Geography (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Geography at Sussex is ranked 38th in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014.
  • Geographical research at Sussex is characterised by its international focus, its openness to the full range of philosophical and methodological approaches, and its relevance to policy and industry. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) we are ranked 1st in the UK for world-leading research impact.
  • Geography at Sussex has strong interdisciplinary links. The Department is located within the School of Global Studies, which brings together fields of study such as anthropology, development studies, geography and international relations. The School houses a number of interdisciplinary research clusters, including migration and climate change.
  • All our courses provide a strong intellectual grounding and sophisticated analytical skills appropriate to a wide variety of careers in the academic and policy fields, and in the private sector.
Specialist facilities
The University offers extensive computing facilities with a full range of data-processing and communications software. Office space is usually allocated to students taking research courses. You have full access to the University’s main Library and its online collection, and to the British Library of Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), which is located on the Sussex campus.

Geography at Sussex has its own vehicles for field trips and a well-equipped Physical Geography Laboratory.

Programmes

  • PhD in African Studies
  • PhD in Geography
  • MPhil in Geography

All research students are required to complete an appropriate programme of research methods training. This may involve enrolling on the MSc in Social Research Methods – a stand-alone Masters degree – before proceeding to a PhD. This is known as a 1+3 degree.

Students who have already completed a programme of research methods training can apply for the basic, three-year doctoral degree leading to a PhD.

Applications for research courses are welcomed across any of our research clusters, each of which maintains a strong international reputation. Geographers also provide interdisciplinary doctoral supervision in subject areas such as colonial and postcolonial studies, contemporary European studies, development
studies and migration studies.

Coursework and supervision

Whether you start the three-year PhD or the 1+3 MSc/PhD course, you are normally required to complete some research methods training modules and possibly some specialist thematic modules drawn from the MSc course.

You are allocated two academic supervisors with whom you work for the duration of your research degree. These are allocated according to their regional and thematic expertise, to provide a complementary ‘match’ with your research.

Recent thesis titles

An evaluation of GIS as a countryside management tool to inform the creation of a large-scale, near-forest habitat network in West Sussex

Black and white collaborative politics in South African Christian student movements 1907-1978

Botanic gardens: ‘walled, stranded arks’ or environments for learning

Cities in motion: towards an understanding of the cinematic city

Ecotourism, institutions and livelihoods: a study of North Rupununi, Guyana

Food crop marketing and local economic development in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Gains, losses and changes: resettlement of Somali refugees in London and Toronto

Institutional needs for natural resource conservation in mountain areas

Media, imagination and migration: the role of Italian television in the Albanian migration to Italy

Pastoral-farmer conflict in the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands of north-eastern Nigeria

Rainfall variability and extremes over southern Africa

Representations of diversity and cultural participation: performances of multiculturalism in Bologna and Barcelona

Sediment transport in the Ouse-Newhaven Estuary

The global-local interplay and foreign direct investment in the European Union

The internationalisation of productive capital: Korean textile and clothing foreign direct investment in China

The migration and transition of Sierra Leonean refugee girls in England

The response of shingle beaches to storm events: a managed approach

Threats to coastal shingle biodiversity in the Rives Manche

Entry requirements

MPhil in Geography

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in any relevant social science but applicants from other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit a short outline proposal of two to three pages in order to be considered

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

PhD in African Studies

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree in geography although those with a Masters degree in a closely related discipline may also be admitted. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit an outline research proposal of two to three pages indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the project

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Geography

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree in geography although those with a Masters degree in a closely related discipline may also be admitted. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit an outline research proposal of two to three pages indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the project

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

PhD in African Studies fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Overseas students: £14,8002

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

MPhil in Geography fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £14,8003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Geography fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £14,8003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Geography faculty enjoy reputations for world-leading academic research as well as policy-relevant studies on global socioeconomic and cultural transformations, and on climate change and geomorphology. Our research includes a number of projects funded by UK Research Councils such as the ESRC, AHRC and NERC, as well as major contributions to policy debates within the UK Government, the EU, other international organisations and industry.

