The University's income and expenditure: a guide for students

Find out about Sussex’s income and expenditure – where income comes from and how we spend it. This information has been developed following consultation with the Students' Union and is based on the latest available figures – currently the 2014-15 financial year.

You can also read the latest Financial Statements online.

The University’s aims

"We will provide all students with high-quality inspirational teaching that is research-led and delivered in an excellent learning environment."

"We will continue to invest […] and provide a resource-rich, collaborative community"
Our Strategy – Making the Future 2013-18

Our finances are important to the delivery of our aims and we continue to invest in excellent facilities, resources and opportunities for our students and staff. We want to ensure that our campus is an inspiring place to work and study and that we continue to provide an environment that fosters high-quality teaching and research.

Expenditure - how your tuition fees are spent

Your tuition fees contribute towards the running of your school, such as course materials and laboratory equipment; academic services such as IT and Library facilities; and the ongoing upkeep and repair of our academic buildings and estate.

Tuition fees add up to about half of our total income and are one of a variety of income sources that we receive. The total income is used to fund a broad range of expenditure – such as the Library and Sport services – that keeps the University running. The following chart shows our expenditure by category.

Expenditure totals shown in a bar chart


Expenditure facts

By far the biggest amount we spend (just over 46% of our expenditure) is on academic schools and departments. This includes teaching costs, course materials, laboratory equipment and consumables and the cost of examinations and assessment.

The University spends around £800,000 each year upgrading its teaching space and audio visual facilities.

The University invested £6.6 million in a variety of capital projects in 2014/15 including the initial stages of the new Life Sciences building, the redevelopment of the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts and the completion of the Sussex Neuroscience Centre, providing state-of-the-art research facilities.

The University invests £1.125 million per year in its Careers and Employability Centre. This resource supports students up to three years after graduation. The Centre provides help in career planning including careers interviews, networking events to help students connect with employers, online job-search resources and up-to-date information on career opportunities.

These are examples of initiatives aimed at improving the resources and facilities available to you.

Main sources of income for Sussex

Over 50% of Sussex’s income is generated by academic fees (about £122 million). Funding Council grants and research grants and contracts also make up a large part of the University’s income – about £58 million (25%).

The remaining 20% of income comes from student housing, catering, gifts and donations, business consultancy and a variety of partnering and collaborative initiatives


Income facts

We continue to attract project funding and Government funding as a result of the world leading and internationally excellent research that we do at Sussex.

In 2014 the results of the Government-commissioned Research Excellence Framework (REF) showed that 98 per cent of research activity at Sussex was categorised as ‘world-leading’ (28 per cent), ‘internationally excellent’ (48 per cent) or ‘internationally recognised’ (22 per cent).

The University received research funding for four projects in 2014/15 where the award value exceeded £1m. The projects are as follows:

  • the European Union provided funding toward research in Sensory Experiences for Interactive Technologies
  • the Medical Research Council funded the University of Sussex’s research into Glutamate receptor ion channels and synapse dysfunction
  • the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded two fields of research for the UK Quantum Technology Hub.

In 2014-15 we received £315,000 in gifts and donations, from our Alumni and a variety of benefactors.

More information

Government advice pages on student finance

Advice on scholarships and bursaries

Payment of fees - contact the Student Accounts team:

Student Accounts,
University of Sussex
Sussex House,

The office is open to personal callers Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

0800 849 49 79 (Freephone from UK landlines).
Lines are open Monday to Friday 10.00 - 1.00 pm and 2.00 - 4pm.
**At busy periods priority will be given to telephone callers over email queries**

For scholarship and bursary enquires, email

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