Coronavirus: Advice for applicants

We are currently expecting to welcome thousands of students to our campus and Brighton accommodation in time for Welcome Week (which begins Monday 21 September 2020). But we understand this is still a complex time, so you will find all the information you need about starting at Sussex this year below.

Updated 14 August

We’re getting ready to welcome you in September

  • Video transcript

    As our campus begins to reopen, we’re getting ready to welcome you. We’ll be offering a mix of learning.

    Whilst much will be online at first, there will be classroom learning too.

    We’re prioritising what we know works best in the classroom, like small group learning, tutorials and seminars. And we’re combining these with other ways of remote learning, so you can learn at a time that best suits you.

    Where it’s safe, we’re making sure campus facilities are open. This includes carefully managed access to our wonderful library, where we have a new click-and-collect service. So you’ll never be without the books you need.

    Our facilities are right on your doorstep. You can safely get your clothes cleaned, buy fresh bread, visit the pharmacy or see the doctor all on campus. Even the local supermarkets and takeaways deliver here!

    We know that the past few months have been really tough, and we understand you might have some concerns about starting University. But our advisors in all of our student support services are here to help, and talk through anything that’s worrying you. For new students, our Pre-Welcome programme 'Get Ready' launches shortly after you receive your results and our Welcome Week 'Get Settled' includes activities to help you find out everything you need to get started. At Sussex you never need to feel alone.

    We’ve adapted seminar rooms, labs and study spaces.

    And we’ll be regularly deep cleaning our buildings and equipment. Our management teams will be a very familiar sight on campus! We’ve installed hand sanitiser stations too. And our Estates Team have working to manage pathways, to give you the freedom to move around campus safely.

    Face masks will be available for everyone, when they need to be worn inside. We’re all in this together.

    We understand the importance of getting to know people and Covid has taught us new ways of doing this. Even with social distancing in place, loads of societies will be open online with many others, like our popular dog walking society back up and running as soon as possible.

    Our brilliant sports facilities will be open too. So if you’re keen to keep fit, have a kick about, or do the occasional yoga class, we’ll make sure there’s something for you.

    The Student Union will also be here for you every step of the way. They’ll help you settle in, provide platforms for debate and discussion – and have some fun too!

    There will be so many ways to enjoy Sussex from day one. We can’t wait to welcome you!

What is happening in September 2020?

Although the current situation in the UK is subject to change, we are currently expecting to welcome you and thousands of other students to our campus and Brighton accommodation in time for Welcome Week (which begins Monday 21 September 2020).

Please be assured that our first priority is to make sure that our Sussex campus will be a safe place to live and study. To ensure this, there will be a mix of classroom (and laboratory-based) and online teaching. If social distancing rules still apply in September, we will have set-up all the safety measures that we need.

So, whether you are attending classes in person, staying in student residences or moving about campus, our amazing Estates and Student Support teams have thought of everything. As a campus University that’s close to the coast and countryside, there’s no shortage of open space and fresh air to enjoy.

We’re looking forward to the start of a new academic year and the opportunities that brings for everyone. We have included lots of information below about what you can expect when you arrive here, so take a moment to imagine lying on Brighton beach or walking in the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park and then dive in.

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Sussex for the start of the academic year. However, we’re aware there might be some students unable to do so at that time because of international travel restrictions. If you live in a country with travel restrictions and will be unable to join us in September, you can register to begin your course online and can study in this way, up to January 2021. Find out more.

  • Will the Sussex campus be open for the start of term in September?

    We are expecting to welcome thousands of students to our campus and Brighton accommodation during Welcome Weekend in September (Saturday and Sunday 19 and 20 September 2020). This year we are, of course, making additional preparations. Although we all need to wait to hear about any new UK Government advice over the coming weeks, we’re busy getting our beautiful campus ready for the new academic year. For example, we are currently creating new walkways and navigation aids, to ensure safely-spaced movement around campus.

    We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Sussex for the start of the academic year. However, we’re aware there might be some students unable to do so at that time because of international travel restrictions. If you live in a country with travel restrictions and will be unable to join us in September, you can register to begin your course online and can study in this way, up to January 2021. Find out more.

  • When does term start? Have the dates changed due to Covid-19?

    Our dates for the start of term remain unchanged:

    • Welcome Weekend is Saturday and Sunday 19 and 20 September 2020
    • Term starts at Sussex on Monday 21 September 2020
    • Teaching starts on Monday 28 September 2020.

    Take a look at our full term dates.

  • What will the University be doing to protect my health and wellbeing?

    We will be closely following guidance from the UK government and Public Health England. We are taking comprehensive steps to make sure our campus remains a safe and welcoming place for you to live, work and study.

    Our commitment to your health, safety and wellbeing means that we are putting in place a range of measures for the start of the new academic year, which will include (but will not be limited to) the following:

    Welcome programme and student induction

    • as part of our welcome and induction activities, we will provide you with clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, library, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. There will also be many opportunities to meet new people and have fun! We’ll make sure you have information on the huge programme of activity.

    Personal hygiene

    • hand sanitiser stations across campus will be clearly labelled
    • all members of the Sussex community will need to follow the clear guidelines relating to personal hygiene and the way they interact with others.


    • extensive and thorough cleaning and sterilising regimes will apply in all spaces on campus used by students and staff.

    Physical distancing on campus

    • we will use rooms across campus to support face-to-face teaching in small groups
    • to help manage numbers in high-traffic areas, we will operate one-way systems in the corridors of buildings on campus
    • to avoid congestion, we will limit the numbers of people allowed in each building or room
    • special rules will apply in confined spaces, such as cafes and toilets, to make physical distancing as easy as possible
    • to reduce congestion on campus, many staff will continue to work mostly from home.

    Face coverings

    • you are required by law to wear a face covering inside shops, supermarkets and banks – including those on our campus; by law, you must also wear one in our campus cafes when you are buying food or drink to take away
    • we may also require the use of face coverings in certain other rooms and buildings on campus and also for certain activities
    • you are required by law to wear a face covering when you travel to or from campus on public transport (i.e. by bus or train)
    • this is an evolving situation, and we will continue to update our advice; it is based on the changing UK government guidance, as well as University considerations, and we are taking students’ views into account at all stages.

    Covid-19 reporting

    • according to UK law, anyone who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to undertake a test and may have to self-isolate; those who have been in contact with them will be identified and will also be asked to take a test.

    Communal areas

    • some facilities (for example, sadly, social areas in the Students’ Union building) will remain closed for the time being – we will let our community know when these will be re-opening
    • we're pleased to announce our two on-campus gyms will be open from Tuesday 1 September. There will be plenty of opportunities for fitness, sport and well-being both in-person and online.

    Student support

    • our Student Life Centre team will be offering a mixture of online, telephone and face-to-face services, which will be tailored to reflect the current circumstances and to meet your needs.
  • What will teaching be like in the Autumn Term?

    Once you get here, there will be a mix of classroom (and laboratory-based) and remote learning.

    During the autumn term, you can expect a minimum of 11 hours of live interactive learning, either in the classroom or online, per module, across the semester. This will enable you to engage with your tutors and fellow students alongside a range of other types of online learning plus some classroom (campus-based) teaching.

    There is lots of new information on our teaching and learning page, to help you to understand how we are going to deliver an inspirational learning experience at Sussex in September. We’re updating this as planning progresses, so do please take another look now, and check in regularly over the coming weeks.

    If you’re wondering what the online experience will be like, we have considerable expertise and you’ll find that it complements our classroom teaching. The quality of our online teaching will be at least as good as you would get in any of our classrooms.

    We also have tried and tested mechanisms for making sure you won’t miss out on the opportunity to meet and learn from your peers. Our students have told us how important these sorts of interactions can be, so we’ve built them in to the Sussex offering. There is also a host of interactive and fun ways for our students to get involved in life outside of the curriculum – whether that’s in person or virtually.

  • What technology will I need to study online?

    Find out more about what you will need to study online at Sussex on our equipment and technology page.

  • As a new student, how will I get to know other people? Will there be induction and social events when I arrive?

    As a new student, you’ll take part in the University’s Welcome Week. During Welcome Week, you will have a full and exciting programme of events, to help you become part of the Sussex community. Whether this is online or in person – or a mixture of the two – the quality will be the same as any other year. The Sussex welcome is known for its energy and warmth. You will meet your fellow students in a safe, helpful and welcoming environment. We will soon be sharing the kinds of things you can expect from Welcome Week on our website.

  • What do I need to know about housing?

    If you are eligible and want to live in University-managed accommodation, then you should submit a housing application by the required housing deadline.

    There is no cost to the housing application, but it’s really important to apply by the relevant deadline. If for any reason you are unable to take up your place at Sussex in September, you just need to let us know at the earliest opportunity.

    We will start making accommodation offers from 13 August 2020 for those who have applied for University-managed accommodation and will continue to do until the end of September.

    If you have an offer for University-managed accommodation and need to quarantine on arrival to Sussex, we can provide rooms free of charge from 1st September for the required quarantine period of 14 days.

    If you were planning to move into University-managed accommodation, but are unable to move to Sussex in time for the start of term in September, we will allocate you a room and you will not be charged for your accommodation until you arrive and pick up your keys. We will keep your room ready for you until the end of October 2020.

    See our accommodation pages for more information about housing.

  • Will students coming from abroad have to quarantine? Will the University support me during this period?

    Current coronavirus regulations mean that you will need to self-isolate for 14 days when you enter the UK from certain countries. From 10 July 2020, unless you have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, you don’t need to self-isolate on entering the UK if you are travelling from a country on the UK’s ‘travel corridor’ list. This list will be kept under review by the British government and is subject to change.

    If you need to quarantine on arrival, and have accepted an offer for University managed accommodation for the forthcoming academic year, we can provide you a room free of charge from September 1 for the required 14 day quarantine period. Further details will be available shortly.

  • If I’m travelling from outside the UK, how can I get to campus safely when I arrive in the UK?

    Public transport systems are open in the UK, but you will need to wear a face-covering.

    Our campus has really good train links to Gatwick Airport, which is only about 30 minutes away. You can find further information about travelling to the campus here.

    We are also looking into travel options for students so that you have the best welcome when you arrive in the UK – and we will share more information very soon.

  • Will I experience any unfriendly behaviour because of my nationality?

    We care passionately that the University of Sussex environment, both online and on campus, is a warm and welcoming place where everyone feels safe, supported and included, and that all our students are treated with dignity and respect.

    At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, before lockdown measures were introduced and the campus was full, the support for everyone in our community was extremely strong – especially those students who had recently travelled from other parts of the world.

    We will continue to emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. We will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind and ask that this is reported to our Student Life Centre without delay – and action will be taken, as well as support offered to anyone who has concerns.

    Our community understand that some students prefer to always wear face-masks and we welcome students to do what feels best for them.

Information for applicants who can't get to campus in Semester One

More information for applicants

I’m thinking of applying or have applied and am waiting for a decision

  • 1. Are you still accepting applications for September?

    Yes, we’re still open for applications for September for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

    If you are applying for an undergraduate degree then you apply via UCAS. UCAS closed their main application cycle on 30 June 2020, but dont worry. You can still apply through Clearing.

    Clearing is available once you have all the results from your qualifications. We have places on almost all undergraduate courses.

    If you are looking for a place on a Masters degree, another postgraduate taught course or a research (PhD) degree, then you normally apply direct to the University via our own postgraduate application system.

    Find full details about how to apply for a masters course or how to apply for a PhD.

    In line with Government advice, staff in Admissions are working remotely. We are still processing applications, but working remotely may result in some delays. We are doing all we can to maintain our usual applicant services, but thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

    Please do contact us if you have any questions.

  • 2. I’ve already applied to Sussex, but am waiting for a decision. Are you still processing applications?

    Yes, we are still processing applications. However, in line with Government advice, all teaching is now online and most staff, including those in Admissions, are working remotely.

    We are doing all we can to maintain our usual applicant services, but working remotely may result in some delays. If you have questions about your application, please contact the Admissions Office.

    We are aiming to operate our phone lines from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and are also responding to emails. The contact details are as follows. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding if there is a delay in responding to your application and any enquiries.

    Undergraduate Admissions: phone +44 (0)1273 678416 or email

    Masters and other Postgraduate Taught Admissions: phone +44 (0)1273 877773 or email

    PhD Admissions: phone +44 (0)1273 877773 or email

I’ve got a conditional offer from Sussex

  • 3. I’m trying to decide whether to accept my offer from Sussex. Can I still visit?

    In line with Government advice, we’re afraid it’s not possible to visit the University at the moment and the University has had to cancel the remaining Applicant Visit Days for undergraduate offer holders.

