Doctoral School

Starting at Sussex

For general information for all students starting at Sussex, including visas, vaccinations and medication, travel to Sussex and what to pack, see the Before You Arrive section on the Student Hub.


Starting at Sussex during coronavirus

We understand that this is a confusing and perhaps anxious time to start your PhD. Although the situation in the UK is subject to change, the University is currently expecting to welcome thousands of students to our campus and Brighton accommodation during Welcome Weekend. Please be assured that the first priority is to make sure that our Sussex campus will be a safe place to live and study.

You'll find all the information you need about starting at Sussex this September on the coronavirus: advice for applicants webpage.


Before you arrive at Sussex you’ll need to complete online registration, to confirm you’ll be starting your doctorate, and to activate your IT and Library accounts. Your registration with the University also automatically makes you a member of the University of Sussex Student’s Union (USSU).

You can find more information about registration for doctoral researchers in the ‘On arrival’ section of this page on the Research Student Administration Office website.

Once you’ve registered with the University, you’ll also be able to access the Sussex Mobile app. There’s lots of information for all students at Sussex, but researchers might be particularly interested in the Locations; PCs and Study Spaces; Transport; and Staff Directory sections. You can also use the app to access your email, and various areas of the Sussex website.


If you have a long-term mental health condition or disability you can register with the Student Support Unit who can look at reasonable adjustments to support you during your time at Sussex. You can only register with the student support unit after you have registered with the University (see above), but there are some things you can do before you start your degree to make things run as smoothly as possible when you start. For example, you can organise medical evidence from a relevant health professional, and explore your eligibility for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) which will enable you to access further support. Visit the Student Support Unit webpages for more information and guidance.

If you’re living on campus or in the local area, you can register with a GP at the University Health Centre and Dental Surgery on campus. For more information and to find out about other local health services visit the Wellbeing webpages.

Moving to Brighton

Finding accommodation

If you’re moving to live on campus or in the surrounding Brighton and Hove area, there’s lots of advice available around both campus and private sector accommodation from the Housing Services team at Sussex.

International students relocating to the UK

If you’re an international student moving to the UK you may need to apply for a visa. You can find further information and guidance on the International Student Support website. Each year, the International Student Support office also produce a pre-arrival guide which includes information about registration, applying for a Visa, budgeting for life in the UK, information about health and insurance, housing, bringing your family to Sussex, and even what to pack. You can access the current pre-arrival guidance here.


If you have a child or family who will be moving with you to Sussex, you can find information about accommodation options from the Housing Services team (please note there are currently no family vacancies available for the academic year 2022-23). They’ve also produced a helpful Familes accommodation handbook, which includes visa guidance, details of facilities on and off campus, such as GP surgeries, nurseries and Schools, and information about family-friendly activities in and around Brighton.

University Closures

The University is open year-round, though there are a number of ‘minimum service days’ where most campus facilities are closed. These generally coincide with UK bank holidays and national holidays such as Christmas and Easter. During these times the 24-hour IT facilities, residences and 24-hour security continue to operate on campus. For information see the term dates webpage


Managing your finances

The Student Funding Team, based at the Student Centre, can help you to resolve any problems, concerns or questions you may have around managing your finances during your doctorate. With access to information on available funding sources, alongside expert financial advice and guidance, the team aims to offer the best practical help and support to ensure you are able to make the most of your time at Sussex.

If you find yourself in acute and unexpected hardship the University also offers two different types of short term, interest free loans. These are the Vice Chancellors Loan for immediate cash assistance, and the Welfare Loan for when you may experiencing delays to your funding source.

Find out more on the Student Centre Money webpage.

Managing research funds

Some researchers may have access to funds to support their research (e.g. to reimburse research participants, or funds for your own research and training). In some Schools and Departments you may be required to manage this using the University’s financial management system. Check for any guidance available to you in your School handbook, or ask the Research and Enterprise Coordinator in your School if you’re unsure.

Finding other researchers

All Sussex doctoral researchers have access to an online researcher profile facility, which allows you to present yourself and your research on the university's Elements research information system and webpages, helping you to raise your profile while promoting your research. You can also present other achievements and experience, and keep this information updated to reflect your ongoing development.

For step-by-step guidelines on setting up your profile, and making it visible publicly, take a look at the Library's Elements webpages.

Doctoral School