Access and Participation Plans

Our Access and Participation Plan outlines our commitment to working towards equality of opportunity for all students. Below you can find links to our current plan and to our previous plans and Access Agreements

What is an access and participation plan?

Access and participation plans (APP) set out how higher education providers will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education.

Our APP enshrines our commitment to working towards equality of opportunity for all students. It is also a requirement that any institution wishing to charge more than the basic fee rate has to submit an access and participation plan to the Office for Students (OfS). Having an approved access and participation plan is also a requirement of registration with the OfS for certain categories of provider.

For more information on the OfS or Access and Participation Plans please visit

Our access and participation plan focuses on:

Access: increasing access to higher education and reducing the gaps for groups that are currently underrepresented in higher education.

Success: improving outcomes for specific groups of students. When we put together the plan in 2019, our data showed us that outcomes were at that time lower for certain groups of students.

The following groups of students were less likely to achieve a degree award of 2:1 or above:

    • Black, Asian and students from other minority ethnic groups
    • students with disabilities.

Progression: ensuring that all students have a similar likelihood of progressing on to highly skilled employment or further study. We aim to eliminate the gap in progress into highly skilled work or higher study for students for our Black students, students with disabilities and students domiciled in disadvantaged postcodes.

To date, we are making progress against our targets on increasing access to higher education. Degree outcomes have improved for these student groups and we are ahead of our targets in that area. However, we still have further to go.

You can also find out more about access to education, Belong at Sussex and careers support for Sussex students. Students are involved in the co-creation and evaluation of many of our initiatives, primarily through the Connector Programme, the Student Panel and working closely with the Students Union.

How staff can help

Staff involvement is crucial in embedding existing and new APP initiatives throughout the University and making a lasting impact in our Sussex community. We invite your insights into how School and department activities can contribute to meeting our ambition. Whether it's addressing awarding gaps in degree outcomes, enhancing employability in the curriculum, supporting students from under-resourced backgrounds or other initiatives, your input is invaluable. We encourage staff to share examples of good practice in your School or Division. We would also appreciate your thoughts on the support and information that would be most useful to you in helping us collectively realise our APP targets, and our broader mission to provide academic support for underrepresented student groups.

Contact APP Programme Manager, Jo McKinney-Green with your thoughts.

Access and Participation Plan (2020-21 to 2024-25)

See our Access and Participation Plan (2020-21 to 2024-25 inclusive of our recent OfS agreed variations) [PDF 464KB].

You can also read a short summary of our Access and Participation Plan here [PDF 195KB].  

See our tuition fees pages for detailed information about our fees.

You can also read our fee summary for 2023-24 [PDF 21KB].

Access and Participation Plan (2019-20)

The University’s Access and Participation Plan for 2019/20 was approved by the Office for Students’ Director for Fair Access and Participation as part of the University’s registration process with the Office for Students.

See our 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan [PDF 633KB].

The impact report summarises the progress made by the University of Sussex against targets, objectives and written commitments as set out in our 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan. This document is a summary of information submitted by the University to the Office for Students.

See the 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan Impact Report, [PDF, 233KB]

Access Agreement (2018-19)

See our 2018/19 Access Agreement [PDF 574KB].

Access Agreements from before 2018-19

See the University's Access agreements for previous years on the Office for Fair Access National Archives.


If you need a document we have published on this page in a different format, contact Louise Spenceley by emailing