    However, we’ve created the Applicant Hub to provide you with an array of information about Sussex. Explore a virtual tour of campus, watch subject-specific videos and presentations, and read up on guides to student life, including accommodation, funding and life in Brighton.

  • 4. I’m worried because my exams have been cancelled.

    We understand that you have been working towards your academic qualifications so you can continue your education at university.

    Following the UK, and many other countries’ decisions to close schools, colleges and universities, we realise many of you will have disrupted studies and your final exams and assessments may have been cancelled. We want to reassure you that in these very uncertain times, our Admissions policies (both Undergraduate and Postgraduate) will reflect the challenging situations that you may be experiencing.

    Applicants across the world are experiencing similar circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic and we will, of course, be applying understanding and fair admission policies to all our applicants.

    For most qualifications, we are still expecting students to receive a final award (even if the way it is assessed may be different to normal). If you are still expecting to receive the qualification required in the conditions of your offer then we will consider these results.

    However, if you know that your qualification will no longer be awarded (or if you results will be delayed beyond the end of August), please do contact our Admissions Office so that we can advise further:

    Undergraduate applicants should email or telephone +44 (0)1273 678416.

    Postgraduate applicants should email or telephone +44 (0)1273 877773.

    In this rapidly evolving situation we will update this page with the latest decisions the University makes to ensure your hard work to date is evaluated fairly. So please do bookmark this page.

  • 5. Now that A-levels are cancelled, will you just make all the offers unconditional?

    No. As A-level students will still be awarded with grades this summer, we are expecting the Confirmation (and Clearing) process to operate broadly as normal. If you’ve received a conditional offer, we will await details of your A-level results from the examination boards later in the summer. You’ve worked hard on your studies and it’s important that we recognise this and still assess your application based on the results that are awarded.

    Obviously, we realise that the way in which the grade is awarded will be very different. We want to reassure you that we will look closely again at all applications when results are published should you miss the conditions of your offer. Our normal practice is to look carefully at anyone who narrowly misses, but this will be especially true this year given the challenges everyone has been facing. We look to take as many students as we can into their chosen degree and, where students have missed the requirements by too much, we also have our integrated foundation years which provide a different route into the University.

    You might also want to see our general advice about how the process of confirming your place works.

  • 6. I’m sitting (or resitting) my A-levels as a private candidate, so may not get a grade. What do I do?

    If you’re taking your A-levels as a private candidate (because you’re studying independently, resitting one or more A-levels outside school or college, or because you’ve been home-schooled), we realise you may be anxious about how (or if) you’ll be awarded a grade under the new exam board arrangements. We know Ofqual have been exploring options and, obviously, we hope that you will still be provided with a grade. However, if you have already heard that you won’t be given a grade or you’re worried about your situation, please do contact us and we can review your individual case.

    We will do all we can to support students in their progression to University this year. Our integrated foundation years may provide an option for some students who are no longer able to get resit grades this summer or there may be other ways for us to assess your application. It very much depends on your individual circumstances.

    Please do contact our Admissions Office by emailing or telephone +44 (0)1273 678416.

  • 7. I’m worried that my exam results will be late.

    We realise that Coronavirus is causing all sorts of challenges for students completing qualifications or taking English language tests. We are happy to accept results as late as 31 August 2020, and will work with you if it looks as though your result will be later than this. We are also preparing for a situation where applicants are unable to take their exams at all (please see point 4 above), and we will be developing admissions arrangements for those who do not have results, so there is no need for concern.

    If it gets to late August and you know your results will be late, please contact our Admissions Office who will be able to help. For undergraduate students, email and for postgraduate students, email

  • 8. I can’t get a place on an IELTS test or other English language test?

    We realise that registering for an IELTS or other English language test is difficult at the moment (and impossible in some countries). We do recognise a range of English language qualifications at Sussex and have recently approved the use of the Duolingo English test. Please check the pages below to see details of the full range of English language evidence we recognise:

    We’ve already agreed that we’ll accept the IELTS General Training test this year as well as IELTS Academic and we know IELTS and other English testing services are doing all they can to provide test spaces. We are continually reviewing options so bookmark this page for latest news.

    If you think you have other evidence of English language, please send evidence to our Admissions Office. For undergraduate students, email and for postgraduate students, email

  • 9. What’s the deadline for submitting my results and certificates to admissions?