The research clusters in Geography are described below. 

Visit Department of Geography

Climate

In recent years, the spectre of anthropogenic climate change has thrust climate science into the centre of current political and public debates. Climate science is now directly informing policies on how we fuel our economy, which will affect all our lives. The Department contributes to this agenda through research to improve our understanding of fundamental climate processes within the earth system and climate impacts on our life-support systems.

We focus on climate change and the global water cycle, the role of mineral dust aerosols in the climate system, the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the climate system, and human dimensions of climate change.

Associated Geography faculty include:

Dr Alexander Antonarakis
Lecturer In Global Change Ecology
A.Antonarakis@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Carbon Capture and Storage, Carbon cycles and land use land cover changes, Environmental modelling, GIS Mapping, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation, River Hydraulics, Terrestrial ecology

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Dr Mick Frogley
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
M.R.Frogley@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate change, Palaeoenvironments, Quaternary Science

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Prof Dominic Kniveton
Professor of Climate Science & Society
D.R.Kniveton@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Africa, Climate change, Development, Migration, South Asia

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Prof Julian Murton
Professor of Permafrost Science
J.B.Murton@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Arctic, Engineering Geology, Ice Age Britain, Periglacial geomorphology, Permafrost

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Dr David Ockwell
Reader in Geography
D.Ockwell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate change, Climate change mitigation, climate policy, Energy, Energy and climate policy, energy policy, Energy transitions, Innovation Policy, International Development, Sustainable energy production

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Dr Pedram Rowhani
Senior Lecturer in Geography
P.Rowhani@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate Impact, Food Security, GIS Mapping, Land Cover Change, Land Use Change, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation

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Prof Martin Todd
Professor in Climate Change
M.Todd@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Aerosol Generation, Africa, Atmospheric sciences, atmospheric aerosols, Climate and climate change, climate and development, Climate change, Climate change adaptation, Climate modelling, Climatic Effects, Climatic Effects (Water Engineering), Climatology, groundwater, Water In The Atmosphere, Water Resources

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Dr Yi Wang
Senior Lecturer in Climate Change
Yi.Wang@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Carbon cycles and land use land cover changes, Climate and climate change, Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, Climate modelling, climate policy, Earth and environmental, Earth system sciences, Flood Risk Assessment, Global carbon cycles, Hydrology

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Geographies of globalisation and development

This cluster is focused on political and economic change across the global South, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Research across the cluster emphasises globallocal relationships, especially in reference to how states in the global South and their citizens are playing a larger role in several global arenas including economics, migration policy, climate change mitigation/adaptation and security agendas. Recent appointments have allowed the cluster to build its research on sub-Saharan African politics, migration and conflict, in addition to a transnational analysis on the institutional consequences of the global financial crisis.

This cluster has several strong connections with ongoing, cutting-edge projects occurring throughout the School of Global Studies, the University, and the public at large.

Associated Geography faculty include:

Dr Grace Carswell
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
G.Carswell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Land Use

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Dr Daniel Haberly
Lecturer In Human Geography
D.Haberly@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Economic Geography, Financial Geography, globalisation, Human Geography

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Prof JoAnn McGregor
Professor Of Human Geography
J.Mcgregor@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: African diasporas, Conflict and violence, Development studies, Migration, Refugees and asylum, Southern Africa social history, Ur

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Dr David Ockwell
Reader in Geography
D.Ockwell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate change, Climate change mitigation, climate policy, Energy, Energy and climate policy, energy policy, Energy transitions, Innovation Policy, International Development, Sustainable energy production

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Prof Clionadh Raleigh
Professor Of Human Geography
C.Raleigh@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Political geography

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Geographies of migration

This cluster’s research focuses on three significant themes: conflict, displacement and asylum • migration and development • transnationalism, work and citizenship. This research includes very substantial ongoing projects valued at over £10 million.

Our research is global in scope, with particular expertise on migration dynamics in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, South and East Asia. Members are central to the interdisciplinary Sussex Centre for Migration Research and work closely with the DFID-funded Migrating out of Poverty Consortium.

