Coronavirus: Advice for applicants
The pandemic continues to impact all our lives. Whilst most of the teaching, learning and research at Sussex has returned to in-person and on campus, there are still some changes in response to the global pandemic. Find all the essential information and guidance below.
Our response to Covid-19
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.
With the majority of teaching, learning and research being back on campus and in-person, you can find guidance on our Student Hub on all the different ways students are being taught this year. You can also find out how we’re keeping campus safe for everyone throughout the ongoing pandemic.
On this page you can find:
- information about starting at Sussex in January 2022
- information about applications for September 2022.
We also have information for international applicants.
We look forward to welcoming new MBA and January-start PhD students, as well as Visiting and Exchange students, early in the New Year.
With the successful rollout of the UK vaccination programmes, we are pleased to have seen the main form of teaching and research return to being on-campus since September 2021.
We expect the vast majority of teaching, learning and research to continue to be in-person and on campus in the New Year.
If you are a new MBA, PhD or Visiting and Exchange student due to start at Sussex in January, but you are unable to travel due to the pandemic, please contact us so we can explore all options:
- MBA students should email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PhD students should email: email@example.com
- Visiting and Exchange students should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to welcoming our new January-start students early in the New Year and will send joining instructions before Christmas.
We will be updating information about any changes to the 2022 admissions cycle below.
When the pandemic began in 2020, the University reviewed its offer levels and, for 2021 entry, we reduced our entry requirements to ensure that ambitious and capable students could still benefit from a University of Sussex education.
As disruption to schooling continues, and knowing that returning to formal examinations may seem daunting, we are continuing with these reduced entry grades for those wishing to join Sussex in September 2022.
You can see our requirements on each undergraduate course.
Find answers to other questions you may have in our information for 2022 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 are mindful of the challenges all students who graduated in 2021 faced, and are aware that these difficulties are on-going for many. We will take this into consideration when we review results in the summer.
Find answers to other questions you may have in our information for 2022 applicants.
Visiting and Exchange applications
Find all the information you need about studying abroad at Sussex, including entry requirements, how to apply and the application form.
If you’re looking to join Sussex in September 2022 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.
We’ll be updating information below throughout the application cycle so we’d recommend bookmarking this page for future reference.
Questions about applying to Sussex
- Are you accepting applications for September 2022?
- Will there be changes to the way I apply due to coronavirus?
No, there are no changes to how you apply. However, we are very aware that the global pandemic continues to create lots of challenges for those studying at school, college and university.
To apply for postgraduate courses (both Masters and PhDs) you normally apply directly via the University’s postgraduate application system. We offer lots of advice about both applying for a Masters and a PhD. You should apply as soon as possible.
Questions about my offer and what happens next
- Will you consider the challenges of the pandemic when setting the conditions of my offer?
We are aware that the learning experience in schools, colleges and universities has had to change because of the global pandemic. We also realise that some applicants will have faced greater challenges than others and the impact of new approaches, like remote study, are not equal for all students.
This is why the University reduced our entry requirements last year (for those starting in September 2021) and why we have kept these reduced requirements for September 2022. We generally reduced both our standard and contextual offer levels.
It’s also why we are looking very carefully at all Masters applicants and remain mindful of the challenges faced when reviewing individual decisions.
If you have faced personal difficulties due to the pandemic then please do reflect on these in your application.
- What happens if I miss my studies or my exams are cancelled because of Covid?
We remain hopeful that, with the vaccine roll-out in the UK and the changing situation across the world, disruption to teaching and learning will decrease in the coming year.
We also hope that assessments next summer will take place as planned, so that results can be released to the University in the expected timescale.
However, as we did last year, we will keep this under review and make appropriate adjustment if the situation requires it.
If you do face particular challenges as you complete your studies and/or find that your exams change or are cancelled, then please contact our Admissions teams:
- I’m worried that I will not get the grades required by my offer. What will happen?
We realise the last year has been difficult for everyone across the world and we have adjusted our approach to 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:
- For UCAS applicants: email@example.com
- For Masters applicants: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For PhD applicants: email@example.com
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.
- How and when should I apply for my visa?
Information about applying for your visa can be found on our applying for a student visa pages.
- Will my CAS be affected by Covid-19?
No, we will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to those requiring a student visa once you have an unconditional place and have provided all the necessary information for the CAS (which, for postgraduate masters students includes paying your tuition fee deposit.
What does teaching at Sussex look like now?
With the successful roll out of the UK vaccination programmes, the University is pleased to have seen the main form of teaching return to in-person, on campus, since September 2021. Find full details about teaching and learning for current students.
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.
We will provide more information about arrangements for the 2022-23 academic year as we get closer to September 2022, but we remain hopeful that the main form of teaching will continue to be in-person and on campus.
What does research supervision look like at Sussex now?
Since September 2021, the University has moved most supervision and research activities back to in-person on campus. However, there may be occasions where the University decides to offer blended learning, with some activities online.
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.
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 this page 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.
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.
- Guidance for current students
- UCAS – applying to University
- how to apply for a Masters course
- how to apply for a PhD.
Find your space at Sussex
Recognition for our efforts during Covid-19
City council bestows civic honour on University of Sussex and other pandemic helpers
Brighton & Hove City Council has bestowed the freedom of the city on “all those who helped during the Covid-19 pandemic”, including the University.
If you have questions about your application, please contact Admissions on:
- Undergraduate admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Masters admissions: email@example.com
- PhD admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are other contact details which may be useful: