Coronavirus Covid-19

The University of Sussex is responding to the situation regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus and is taking all appropriate measures.

20 October 2020

The University's campus has reopened for the start of the new academic year. We will be delivering a mix of campus-based and remote learning in the autumn term.

  • The University is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our students, staff and local communities when the new academic year begins 

  • We have completely redesigned how our curriculum and campus works to make sure it is Covid-safe 

  • We structured the arrival of students to campus to adopt the latest government and sector guidance

  • We are proud of the role we have played – and continue to play – in tackling Covid-19, through opening up our equipment, research and services for the benefit of the local area and beyond 

Our new academic year started on Monday 21 September and teaching began on 28 September. There is a mix of campus-based learning experiences and remote approaches. We are running some on-campus classroom and laboratory-based teaching, including small group work, seminars and tutorials, and are ensuring that there is plenty of space to adhere to social distancing rules.  

If a student lives in a country with travel restrictions has been unable to join us in September, they can register to begin their course online and can study in this way up to January 2021.  


In these extraordinary times, the University is working with organisations and communities to contribute towards local, national and global efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about our response to Covid-19.


Preparing our campus for the start of term

We are closely following guidance from the government and taking comprehensive steps to make sure our campus remains a safe and welcoming place for students to live, work and study.

We’ve put in place measures including those related to:

  • face coverings
  • hand-washing
  • cleaning regimes for campus buildings and spaces
  • physical distancing on campus
  • Covid-19 reporting
  • communal areas on campus
  • enhanced student support

Visit the Student Hub for more information.

Covid-19 cases amongst our community

We currently have confirmed reports of 43 positive cases amongst our University community (as of 18 October 2020). As well as the students and staff who are positive, all of their housemates/households are also now in self-isolation, as per the Government guidance. We will continue to be open about the number of cases in our staff and student community and we will share updated figures daily via our dashboard at 3pm on weekdays and then provide data on a Monday for the weekend.

At the present time, we are advised that the level of positive cases in our community is not at a level whereby it should change our current mode of blended learning for students. 

However, if the number of cases rises to a point that we feel that we need to restrict movement around campus, such as reducing the number of indoor spaces where people mix (even with face coverings on) we will do that.   

We have a clear plan in place for a range of potential changes, which is in line with guidance from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Department for Education (DfE).

Staff and students in self-isolation

We have a number of students (on and off campus) who have been self-isolating because they have received a positive test result. 

As well as the individuals who are positive, all of their housemates are also now in self-isolation, as per the Government guidance. The signs are that our students are taking their responsibilities to self-isolate very seriously and we are providing them with a range of support measures.

We also have some international students who are self-isolating because they have travelled to the University from a country on the Government’s quarantine list. Students in self-isolation are provided with a variety of services to help them during this time, including food and meal deliveries and welfare support. 

Information and advice for students

The University has provided students with a wide range of information about how the University is operating this term, and all the health and safety measures that are in place. You can read about these on the Student Hub

Further information

Like everyone, students and staff should continue to follow official guidance, which you can find here:

We will of course communicate at the earliest opportunity if there are any significant developments to share with our community. This page will be updated as and when information becomes available and you can see the guidance we have been sharing with our students on the Student Hub.