About the Access Programme

The Sussex Access Programme has been developed to offer specific advice, guidance, insights and enrichment to support students in Year 12 and above considering Higher Education.

Programme overview

Our Access Programme offers you the support and guidance to navigate your post-16 education options. It aims to help you make more informed choices about your future and the steps you need to take to get there.

The programme is completely free, and offers you all the tools you might need to shape your own journey.

The programme includes a variety of on-campus university visits and online content to help you make informed decisions. There are no compulsory elements of the programme, which means you can choose to book onto the events that are most useful or interesting to you.

The programme is aimed at all students who are currently in Year 12 or 13, or those students considering returning to education as a mature student. Any student from across the UK can apply. All students will have access to our universal offer, which includes a hub of information, advice and guidance as well as online support and access to our Student Ambassadors via Unibuddy.

I have taken part in most of what Sussex Access Programme has offered, from master classes, tasters, open days, subject trial days, and their summer school. Each allowing me to feel and experience a different part of what university life would be like. I loved each one as they accommodate any person who wants to take part and help in anyway they can.” 2023/2024 Sussex Access Programme student
Varndean College, Brighton

Access Plus

Students who meet our more targeted criteria will be able to sign up to additional events as part of our Access Plus Programme. Our Access Plus Programme entry criteria includes students who:

  • are from areas identified as a low participation neighbourhood or areas with indicators of deprivation (we will check your postcode for you once we've received your application)
  • are in receipt of free school meals, school or college bursary
  • are a care experienced young person
  • are a young carer
  • have a disability, learning difficulty or mental health condition
  • are from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
  • are a refugee or an asylum seeker
  • are a service child
  • are estranged from their family
  • are a mature student.

After signing up to our Access Programme, we will assess whether or not you are eligible to access the additional resources and events on our Access Plus Programme.

Study and See – Introduction to subject

Our Study and See days gives you a chance to have a university-style experience in one of your favourite subjects, or try out subjects you may not have considered before.

You will take part in 45-minute sessions for three subject areas of your choice. The sessions are led by academic staff and supported by current Sussex students. You will learn more about what topics you can study within a subject, explore possible career pathways and speak to students currently studying in that area. You can also take a tour of our campus and attend an Information, Advice and Guidance workshop.

Subject Study Experience

Led by our academics, these on-campus sessions gives you the chance to explore a subject in more depth. We expect some or all of the following subjects to be available:

  • Politics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English
  • Psychology
  • Maths
  • Geography
  • Law.

My tutor 

If you are re-sitting Maths or English GCSE alongside your A Levels or BTECS, you have the option to apply for free My Tutor online sessions, where you are matched with subject-specific tutors from UK universities. You will attend five one-hour weekly sessions to help you achieve your GCSE in one subject of your choice.

GCSE Focus Day

The GCSE focus day is aimed at students who are sitting a GCSE through college or a Further Education setting. You’ll explore the types of questions covered in the Foundation Tier papers and develop effective strategies to help you answer them. You’ll also be shown proven methods for problem solving which might benefit you in other areas of study.

Find your Future: University Essentials

Our Find your Future conferences give you the chance to discover what student life is like. You’ll be able to meet our student ambassadors, explore campus, discover our courses and more.

Sussex access summer school

Our year 12 summer school will give you the chance to experience student life on our beautiful campus. You will study a subject of your choice delivered by our academics. Throughout the summer school you will work independently and in small groups on a short, university-level assignment.

Alongside the academic programme you will attend a variety of fun and informative lectures and workshops. You’ll also get to meet current Sussex students studying a wide variety of courses.

You will stay for three nights in university accommodation, sharing a flat with other students on the Access Programme. Our social programme includes a sports and film evening, a chance to explore Brighton and fun activities in our Student Union.


If you have any queries, email accessprogramme@sussex.ac.uk.