What is the Spirit of Sussex Award?

Our way of recognising students' achievements.

About the award

The Spirit of Sussex Award celebrates extra-curricular and voluntary achievements throughout a student’s degree. By taking part in different activities, such as career-readiness events, part-time work or volunteering, students can gain points towards either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Spirit of Sussex Award. The Spirit of Sussex Award is part-funded and supported by Office for Students, with the aim to help students feel more engaged with the Sussex community, build a wider network and have somewhere to self-reflect on their personal and professional development.

Through the Connector Programme, the Spirit of Sussex Award has benefited from co-creation and collaboration between students and staff, from co-designing promotional events, branding and marketing, and supporting finalists with their Spirit of Sussex Award submissions, ready for graduation.

Students who participate in the award can access our award platform using their University of Sussex credentials and begin logging their activities straight away.

The Spirit of Sussex Award team sits within the Student Engagement and Enhancement team, a new area of the Student Experience division which works on initiatives and programmes outlined in our Access and Participation Plan. The award recognises the participation of our students in creating a legacy for their peers, enriching their experience and demonstrating the values of the University. 

How do students earn points?

Students can earn 5 points for attending and participating, 10 points for organising and supporting, and 15 points for leading and representing in events and activities. These points will all accumulate towards a Bronze (25 points), Silver (50 points) and Gold award (75 points).

You can visit our Student Hub pages to see examples of how students are working towards an award. 

Our aims

The Spirit of Sussex Award launched in September 2020, and as of August 2021, we have over 700 students participating in the award. 

The overall aim is to deliver an engaging award programme that recognises students for their participation in voluntary and extra-curricular activities. The award is an opportunity for students to collect points for activities they participate in, showcasing their skills and achievements while enriching their experience at university. Students are encouraged to self-reflect on their achievements which helps them prepare for future job applications or further study. 

The Spirit of Sussex Award is a named project in the Sussex 2025 Strategy under the ‘Learn to Transform’ and ‘Engage for Change’ pillars. 

We have a set Council KPI; a target of 50% student participation in the award by 2025. In addition, we have set the following objectives and intended outcomes of the award:

  • Encourage students to engage with student life and the university’s academic community beyond classroom learning
  • Engage and co-create with students from a variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds as part of the award and connectors programme. This includes recruiting a team of 8 student connectors to co-create and deliver the Spirit of Sussex Award.
  • Foster a sense of connectedness to, and pride in, the University of Sussex.
  • Deliver a platform (browser and mobile) for students to log and track their progress through the award


Sosa team membersSpirit of Sussex Award team: Samirah, Abby, Becky and Joshua