Common questions

Find answers to common questions regarding coronavirus. You should also read the University advice and guidance page.

Questions you may have

Where can I get more information?

You can get information and advice from the following sources:

What should I do to protect myself from Coronavirus?

To keep up to date you can visit the following websites:

Can I leave campus and go home?

As per the email sent to all students on Friday 27 March, due to the latest government advice students that are currently living in University managed accommodation should not leave their accommodation to travel home.  Staying indoors is essential to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is slowed. You should follow the government’s advice on staying at home and away from others.

I’m living off campus in private accommodation, can I go home?

As per the email sent to all students on Friday 27 March, due to the latest government advice all students living in private rented accommodation should stay where they are and no attempt to travel.  Staying indoors is essential to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is slowed. You should follow the government’s advice on staying at home and away from others.

See more Coronavirus information on GOV.UK.

You can also contact our student immigration advice team and book an appointment with our immigration advisors for advice and support on any immigration or visa issue.

If you're a member of staff, email InternationalHR@sussex.ac.uk.

What is the University doing to ensuring students' grades are not adversely impacted by the global Covid-19 situation?

No detriment in your academic qualification and progression:

The University will be putting measures in place to ensure that you will encounter no detriment in the awarding of your grade for the year, due to the global pandemic. 

This is important as we take into account the disruption you will have encountered as a result of the move to teaching online and the fact that not all students have the same access to learning online as everyone else.  We believe in fairness when it comes to your education.

What does no detriment mean?

  • This means that you will have a safety net as we will ensure that your overall year average will not be lower than the average mark you achieved in Semester 1.    
  • However, you can certainly improve upon your Semester 1 performance through achieving higher marks on Semester 2 modules. 
  • The high standard and value of a degree from the University of Sussex is extremely important so please note that you will need to pass your Semester 2 modules in order to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcomes of your course. 

What happens next:

  • We know you will have lots of questions about this.  We will be working very hard over the next two weeks to finalise the details of exactly how this safety net will be calculated for the wide range of courses and student profiles, as well as how we can support students who are unable to complete assessments at all due to exceptional circumstances. 
  • If your course is accredited we are working with the relevant professional or regulatory body to ensure that this no detriment policy aligns with their requirements.
  • We are committed to ensuring that this principle of no detriment and the safety net is a reality for every student.  Further information about this will be communicated to you when you start the next term, which begins on Monday 20 April, and Schools will be able to answer questions about the no-detriment policy from that point.

Will the University be refunding tuition fees?

The University is continuing to provide all of its students with their courses and although the mode of delivery has moved online, the education provision remains at a high-standard.  As such, the normal tuition fee arrangements still apply.  We have been in touch with all of our students to let them know that the University will be applying a policy of no detriment in the awarding of their grades for the year.

Can I travel overseas during the upcoming holiday?

The FCO advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide until at least 15 April.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. 

The COVID-19 situation is changing on a regular basis, this means we all should ensure that we check the official expert advice from Public Health England and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on a regular basis.

Where can I get general advice about the Coronavirus and travelling?

Travel Health Pro is an expert organisation that is supported by Public Health England and a range of other expert health organisations. Travel Health Pro provides expert information for travellers on issues including travel and the Coronavirus on its webpages.

What should I do if I have to self-isolate?

If you find out upon your return to the UK that you must self-isolate you must:

What can I do if I am feeling anxious about Coronavirus?

The Mental Health Foundation, the charity that focuses on the prevention of mental health problems, has issued guidance for staying mentally healthy during the Coronavirus situation.

  • View guidance

    Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the situation

    Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control.

    You can get up-to-date information and advice on the virus here:

    Try to stay connected and remain calm

    At times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family, or contact the University’s Student Life Centre or contact a helpline for emotional support.

    It is a good idea to stick to your daily routine. You may also like to focus on the things you can do if you feel able to:

    The advice above is good for both our mental and physical health.

    Try to anticipate distress

    It is usual to feel overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak, especially if you have experienced a mental health challenge in the past.

    It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and remind each other to look after our physical and mental health. We should also be aware of, and avoid increasing, habits that may not be helpful in the long term, like smoking and drinking.

    Try to manage how you follow the outbreak in the media

    There is lots of news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is stressing you out, it’s important to find a balance. It’s best that you don’t avoid all news and that you keep informing and educating yourself, but limit your news intake if it is bothering you.

    If you have children, do talk to them

    Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need to ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them.

    Don’t avoid the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that is understandable to them. We have more advice on talking with your children about world news.

What's happening with Summer Graduation?

Summer graduation is due to take place from the 20-24 July 2020, and will proceed unless advice from the UK government or Public Health England indicates otherwise. The University will send out invitations in the coming months before the event, and at that time will provide full guidance to you about Graduation.

If you are booking travel in order to attend Graduation, we strongly suggest that you take out insurance in case you need to cancel your travel bookings at a later date. We currently advise those travelling from outside the UK to check the travel advice in their home country and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice pages before making any travel plans.

How can I contact my School office?

You can keep in touch with your School Office with enquiries about your course via email. University of Sussex staff are working hard during this time to continue your teaching and learning and it’s important that you continue to contact us via email.

Email addresses for School offices:

I've left campus, will I need to pay rent for the final term?

If you have left your University accommodation, we will not collect your April rent instalment. This means rents due from the 21 March until the 20 June 2020 (due to be collected on the 14 April), will not be collected from students who have left campus or intend to do so.

In order to confirm you have left and enable us to process this change, we will need you to complete this form and email it to housing@sussex.ac.uk

Please note that 28 days’ notice is not required and a termination fee will not be charged.

I’ve left campus, but my belongings are still here. How do I get them?

Your belongings will have to remain on campus until the government removes the restrictions on travel and social distancing. We continue to run 24/7 security to ensure students and student belongings on campus are protected and secure.

I am staying on campus, do I need to let anyone know?

If you are staying on campus, please complete this short survey so that we can stay in touch with you and make sure you have all the latest information about what is happening on campus and how we will be supporting you.

Can I go outdoors if I am staying on campus?

The UK Government has now made it very clear that all citizens living in the UK must stay indoors and only go outside for essential purposes. This will be for at least three weeks and will have important implications for all students living on campus. This means staying in your residence for the majority of your time, aside from getting some exercise once a day, to purchase essential items such as food, to travel to essential work that cannot be done remotely and medical needs.

If I do stay on campus will there be support?

We understand this will be a very difficult time for you to have to live on campus under these measures and we are here to support you and help you as much as possible. Please visit these pages for more information. They will be updated daily for our students on campus.

Will I still pay rent if I stay on campus?

Normal rental charges will apply for students that remain on campus and the University will continue to support you with essential services during this time.

We understand this will be a very difficult time for you to have to live on campus under these measures and we are here to support you. Please keep checking the Student Hub as we will be providing more information to help you through this time.

A major priority for the University is making sure that our students who are living on campus are able to receive all the services and support you need.

As well as all the information below about the campus services that are in operation, please know that the University’s security team continue to be in operation 24/7 if there is ever an emergency that you need help with. You can find all the details here.

Where can I go for support?

At the present time, the Student Life Centre, Student Support Unit and International Student Support are providing online services for any students who need support – and students should not hesitate to contact them. Please contact these services by email rather than in-person.

Find out more about what sort of services they provide on the Student Life Centre website, the Student Support Unit website and the International Student Support website.

To contact the staff there please email using the following:

Student Life Centre:
studentlifecentre@sussex.ac.uk

Student Support Unit:
disabilitysupport@sussex.ac.uk

International Student Support:
For immigration enquiries): immigration@sussex.ac.uk
For general international support enquiries): international.support@sussex.ac.uk

Will I get Term 3 Student Loan fee and maintenance payments?

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is planning to make Term 3 tuition fee payments as scheduled and that you will continue to receive maintenance payments on the scheduled dates, whether or not campuses are closed or learning has moved online.

Should I wear a mask?

Some of our community choose to wear face masks for cultural, social and personal reasons. The wearing of a face mask is not necessarily a sign that the wearer is ill with a cold, flu or any other virus. Public Health England do not stress the need to wear a face mask but instead issue this advice to prevent sharing germs. As such, the University will not be asking anyone to wear masks or supplying them, but please remember that some people choose to.

I’d like to volunteer for the NHS to help support vulnerable people, how can I do this?

You can sign up as an NHS volunteer here: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

See more from Coronavirus advice and guidance