Your education

See our latest advice and guidance on your education during the global Coronavirus situation.

Ensuring your grades are not impacted

We are putting measures in place to ensure 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 encountered as a result of the move to teaching online and the fact that not everyone has the same access to learning online.

We believe in fairness when it comes to your education.

What does no detriment mean?

  • No detriment means you have a safety net as we will ensure 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 value of a degree from the University of Sussex is extremely important, so you will need to pass your Semester 2 modules to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes of your course.
  • We recognise that you may have questions about the no detriment policy and assessments. To answer these, we have produced a comprehensive range of common questions on no detriment for all undergraduate, taught postgraduate and students taking a Study Abroad year.

Teaching and learning

Our key focus is to ensure work is done to move teaching and learning online. School and academic staff will be in touch with you on this and they will continue to maintain contact with you throughout the academic year. You will be given guidance on how you should be using Canvas and Panopto to continue your studies.

As set out in an email from Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, on 26 March, the University has agreed on principles to guide all the decisions we are making in delivering your education for the rest of the academic year.

These principles are:

  1. Introducing flexibility in the timings of assessment deadlines
  2. Ensuring your grades are not negatively impacted by the global Covid-19 situation
  3. Taking into consideration the transition to online learning can bring challenges
  4. Commitment to helping you however we can to get the most from online learning
  5. Responding to your questions as quickly as possible

Transition to online learning

While some students have been able to move into the online teaching model smoothly, we accept that for others this has and will be harder. We do understand that the availability of study space, access to a good internet connection and technology is not the same for everyone.

We are working hard to find new solutions for you and more will become available over the coming days and weeks. However, we will take this into consideration. If you are finding things hard, we want to help you. Contact your School office if you have issues with online learning.

You can also visit our online learning page for more information.

Getting the most out of online study

We’re aware that some of the study spaces on Canvas and Panopto are not being used as much as they could be. We want to help you make the most of them. They can have a positive impact on your learning. Your tutors are keen to help you get the most of the platforms and the materials they have developed for you.

New software and platforms

We have invested in new software packages and platforms for you to use, particularly to help you with learning online. You can get all of these packages through the software list. Use your Sussex email to sign up. The list includes Adobe Creative Cloud, which gives you free access to amazing software such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Acrobat Pro.

New communication tools

We have secured a special licence for the popular video and chat platform Zoom which is now ready to use. Zoom is a cloud-based service you can use to virtually meet with students and staff – either by video or audio-only or both. You can do this while conducting live chats and record the sessions to view later.

You may have already set up your own Zoom account before now. While you’re free to continue using that account, the University’s institutional account offers some real advantages: meetings can be longer than the standard 40 minutes and up to 300 people can be included at a time. Unlimited cloud storage will also be available. Remember that you can update your privacy settings too on sites like Zoom. We&rquo;ll provide more advice soon.

Online learning advice

Make the most of your online learning by looking at a Canvas module about how to maximise your learning online.

You can also find more information about how to continue your studies online.

Responding to your questions and keeping in touch

As well as the information updated daily on these pages, Kelly Coate will be writing to students every week by email. These messages will include answers to your questions and provide clarification on any new guidance and procedures.

If you have written to the University and haven’t heard from us yet, please know that we have or are considering your query or idea. Kelly will use this regular communication to confirm decisions as they are made.

Hundreds of staff are working hard to ensure we bring your education to you online. We all care about your education enormously and we are determined that as we all face a major global challenge on a scale never seen before, we ensure you can continue your education.

Exams and assessments

There won’t be any exams and assessments on campus for the rest of the academic year. Instead, assessments will take place remotely.

All of your academic colleagues and our assessment board chairs are making sure we assess you in the most appropriate way.

This means making sure you are not assessed on learning you have not received, but also that your assessments are conducted in a way that is suitable for learning online.

See our Canvas guidance on maximising your online learning.

If you have a learning impairment, check our assistive technology guidance for students.

Timings of assessments and resits

Semester 2 assessments will take place from 25 May – 13 June. Following student feedback, we have moved the Semester 1 resit period (A3) to 17-22 August. Any resits required from Semester 2 will now take place over 24-29 August 2020.

Deadline extensions for Semester Two assessments

We have agreed that all students will be given a two-week extension for all Semester Two (A2) assessments. You will soon receive information from your School on what this means for you. A2 assessments will now take place from 25 May until 13 June 2020. Students with agreed reasonable adjustments for extra time will continue to receive this in addition to this A2 two-week extension.

You may also continue to submit assignments early and ahead of the submission due date if you want to.

Important: Sussex Direct will currently show the original dates for your A2 assessments. We will update the dates as soon as possible and let you know when the changes have been made.

All other deadlines between now and this time will remain in place, unless you have been notified otherwise.

Dissertations

For final year Undergraduate students and those of you on Masters programmes who are busy working on dissertations, we consider this as an A2 assessment, and as such this will be marked as per our ‘no detriment’ policy, which means if you pass the Semester 2 assessments, the overall grade you receive will not be lower than the average grade you received in Semester 1.

Exceptional circumstances

We have put in place specific arrangements for if you have exceptional circumstances that temporarily affect your ability to complete an assessment in the May/June period or the summer resit period.

See a list of common questions about claiming exceptional circumstances during Coronavirus. Please read them carefully before submitting a claim.

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

We do recognise that some students may be unavoidably delayed. If this happens, it will be important to stay in touch with the University to let us know your plans and to arrive as soon as possible, as well as engage with your studies as soon as you can.

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

We are expecting to welcome students to our campus during Welcome Weekend in September.  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.

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 teaching be like in the Autumn Term?

Once you get here, there will be a mix of classroom (and laboratory-based) and remote learning. We are currently looking at all the arrangements for in your in-person experience. We’ll be writing to you soon to let you know what you can expect, particularly in relation to small group work, seminars and tutorials.

Our first priority is to make sure that our Sussex campus will be a safe place to live and study. 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.

When will I know how much teaching is online or in person for my course?

When teaching starts, there will be a mix of classroom (and laboratory-based) and remote learning. We will be putting in place all the required health and safety measures so that you can get an in person experience, particularly in relation to small group work, seminars and tutorials. We will share more information on this at the earliest opportunity.

The Library

We will continue to offer a remote Library service. Use Library Chat to keep in touch and to ask us any questions you may have. This will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You can also email questions to library@sussex.ac.uk or see the Library’s common questions.

The Library will continue to offer one-to-one support remotely. You can book a time using this online form. Support, including online tutorials, is also available through Skills Hub.

Contacting your School office

You can keep in touch with your School office with enquiries about your course via email. We are working hard to continue your teaching and learning and it’s important you continue to contact us via email.

See a list of School email addresses.

Students on Tier 4 visas

Face-to-face teaching has been suspended, with teaching now online. This applies to all students and means those on Tier 4 visas will not be subject to the usual UKVI attendance monitoring. You will be expected to go online to access your studies and it is important you do this so we can record your attendance for visa purposes.

See our advice for international students.

Students on placements

We have contacted all students who are on placements at the present time, as well as their placement tutors and workplace supervisors. If you have any queries, email placements@sussex.ac.uk.

If you are on placement and have had your placement period curtailed by your employer as a result of Covid-19 (for example, by being placed on furlough), you can be assured that we will recognise your placement year, providing you have completed:

  • a sufficient level of placement learning to demonstrate the learning outcomes of the placement (at least 50% of expected weeks)
  • the required assessments
  • all learning logs
  • your final learning summary.

If you are concerned you do not meet all of these criteria, email the University Placements Team: placements@sussex.ac.uk.

Postgraduate researchers

We acknowledge that researchers are a distinct group of people at Sussex and we have provided a broad range of information, which you can read on the researchers page.

Will there be a change to 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.

Summer Graduation

It is with great sadness that the University has made the difficult decision to postpone our summer 2020 graduation ceremonies due to take place in July.

It has been made due to the continuing situation around COVID-19 and our primary concern for the health, safety and wellbeing of all our students, their guests, our staff, and the wider community. When there are further details, the graduation webpage will be updated and students will be contacted with new arrangements to enable them to celebrate with families and guests.

This does not affect students’ opportunity to graduate and they will still receive their degree this summer.
 
For more information please visit our summer graduation webpage and if you have any questions please contact graduation@sussex.ac.uk.