    You should send through your results as soon as you receive them. We are happy to accept results as late as 31 August 2020 and we will work with you if it looks as though your result will be later than this.

    If it gets to late August and you know your results will be late please contact our Admissions Office and they will help you. For undergraduate students, email and for postgraduate students, email

  • 10. I’ve missed examinations because of the Coronavirus Covid-19 /I’ve had to self-isolate so this has impacted on my studies, what do I do?

    If you’ve faced any sort of challenge in the run up to or during your examinations and you think this will impact on your results, please let us know. We’ll then make sure we add information to your application record so that this can be taken into account when we receive your results. Obviously, the current global situation is impacting on many of our applicants so we are very aware of the difficulties being faced. But if you want to provide us with details of your situation, we’ll make sure this is added to your record.

    We are also expecting that many of our applicants will not have been able to take their examinations at all, and will be adapting our admissions policies accordingly – please see point 4 above.

    If you need to contact our Admissions Office, undergraduate students should email and postgraduate students should email

  • 11. What happens if I miss the conditions of my offer?

    We will always carefully review applications again if you miss the conditions of the offer. This will be particularly true this year given all the difficulties and challenges people are facing all over the world. Please rest assured we will carefully review all cases if you miss your conditions.

    For undergraduate students, we have integrated foundations for those who don’t achieve the grades for entry direct into the 1st year. We will automatically consider you for these foundations, but we’ll first reconsider your application to see if we can still offer Year 1 entry.

    For Masters applicants, we will again carefully review results if you have missed the conditions of your offer, so it’s important that you do send in your results as soon as you receive them – even if they are below the conditions of your original offer.

  • 12. My offer is to start in September 2021, will I be treated the same as students with offers to start in September 2020?

    Yes. We adopt the same policy for anyone applying in the 2020 admissions cycle, regardless of whether they are planning to start this September or in September 2021 (after a gap year).

I’ve got an unconditional offer from Sussex

  • 13. I’ve got an unconditional offer, but is this still OK for September?

    Yes, your unconditional offer at Sussex still stands.

  • 14. I’m worried that I’ll be late arriving in September because of Coronavirus travel restrictions

    Whilst we still hope most students will still arrive in time for Welcome Week, from Monday 21 September 2020, or the start of teaching, on Monday 28 September 2020, we do recognise that some students may be unavoidably delayed. If this happens, you will still be able to join Sussex as late as the end of our third week of teaching (on Friday 16 October 2020). What will be important will be to stay in touch with the University and to arrive as soon as you can.

    If you need to contact our Admissions Office, undergraduate students should email and postgraduate students should email

  • 15. What happens if I pay my postgraduate tuition fee deposit and then cannot attend?

    We’ll refund the tuition fee deposit if you cannot attend because of Coronavirus Covid-19. Although self-funding international postgraduate taught students are required to pay a £2,000 tuition fee deposit before you can get your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for your Tier 4 General Student visa application, we fully understand that students may find that they cannot attend because of problems connected to Coronavirus. If this happens, we’ll refund the deposit.

  • 16. I’m due to start in September. Can I defer my place? And, if so, how?

    Yes, it’s normally possible to defer your place once. However, if your reason for deferring is linked to the current global pandemic, we’d encourage you to hold onto your offer for now.

    If, closer to the start of term, you are unable to attend (or are worried about moving to the University), we’ll help with any request to defer your place.

    We automatically allow one deferral at Sussex (except for the MA in Development Studies in the Institute for Development Studies). You can defer right up until the start of term. Deferring is only not possible in the unlikely situation that your chosen course isn’t running in 2021.

    So we strongly recommend that you hold off deferring for the time being. If you do eventually decide to defer, please just email your request to the Admissions Office, including your full name and application number, to for undergraduate students and for postgraduate students.

Questions for everyone

Pre-sessional English Course Online

In response to the global coronavirus outbreak, we have developed an 8-week online pre-sessional English course.

The course has been created with the expertise of our Technology Enhanced Learning specialists to ensure that you receive the same high level of flexible, tailored English learning support that you would receive in-person.

Find out more and apply to our online Pre-sessional English Course

Useful links


Find your space at Sussex

What would you like to do next?

Contact us

For general queries, ask us a question online or email

If you have questions about your application, please contact Admissions on:

Here are other contact details which may be useful: