Coronavirus: Advice for applicants

The pandemic has made this a difficult time for anyone applying to university. Here at Sussex, we have a clear plan to help you through this, from your application to when you arrive. Find all the essential information and guidance below.

Updated 17 September 2021

Quarantine support for international students

We’ve put together a Covid-19 Quarantine Support Package for those students travelling from red list countries or amber list countries to help you through the quarantine you must undertake on arrival in the UK.

This package will support you financially and help ensure that you can join us as soon as possible for in-person teaching.

Find all the information you need on our Quarantine Support Package page

You can also see information from the government for international students arriving from red or amber list countries and a letter from Universities minister Michelle Donelan MP.

For more support see our current advice for international applicants.

We’re getting ready to welcome you in September

Our response to Covid-19

Understandably, you may be wondering about our plans to ensure campus is a safe place to live and study, and how applications will be working this year.

The University is open and although life on campus is naturally different due to Covid-19, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by a National Park and we are close to beautiful coastal areas to explore.

As the lockdown restrictions change in the UK, we are hopeful that students joining Sussex in September 2021 will be able to fully enjoy what our campus can offer.

We expect all students to be on campus at the start of term (or by 15 October 2021 at the latest), but we recognise there may need to be some limited exceptions. We will update this page with details of exemptions to this policy as soon as possible.

On this page you can find:

If you are an international applicant, please read our:

Applications for September 2021

The new admissions cycle for entry in September 2021 is well underway and we are pleased to receive undergraduate, Masters and PhD applications.

We will be updating information about any changes to the 2021 admissions cycle below.

Undergraduate applications

We have reduced our entry requirements for 2021 in response to the disruption to your education over the last year or so.

For A-level students, we have generally lowered our typical offers by one grade and our contextual offers by two grades, and we’ve made similar adjustments to other qualifications.

You can see our new requirements on each undergraduate course.

You can also browse our Foundation Year courses or find out more about our contextual offers.

Find answers to other questions you may have in our information for 2021 applicants.

Postgraduate applicants

Due to the disruption at institutions across the world, we are looking very carefully at each application and showing flexibility where we can.

You can see our requirements on each postgraduate course.

We will be mindful of the challenges all students are facing when we review results in the summer.

Find answers to other questions you may have in our information for 2021 applicants.

Information for applicants applying for September 2021

If you’re looking to join Sussex in September 2021 and already hold an offer, or are in the process of applying, we know you’ll have questions about the impact of coronavirus on our admissions process and on the arrangements for joining Sussex.

Much of this information is still emerging, in response to both the vaccine roll out in the UK and the changing situation across the world. We’ll be updating information below throughout the summer so we’d recommend bookmarking this page for future reference.

Questions about applying to Sussex

Questions about my offer and what happens next

  • Do I need to send in my results? Where do I send them?

    If you are a UCAS applicant taking A levels, BTECs, International Baccalaureate or Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers, then you do not need to do anything as your results should be sent to us via UCAS by your examination board.

    However, if you are a UCAS applicant taking another qualification, or a Masters or PhD applicant with conditions attached to your offer, then you (or your agent) will need to provide a formal copy of your results as soon as you receive them.

    The Admissions team are working remotely at the moment, so please avoid sending information to us in the post. We have difficulty accessing physical mail at this time and it can be delayed in reaching us.

    Please can postgraduate applicants upload a copy of their results to their online application account.

    UCAS applicants will have been sent a link to upload their results or can email them to results@sussex.ac.uk

  • What’s the latest I can send in results?

    Please provide your results as soon as you receive them (or arrange for your school or college to provide these). The sooner we receive your results, the sooner we can process your application and support you in making any necessary arrangements for your arrival at Sussex.

    We realise that the Covid pandemic continues to present challenges across the globe and some examinations and assessments are being delayed.

    We are able to accept results up until 7 September 2021.

    If your results are going to arrive after 7 September, we will need to discuss your situation.

  • My results are going to be later than I indicated in my application, what do I do?

    Don’t worry. As long as your results will be available before 7 September 2021, we will be able to consider them.

    Please can postgraduate applicants upload a copy of their results to their online application account.

    UCAS applicants will have been sent a link to upload their results or can email them to results@sussex.ac.uk

    Obviously, it’s important to get the results to us as soon as possible, and if they will only be available after 7 September then please contact us to discuss this.

  • My summer exams have been cancelled, what does this mean for my offer?

    We are obviously aware that the way some qualifications are being assessed this summer has changed (with formal exams being cancelled and new forms of assessment being used).

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

    However, if you know that your qualification will no longer be awarded (or if completion of the qualification has been delayed so your results will not be released until after 7 September 2021), please contact our Admissions Office so that we can advise further:

    We will need to look at each individual case where students can no longer meet the conditions of their offer (or where results will be after 7 September). It is difficult to give general advice, so please contact us to discuss your situation.

    We want to reassure you that our Admissions policies (both Undergraduate and Postgraduate) will reflect the challenging situations that you may be experiencing.

  • I’m worried that I will not get the grades required by my offer. What will happen?

    We realise how difficult the last year has been for everyone across the world and we are doing all we can to adjust our approach in response to this.

    As we did last summer, we will aim to show flexibility for students who narrowly miss the conditions of their offer and we will be mindful of the challenges everyone has faced because of the pandemic.

    If you have particular circumstances (including those unconnected to the Covid pandemic) that you want us to consider when your results are released, please do contact us:

    We always carefully review the applications again of anyone who misses the conditions of their offer, so please send in your results as soon as you receive them (even if your grades are below those required in your offer).

    For undergraduate applicants, we will also automatically consider students for our range of integrated Foundation Years if their grades are too low for direct entry to the first year.

  • What happens if I need to appeal by A-level result?

    We are obviously aware that for UK A-levels, arrangements will be in place if students need to appeal their results.

    We hope that you will receive the correct grade from the start, but we will be happy to review applications again if you need to appeal and if your results change.

    We will not be able to do anything until the outcome of any appeal is known and you have an official change in your grade, but we will always honour original offers (assuming the result is known in time for you to join the course).

    You should contact Undergraduate Admissions (email ug.applicants@sussex.ac.uk) as soon as you have the outcome of your appeal and your amended grade.

  • Can I defer my place to September 2022?

    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, 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 will not be available in September 2022 or if this will be your second deferral. If you are wishing to defer for a second time, we would normally ask you to withdraw and reapply when you are ready to come to Sussex.

    If you do wish to defer, please email your request to the Admissions Office, including your full name and application number:

What will teaching be like in September 2021?

With the successful roll out of the UK vaccination programmes, the University is optimistic that from September 2021 the main form of teaching will be in-person, on campus.

We are planning for the vast majority of teaching, learning and research to be in-person and on campus.

We know that students may sometimes be unable to attend in-person (e.g. due to travel restrictions), and we’re putting alternatives in place so that if you’re in this position, you are still able to meet your learning outcomes, while you prepare to join us on campus once it’s safe for you to do so.

Our students have also told us that they’ve enjoyed elements of online learning over the past year, so where online learning is beneficial we will look to provide this too.

Of course the health and safety of our students and staff Is our priority, so although we will aim for mainly in-person teaching, changes may be needed in response to the global pandemic, informed by government advice. Please see further below for information on how we intend to respond to different scenarios.

What this means for lectures

We are currently planning a return to large lectures, where this is a feature of your course. This will only happen once permitted by Government requirements and following all appropriate risk assessments.

What this means for seminars and tutorials

We are planning for small group teaching to be primarily in-person, wherever possible. It may be necessary for some classes to be offered on-line and your tutor will plan groups depending on the needs of all students.

What this means for practical work in laboratories or workshops

We are planning that practical work in laboratories and workshops will fully resume on campus; as always this is subject to responding to any changes in government advice.

What this means for assessments

We have adapted all assessments including exams, so that they will not normally require in-person attendance and will be conducted online. If there are any exceptions to this, we will notify you what this will mean for you.

What equipment do I need?

You need to ensure that you have equipment which is suitable to study and prepare for assessments, and to access online teaching should government advice change. Find out more about the equipment you will need – and the systems, which the University uses for online teaching here.

  • What will happen to teaching if increased social distancing measures are put in place?

    The University will always prioritise the health and safety of students and staff, and will adhere to government advice – this may mean that changes to teaching have to be made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic if necessary.

    These could include, for example, the requirement to wear face coverings indoors, provision of a mix of online and in-person lectures or seminars if there are social distancing requirements, and the availability of pre-recorded lectures.

    In these circumstances, please expect to receive a mix of live interactive learning, either in the classroom or online, for each of your modules across the semester. You may hear this referred to as either dual mode or simultaneous delivery.

    Please do view the video below which gives an indication of the various measures which have been taken in the past year to help keep everyone safe, and which we can replicate again if required.

    The video here was published in September 2020 and shows some of the measures we put in place for Autumn Term 2020.

    What this means for lectures

    If there are restrictions to the number of students that can attend a lecture in person because of social distancing requirements, we will use a booking system that enables some students to attend in person and for others to experience the lecture either via live-streaming or via a recording. The booking system will be operated to allow equal access to in-person lectures and aims to ensure that no student misses out on attending a ‘live’ class.

    What this means for seminars and tutorials

    It may be necessary for some classes to be offered on-line and your tutor will plan groups depending on the needs of all students.

    What this means for practical work in laboratories or workshops

    This is dependent on Government advice. If there is a requirement for social distancing, we will carefully assess how many staff and students can be in a lab or practical space. All our spaces have been risk assessed and we are now very experienced at working safely in these sorts of spaces. If necessary, we may use the booking system to enable students to book time in the lab/practical space. The booking system will be operated to allow equal access to in-person practical work and to ensure that no student misses out.

    What this means for assessments

    We have adapted all assessments including exams, so that they will not normally require in-person attendance. If there are any exceptions to this, we will notify you what this will mean for you.

    What equipment do I need?

    You need to ensure that you have equipment which is suitable to study and prepare for online assessments, and to access online teaching should government advice change. Find out more about the equipment you will need – and the systems which the University uses for online teaching here.

  • What will happen to teaching if there is a lockdown?

    If there is a further national or local lockdown, we are ready to move all teaching online for that period, using the experiences of the past 18 months to continue to deliver an excellent teaching and learning experience that meets all learning objectives. We’re pleased to report that our students have told us that they’ve enjoyed many elements of online learning over the past year.

    If there is a further lockdown period, we will communicate directly with you to let you know what these means for you and your course.

    What this means for lectures, seminars and tutorials

    If we need to move to online teaching and learning you will experience a mix of live online interactive sessions accompanied activities you can follow and complete in your own time – this is sometimes referred to as asynchronous teaching. This is learning that does not occur at the same time for a whole class, but students can access resources and communicate at any time. You may find that this happens more in some weeks than others and will happen alongside other ways of learning and reading.

    This means you will continue to be able to fully engage with your tutors and other students.

    Your tutors are strongly committed to ensuring you receive the highest quality online experience.

    What happens to lab and workshops?

    If we are required to go into full lockdown, in-person sessions in laboratories and workshops would need to be suspended. Over the course of the last eighteen months many subject areas have developed innovative online methods to enable lab work to continue. Where this is not possible, we would make adjustments to enable you to access the lab/workshop as soon as this was permitted. If access was restricted for a significant period, we would contact you to let you know what this would mean for you.

    What this means for assessments

    We have adapted all assessments including exams, so that they will not normally require in-person attendance. If there are any exceptions to this, we will notify you what this will mean for you.

Will I still be able to study abroad?

We are optimistic that for students starting in September 2021, that planned study abroad years in 2023-24 will be able to go ahead. However, this does depend on the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as any other potential local factors (for example war or terrorism) and the safety of our students will always be prioritised in assessing whether years abroad can take place. We will keep all situations under review and keep students informed nearer the time.

Will I still be able to go on a placement / field trip?

If the government’s full relaxation of the restrictions which have been in place due to Covid-19 continues to go ahead and remains in place, then placements and field trips should hopefully be able to take place as planned. However, we cannot guarantee – even if all restrictions are removed – that third parties, such as placement providers, might continue to have their own requirements in place which could impact on taking part, e.g. limitations on numbers.

Of course, if the trajectory of the pandemic necessitates changes then we would adhere to these, which could include postponing or cancelling field trips/placements. We will keep this under close review, and keep students informed. At all times, however, we will ensure that measures are put in place to support students and ensure that learning outcomes are met.

What will research supervision look like in September 2021?

In September 2021, the University is hoping that most supervision and research activities will be delivered in-person on campus. If for any reason the University decides to offer blended learning, with some activities online, then it will do so.

With our PhDs, you will receive at least one supervision meeting each month, in addition to research activities where you and your fellow PhD students can engage with Faculty and learn together.

If your plan of doctoral research includes the collection of data overseas whilst on fieldwork, this will be under continual review and will be supported when it is safe to do so. We will, of course, always prioritise health and safety and it may be necessary to make other changes during the academic year.

What will happen if staff are unavailable due to Covid-19?

The trajectory of the pandemic may mean that staff may unable to deliver teaching at some points in the year, for example if they have to self-isolate because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or have come into close contact with someone who has. All schools in the University have a series of actions which they will put in place if this occurs and will seek, where possible, to provide a substitute tutor.

I am an international student – will I get support to quarantine?

We’ve put together a Covid-19 Quarantine Support Package for those students travelling from red list countries or amber list countries to help you through the quarantine you must undertake on arrival in the UK.

This package will support you financially and help ensure that you can join us as soon as possible for in-person teaching.

Find all the information you need on our Quarantine Support Package page.

I am considering a change to my studies – where can I get information?

Our Student Life Centre has a wealth of knowledge and information about issues, groups and services both on- and off-campus. They can also provide you with advice on your studies, helping you deal with any concerns and providing information if you are considering making any changes.

Please visit the Student Life Centre website for further information.

For information on making changes to your application form, including changing your course or deferring, please visit our Changes to application page.

For advice on transfers or withdrawals you can find information, advice and guidance from the Student Life Centre on our Withdrawal pages.

For advice on changes to your studies and how this might affect your student visa please visit our Visa pages.

Volume and arrangements of contact hours

Regardless of the delivery mode (i.e. in-person, dual delivery or online), we will ensure that you will receive the contact hours for each module as outlined.

Keeping you updated

We will keep you updated on all measures necessary in response to changes in the Covid-19 pandemic, including as a result of updated government guidance.

Please do bookmark this page and check it regularly so that you are fully informed. In the event of a significant adjustment to our teaching delivery in response to the pandemic, we shall email all students.

Complaints

If you have a concern about an aspect of your student experience at Sussex, you can let us know. See the options available, including our complaints procedure, by visiting our complaints pages.

For more detail on how you'll be taught, please refer to our Your education page.


Starting at Sussex

Teaching

See our information on what teaching and research supervision will be like in September 2021.

Arriving and starting at Sussex

  • When do I need to arrive at Sussex?

    We are planning for students to join us in September 2021 and to return to mainly campus based teaching and learning, recognising that some students may need to study remotely because of ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic

    Your offer letter will include the start date for your course.

    Exactly when you arrive depends on your course and whether you are living in university-managed accommodation.

    We publish our full term dates, but most new students will arrive for Welcome Week, commencing on Monday 20 September 2021.

    Teaching begins on Monday 27 September 2021.

    PhD students would also normally be here for the start of term on Monday 27 September 2021.

    We expect all students to be on campus at the start of term (or by 15 October 2021 at the latest), but we recognise there may need to be some limited exceptions.

    Find details of these exceptions and what to do here.

    If you are arriving in the UK from another country, read our guidance and more about the support we're offering .

  • What do I do if my flights are delayed or cancelled?

    We are monitoring flight routes carefully and recognise that there is a chance that some flight routes may be affected by Covid restrictions in future. If we learn about specific issues, we will update our guidance on this webpage. Please keep an eye on our website for further updates.

    If you are arriving in the UK from another country, read our guidance and more about the support we're offering .

  • What will happen if there are changes in the Covid-19 pandemic?

    The University will always prioritise the health and safety of students and staff, and will adhere to government advice – this may mean that changes to teaching have to be made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic if necessary. These could include, for example, continuing the requirement to wear face coverings indoors, provision of a mix of online and in-person lectures or seminars if there are social distancing requirements, and the availability of pre-recorded lectures.

    We have adapted all assessments including exams, so that they will not normally require in-person attendance. If there are any exceptions to this we will notify you what this will mean for you.

    If there is a further national or local lockdown we are ready to move all teaching online for that period, using the experiences of the past 18 months to continue to deliver an excellent teaching and learning experience that meets all learning objectives. If there is a further lockdown period, we will communicate directly with you to let you know what these means for you and your course.

    Find out more about what will happen if there are changes in the Covid-19 pandemic here.

  • If government guidelines change, will the way I access my learning change?

    Depending on the guidance from the UK Government, if changes are necessary you can expect to receive a mix of live interactive learning, either in the classroom or online, per module, across the semester. You may hear this referred to as either dual mode or simultaneous delivery.

    This live interactive learning would also be accompanied by asynchronous teaching. This is learning that does not occur at the same time for a whole class, but students can access resources and communicate at any time. You may find that this happens more in some weeks than others and will happen alongside other ways of learning and reading.

    This means you will continue to be able to fully engage with your tutors and other students.

    Your tutors are strongly committed to ensuring you receive the highest quality online experience.

    Find out more about what will happen if there are changes in the Covid-19 pandemic here.

  • From what date will I be charged for my accommodation?

    If you have applied for and accepted University managed accommodation, you will be charged from the date of your arrival or 18th September 2021, whichever is earliest.

    If you arrive prior to 10th September in order to quarantine, you may not be charged for your quarantine period, subject to conditions.

    Please refer to our Quarantine Support Package page for more details.

  • Can I cancel my University managed accommodation?

    You may cancel your University accommodation, without penalty, provided this is done prior to 18th September 2021 and only if you have not yet moved into the room. You must notify the Housing Office in writing, prior to this date, of your wish to terminate your housing agreement.

    You can contact the Housing Office by emailing housing@sussex.ac.uk

  • What happens to my accommodation if I plan to arrive after 18th September 2021?

    You must notify the Housing Office if you plan on arriving after 18th September 2021, in order to guarantee your housing. You will still be charged for your room from 18th September 2021. We will only hold your room until 15th October.

    You can contact the Housing Office by emailing housing@sussex.ac.uk

  • What happens if I leave the University after arrival?

    If you withdraw from your course of study after arrival, you may terminate your housing agreement with four weeks written notice. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Residence.

    You can contact the Housing Office by emailing housing@sussex.ac.uk

Delayed arrivals

  • What happens if I’m delayed in arriving?

    We are planning for students to join us in September 2021 and to return to mainly campus-based teaching and learning, recognising that some students may need to temporarily study remotely because of ongoing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Most new students will arrive for Welcome Week, commencing on Monday 20 September 2021. Term starts on Monday 27 September 2021.

    However, we will do all we can to support students if they are delayed in reaching the campus.

    You should aim to arrive as soon as possible, but if you are delayed, we will still be able to accept you as long as you can arrive by Friday 15 October 2021.

    If you are an international student joining Sussex on a Student Visa, then this ‘latest arrival date’ of 15 October will automatically have been included in your CAS.

    It will be important for you to begin the registration process when this opens. You must also start engaging with teaching and learning once this begins (from Monday 27 September). You will receive an email inviting you to complete the registration process.

    We expect all students to be on campus at the start of term (Monday 27 September 2021), or by 15 October 2021 at the latest, but we recognise there may need to be some limited exceptions.

    If it is not possible for you to join us on campus for the start of term (Monday 27 September 2021), or by 15 October 2021 at the latest, you will be able to tell us as part of the formal registration process if you are in one of the following categories:

    • you are resident in a country which currently prohibits travel to the UK
    • you currently have Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19 and you are required to self-isolate
    • you have an immune suppressed condition
    • your visa application has been delayed because of local administrative problems (e.g. because of visa processing delays or visa applications being closed)
    • you are subject to other legal restrictions that prevent travel.

    You do not need to contact the University separately to tell us if you are in one of these categories.

    If you are arriving in the UK from another country, read our guidance and more about the support we're offering .

  • Will I be able to study remotely during the next academic year?

    If you are not able to travel to the UK to take up your place at Sussex in person due to one or more of the reasons set out below, please be assured that we will provide you with an appropriate form of remote study until you are able to arrive on campus during Term 1 (Monday 27 September - Friday 10 December 2021).

    • you are resident in a country which currently prohibits travel to the UK
    • you currently have Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19 and you are required to self-isolate
    • you have an immune suppressed condition
    • your visa application has been delayed because of local administrative problems (e.g. because of visa processing delays or visa applications being closed)
    • you are subject to other legal restrictions that prevent travel.

    We know that students may sometimes be unable to attend in-person so we’re putting alternatives in place. Our students have told us that they’ve enjoyed elements of online learning over the past year, so if you’re in this position, you will still be able to meet your learning outcomes while you prepare to join us on campus once it’s safe for you to do so.

    If you are arriving in the UK from another country, read our guidance and more about the support we're offering .

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 study@sussex.ac.uk

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

Here are other contact details which may be useful: