Facts and figures

The University of Sussex is a leading higher education and research institution near Brighton, in the south of England. Sussex was the first of the new wave of UK universities founded in the 1960s, receiving its Royal Charter in 1961.

An aerial view of part of the University of Sussex campus

Innovative research and scholarship

Sussex is a leading research university, as reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Over 75% of research activity at Sussex is categorised as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 

Individual highlights of the REF 2014 results include: 

  • Sussex History was the highest rated History submission in the UK for the quality of its research outputs 
  • the Sussex English submission rose from 31st to 9th across the UK since the last research assessment exercise in 2008
  • 84% of the University’s research impact in Psychology was rated as the top possible grade, 4* 
  • Sussex Geography had the most 4*-rated research impact of any Geography submission across the UK.

Overall, the University was placed 36th (of multi-disciplinary institutions) by grade point average (GPA).

Teaching and learning

The University of Sussex has 18,510 students (2019-20 full-time equivalent figures), of which around one-fifth are postgraduates. 65% of our student population are UK students and 35% are overseas students.

Creative thinking, diversity in our teaching, intellectual challenge and interdisciplinarity have always been fundamental to a Sussex education.

Our goal is to deliver teaching and learning programmes informed by current research, attractive to students from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and which deliver skills for life.

Our staff

Sussex has developed a reputation for innovation and inspiration, and attracts leading thinkers and researchers.

In 2019/20 the University employed 3,395 staff which is equivalent to 2,615 full time employees. This incorporated 1,610 staff in a Teaching or Teaching and Research role (equivalent to 1,070 full time employees). Other staff were employed in Research only or Professional Services positions (HESA 2019/20).

We have had three Nobel Prize winners, 12 Fellows of the British Academy and a winner of the prestigious Crafoord Prize on our staff.

International Sussex

From its foundation, Sussex has had an international perspective to its academic activities and its outlook.

We attract staff and students from more than 100 countries to our campus, and nearly a third of staff come from outside the UK.

Our research tackles major world issues with leading areas of expertise such as climate change and development studies.

We have extensive links with institutions worldwide, such as Peking University, National Taiwan University and the Harvard-Sussex programme.

Campus life

Sussex has one of the most beautiful campus locations in the UK.

Situated in rolling parkland on the edge of Brighton, the campus combines award-winning architecture with green open spaces.

The campus is surrounded by the South Downs National Park but just a few minutes away from the lively city of Brighton & Hove.

Designed by Sir Basil Spence, the buildings that make up the heart of the campus were given listed building status in 1993. Falmer House is one of only two educational buildings in the UK to be Grade I-listed in recognition of its exceptional interest.

Business and the community

Sussex has a long tradition of engaging with business and the community, which continues today through activities such as the Sussex Innovation Centre, public lectures and services to the community.

Our goal is to help businesses and organisations in the region develop higher staff skill levels through training, and to stimulate innovation through partnership with other institutions outside Sussex to benefit the wider society.

The Sussex Innovation Centre provides support for the creation and growth of technology- and knowledge-based companies in Sussex.

The Centre is now a thriving business environment for nearly 80 high-growth companies.

Since its creation more than 160 companies have been based at the Centre; their cumulative revenue exceeds £250 million and they employ hundreds of people locally.

Office for Students Transparency information

In accordance with regulations set out by the UK's Office for Students, we publish the following information in the interests of transparency regarding our student body.

The information published on these pages shows:

    • The percentage of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It shows these percentages by reference to:

      • The gender of the individuals to which they relate.
      • Their ethnicity.
      • Their socioeconomic background.

You can download the complete dataset here, which includes the number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

Percentage of classified first degrees at grade 2:1 or above by characteristic for 2019-20 qualifiers

CharacteristicCharacteristic splitPercentage
Ethnicity BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) 84%
White 92%
English Index of Multiple Deprivation (EIMD) 2019 quintile 1 and 2 86%
3 to 5 92%
Gender Female 93.3%
Male 87.4%
Other N


      • EIMD Quintile 1: areas of highest deprivation
      • EIMD Quintile 5: areas of lowest deptivation
      • N: 24 or fewer students in this population

You can download the complete dataset here.

Access and Participation Plan Monitoring

The impact report summarises the progress made by the University of Sussex against targets, objectives and written commitments as set out in our 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan. This document is a summary of information submitted by the University to the Office for Students.

See the 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan Impact Report, [PDF, 233KB]

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