appropriate experience or evidence of personal development and an interest in computing, but who lack the formal qualifications for entry direct into Year 1. For these applicants who can demonstrate competence and an interest in computing, there are no formal requirements apart from a B in GCSE maths. The foundation year is also suitable for recent school leavers who have the ambition to undertake a BSc but are unable to meet the entry requirements for one of our named courses. However, to be accepted onto the course, school-leavers will still need to demonstrate evidence of academic ability and the potential to succeed, and we would normally expect grades from these students of at least A-level CCC standard as well as B in GCSE maths.

See our prospectus for more details and equivalent/ international qualifications

Q: Do you require a mathematics qualification?
A: We don’t stipulate mathematics as part of our offer, although a 'numerate' (mathematics or a science) qualification provides a good foundation for studying computing at degree level. (But note that we do require grade B in GCSE mathematics, or equivalent).

Q: What sort of subjects do you look for?
A: In general, a good grade in a numerate subject (e.g. mathematics or physics) is helpful, and Computer Science or IT can be good indicators of interest in the subject (although they are not essential). A mix of arts and sciences can be very appropriate especially for our degrees in Games and Multimedia Environments, and Computing for Digital Media.

Applying and visiting

Q: What happens to my application?
A: Our subject selectors normally make a recommendation on whether to make an offer on the basis of your predicted/actual grades and your UCAS form, although we may ask for supplementary information where necessary. Occasionally, applicants are invited for an interview to help us reach a decision.

Q: When can I visit the campus?
A: The University holds three Open Days a year, usually in June, September and October. Booking for these is highly advisable, so make contact quickly to check dates and secure places for you and your friends or family members. Applicants holding offers who applied before 15th January are invited to attend an Applicant Visit Day at which they learn more about their chosen degree and Sussex itself.

If you are unable to make one of our Open Days, or if you have an offer but can't attend an Applicant Visit Day, you are welcome to come on one of our guided campus tours. The tours, led by current students or recent graduates, give you the chance to explore campus and get the lowdown on student life at Sussex.

Q: If I have accepted an offer for the Foundation Year but do much better than expected in my exams, can I switch to one of the three-year degrees instead?
A: Generally, yes. If you meet our entry requirements we will be happy to talk to you about direct entry to one of our three-year degree courses.

Q: How can I ask about my individual concerns or application?
A: You are welcome to email ug.applicants@sussex.ac.uk or +44 (0)1273 678416 for further information.

Teaching and learning

Q: How many hours a week am I in class?
A: Contact time on modules varies, but in each of the Autumn and Spring terms you will take four modules. A typical teaching pattern for a module involves two lectures each week together with a seminar, exercise group or lab class. Of course, outside of the timetabled classes you are expected to complete coursework (both assessed and non-assessed), visit the computing labs to practice programming, study your teaching notes and so on.

Q: Would you advise me to bring my own laptop?
A: We have a number of well-equipped computing labs in Informatics. This means that it isn't necessary for you to have you own laptop or PC. However, many students do have their own machine and, with networking throughout the residences and wi-fi across the campus, it is very easy for you to get on with individual study and coursework.

Q: Is there a campus network?
A: Yes. The 'ResNet' wired network covers the student residences and there is a campus-wide wireless network, so you can deal with email and surf the web in the coffee bar...

Careers

Q: Are there jobs for graduates of computing/IT?
A: Yes! Computing and IT graduates are in high demand, and graduates from Informatics are amongst the most employable in the UK. In early 2017, 98% of our previous year's graduates were employed or in further study, and of those in employment, 96% were in graduate-level jobs.

Q: Do you offer a sandwich year?
A: Yes. Students are able to work for a year in industry and gain a degree "with an Industrial Placement Year" if they choose to do so and if they are accepted by a company. We recommend that all of our students consider doing an industrial placement year. For students who prefer not to take a year out, we provide support in finding relevant part-time work or summer internships.

Q: What sorts of careers do your graduates go into?
A: The range of careers is broad, as almost all organisations in the private and public sectors have specialised computing needs. Although many Informatics graduates start in software/web development positions, quite a few go straight into technical management positions. As we run degrees in computer games and digital media, a significant proportion of our graduates go into new media, broadcasting and the creative industries.

Further information

The University aims for a diverse and representative student body. Please see specific information for students with disabilities, mature students and for international prospective students.