Doctoral School

Help and support

The Doctoral School can help you find the support you need. If you are unsure of how to proceed with issues concerning academic support, or wish to raise any matter in confidence, please contact the Doctoral School.

Services we can direct you to include the ones listed below.

Counselling for postgraduates

Postgraduate study can be challenging and sometimes result in stress and unhappiness affecting academic performance. Problems can arise with motivation and focus, be exacerbated by a sense of isolation, or by not knowing how to access help.

The University Counselling Service can help to reduce the sense of feeling overwhelmed and isolated by providing a range of free and confidential services that postgraduates have found helpful in keeping them on track:

  • One to one counselling, where you can talk confidentially to a counsellor experienced in working with postgraduates
  • Procrastination and insomnia workshops for postgraduates
  • An online self help programme

Find out more about counselling services for postgraduates

Academic Support in your School
You will be provided (at a minimum) with a ‘main’ and additional (or ‘second’) supervisor.  Where you have joint supervisors, one will be designated as the ‘main’ supervisor for administrative purposes, so that you have a clear point of contact in the event of difficulties.  Your ‘second’ supervisor will provide advice and support when your ‘main’ supervisor is not available. In the event of loss of a supervisor, your department and school are responsible for finding a suitable replacement, and ensuring that arrangements are in place to support you during any interim period

For academic issues that your supervisor cannot help with, you should first contact your school Research and Enterprise Coordinator (REC), who can deal with most queries related to your doctoral studies.  Responsibility for doctoral researchers in each school rests with the Director of Doctoral Studies (DODS), and you may be referred to your School’s DODS for some issues. If you don't know who your REC and DODS are, you can find their contact details on your school website.
Doctoral Student Rep in your School

The Student Rep Scheme is co-run by the University of Sussex and the University of Sussex Students’ Union. Student Reps provide an essential link between Students, the Union and the University. PGR Student Reps are doctoral students, elected by fellow students or self-nominated, to represent the views and interests of doctoral researchers in their subject. Reps find out about issues impacting on students’ studies and experience. They may raise these informally with individual members of staff or more formally at department, school, and university level committees in order to effect positive change.

Elected in October, the PGR Student Reps for 2016-17 are:

School of Business, Management and Economics
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • TBC
School of Engineering and Informatics
School of English
  • TBC
School of Education and Social Work
  • Paul Shuttleworth (Social Work and Social Care)
  • Daniella Rabino (Education)
  • Yasser Kosbar (Education)
School of Global Sudies
School of History, Art History and Philosophy
School of Life Sciences
School of Law, Politics and Sociology
School of Media, Film and Music
  • Karolina Szpyrko (Media Film and Music)
  • TBC (Media and Cultural Studies)
School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
School of Psychology


Find out more about the scheme here:

Student Life Centre

The Student Life Centre is on the ground floor at the north end of Bramber House. The student life team provide general student information, advice and guidance on a wide range range of issues including University systems, personal and welfare concerns and money advice.

Student Support Unit

The Student Support Unit is the base for the University's Disability and Learning Support services, offering advice and assistance to disabled students and those with additional learning needs. Located in Pevensey 1, the unit provides disability support; mental health support; dyslexia and learning support; Dyslexia Assessment.  Reception is open from 09:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday.

Students' Union

The University of Sussex Students' Union wants to make sure that postgraduate students get the most from their university experience. Our Education Officer is involved with postgraduate student issues; you can contact them via email ( You may find the Advice and Representation Centre helpful: it offers free, independent and confidential information, advice and support on a range of academic and non-academic issues.

Careers and Employability Centre

The Careers & Employability Centre is based in the Library. They can help you to explore your career ideas and find out more about the pathways open to you both within and beyond academia. They offer practical career planning workshops for doctoral researchers to support you in your career progression, planning for your next steps, and making successful applications. They can also offer extended one-to-one appointments for up to an hour for doctoral researchers. All appointments and events are bookable via their doctoral researcher page.

Doctoral School

T: 00 44 (0)1273 87 7767