The cluster also leads a prestigious Royal Geographical Society project on migration to cities, as well as projects funded by the ESRC, AHRC, Norwegian Research Council, US National Science Foundation and the European Union, among others.

Associated Geography faculty include:

Prof Michael Collyer
Professor of Geography
M.Collyer@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: european union, Geopolitics, Migration, Refugees and asylum

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Dr Priya Deshingkar
Research Director/Senior Research Fellow
P.Deshingkar@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Agriculture, IInernational Development, Internal Migration, Migration, Precarious Occupations, Rural Livelihoods

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Prof Russell King
Professor of Geography
R.King@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Ageing and the lifecourse, ageing care and migration, Albania, Children and migration, Cultural Geography, Generations, geographies of socialist and postsocialist development, Greece, higher education, Human Geography, International Student Migration/Mobility, Island studies, Italy, Migration, migration studies, social geography, Southern Europe, The Mediterranean, Youth

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Prof JoAnn McGregor
Professor Of Human Geography
J.Mcgregor@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: African diasporas, Conflict and violence, Development studies, Migration, Refugees and asylum, Southern Africa social history, Ur

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Dr Ceri Oeppen
Lecturer In Human Geography
C.J.Oeppen@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Afghan diaspora, Afghanistan, Development studies, Human Geography, Migration, Multiculturalism, Peace and conflict, Politics of asylum and migration, Refugee Studies, Social and cultural geographies of migration

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Prof Ben Rogaly
Professor of Human Geography
B.Rogaly@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: class, community, employment in agriculture and food, Identity, labour geography, migration studies, place, race and racism, social geography, work migration

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Prof Ronald Skeldon
Professorial Teaching Fellow
R.Skeldon@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Demography

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Prof Paul Statham
Professor of Migration
Paul.Statham@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: ageing care and migration, Comparative Studies, Domestic Politics of European Integration, Immigration, Islam, Media & Communication Studies, Multiculturalism, Public sphere theory, Social movements, Sociology

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Dr Katie Walsh
Senior Lecturer in Geography
Katie.Walsh@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Ageing and the lifecourse, Belonging, British diaspora, Britishness, Domestic material culture, Dubai, Expatriate migration, family studies, Highly Skilled migration, Home, Home-making practices, Intimacy, Intimacy and transnational kinship relations, Migration and diaspora, The politics of domesticity

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Geomorphology

This research cluster focuses on modelling and monitoring of sensitive earth-surface and atmospheric systems. The study of sensitive systems such as mountains, coasts, the atmosphere and the arctic is becoming critical to societies, as they adjust to the impacts of environmental change. Our research investigates sensitive systems by field monitoring, site investigation, physical and numerical modelling, geotechnical analysis of sediments and rocks,
and reconstruction of Quaternary environments.

Our expertise concerns climate systems • coastal and estuarine systems • dryland systems • permafrost and Arctic systems • Quaternary palaeoenvironments • slopes and landslides systems • soil systems.

Key achievements

Recognition for the high quality of our research has led to several recent achievements:

• papers in Nature, Science, Geology, Geomorphology, Landslides and Geophysical Research Letters

• grants totalling more than £3.5 million (for example from the EU, INTERREG, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, NERC, EPSRC, Royal Society, Environment Agency)

• Beaches At Risk project – a showcase Franco-British project

• Chair of NERC Grant-awarding panel

• Chair of the British Society for Geomorphology

• associate editor of Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, and

• Dorothy Hodgkins Royal Society Research Fellowship to a former PhD student.

Geomorphology at Sussex has close links with industry including collaboration through CH2M HILL, Royal Haskoning Ltd, Arup, Mott MacDonald and other consultants.

Industry collaborators

Arup

Mathew Free Geological hazards and tsunamis.

Jason Manning Remote sensing.

BP

Chris Martin Engineering geology and drylands.

CH2M HILL

Alex Bellis Fluvial and upland geomorphology.

Paul Fish Quaternary geology and GIS.

Ross Fitzgerald Coastal and subsea geomorphology.

Mott MacDonald

Peter Phipps Terrain analysis, coastal and drylands.

Royal Haskoning Ltd

David Brew Coastal geomorphology.

Nick Cooper Coastal planning and engineering.

Consultants

Mark Lee Landslide risk and geohazards.

Andy Mills Fluvial, upland and subsea geomorphology.

David Norbury Engineering geology.

Dr John Barlow
Lecturer in Applied Geomorphology
John.Barlow@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Slopes

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Prof Roger Moore
Professor of Applied Geomorphology
R.Moore@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Erosion, Geomorphology, landslides, Slopes, subsea

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Prof Cherith Moses
Professor of Geomorphology
C.Moses@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Oceanography

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Prof Julian Murton
Professor of Permafrost Science
J.B.Murton@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Arctic, Engineering Geology, Ice Age Britain, Periglacial geomorphology, Permafrost

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Dr David Ockwell
Reader in Geography
D.Ockwell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate change, Climate change mitigation, climate policy, Energy, Energy and climate policy, energy policy, Energy transitions, Innovation Policy, International Development, Sustainable energy production

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Dr David Robinson
Senior Teaching Fellow
D.A.Robinson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: agriculture and conservation, Coastal Zone Management, Environmental geology, Geomorphology, Soil and Rock: Mechanics

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Histories, cultures, networks

This cluster examines the long history of global transformations, with a particular emphasis on examining the trajectories of apparently unprecedented contemporary sociopolitical changes. Some of the research conducted in this cluster is orchestrated around two interdisciplinary research centres, the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and the Centre for World Environmental History.

Our research focuses on the role of social protest and networked mobilisation in the early 19th-century transformation of British rural society, the changed relationship between humanity and technology effected in 1960s ‘swinging London’, and how transimperial networks of communication and contestation shaped dynamic ideas of humanity (and humanitarianism), race, and development through the 19th century.

Associated faculty include:

Dr Grace Carswell
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
G.Carswell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Land Use

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Dr Fae Dussart
Lecturer In Human Geography
F.C.Dussart@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: British Empire, class, Colonialism, Cultural Geography, domestic service, Gender and Sexuality, Historical Geography, Home, Humanitarianism, Imperial/Colonial History, Modern British history, Place and Identity, Race, The politics of domesticity

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Dr Carl Griffin
Reader in Historical Geography
Carl.Griffin@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cultural Geography, Eighteenth-Century History, Historical Geography, More-than-human histories, Nineteenth-Century History, Popular politics, Protest, Rural history

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Prof Alan Lester
Professor of Historical Geography
A.J.Lester@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: apartheid, British Empire, Colonialism, Humanitarianism, indigenous peoples, Settler Colonies

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Prof JoAnn McGregor
Professor Of Human Geography
J.Mcgregor@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: African diasporas, Conflict and violence, Development studies, Migration, Refugees and asylum, Southern Africa social history, Ur

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Prof Ben Rogaly
Professor of Human Geography
B.Rogaly@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: class, community, employment in agriculture and food, Identity, labour geography, migration studies, place, race and racism, social geography, work migration

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Dr Simon Rycroft
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
S.P.Rycroft@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: 20th Century Visual Culture, Cultural Geography, Historical Geography, Post-war cultural politics, Post-war Culture

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Dr Katie Walsh
Senior Lecturer in Geography
Katie.Walsh@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Ageing and the lifecourse, Belonging, British diaspora, Britishness, Domestic material culture, Dubai, Expatriate migration, family studies, Highly Skilled migration, Home, Home-making practices, Intimacy, Intimacy and transnational kinship relations, Migration and diaspora, The politics of domesticity

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Careers and perspectives

Our research courses provide a strong intellectual grounding and sophisticated analytical skills appropriate to a wide variety of careers in the academic and policy fields, and in the private sector. Our graduates have also gone on to careers such as teaching and tutoring.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

School of Global Studies,
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9SJ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 877107 
E globalresearch@sussex.ac.uk

Visit the Department of Geography

Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions

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In addition to on-campus events, come and meet our postgraduate specialists at events across the UK.

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Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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