University advice and guidance

Find the latest University advice and guidance on coronavirus. You can also read our Common questions page for help.

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

Whilst 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 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.

Getting the most out of the online study space

We’re aware that some of the study spaces on Canvas and Panopto are not being used as much as they could be and we want to help you make the most of them, as they can have a very 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

Over the past few days we have invested in many new software packages and platforms for students to use, particularly to help you with learning online. You can access all of these packages through the Software list. You just need to use your Sussex email to sign-up. This includes Adobe Creative Cloud, which gives you free access to amazing software such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Pro.

New communication tools

The University will soon be sharing details with you on our new licence for Zoom, the extremely popular video communication platform. We think Zoom will be a great way for you to stay in touch with other students for group study and with your tutors, as well as socialising with your friends from university.

Online learning advice

Please find some time to understand more about how you can make the most of your online learning by visiting our new dedicated Canvas module on how to maximise your learning online.

You can also find more information about how to continue your studies online in this section of the website.

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 the many questions you are asking and provide you with clarification on any new guidance and procedures.

If you have written to the University and haven’t heard back from us yet on your specific question, 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 very 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 be made using remote means. Your School will be in touch with more information on revised dates and deadlines for assessments and examinations.

Deadline extensions for Semester two (A2) assessments

We have agreed that all students will be given a two-week extension for all 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.

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

Please be aware that 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.

Dissertation deadlines for Masters students are under active consideration. More information will be available in my update next week.

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

Ensuring your 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.

Students on Tier 4 visas

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

Students studying at partner universities or on placements abroad

We have many students studying abroad at partner institutions at the current time and we understand this has been a worrying time if this relates to you. We have been in contact with all these students and here is a summary of that advice. We strongly recommend that you return home and make travel arrangements at the earliest opportunity. If students at partner Universities wish to travel back home, but are not able to cover the costs through their insurance, or cannot amend existing tickets, the University will cover reasonable travel costs. For more information, please visit our dedicated webpages for students studying overseas. You can also email sussexabroad@sussex.ac.uk

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 on this please contact placements@sussex.ac.uk

Postgraduate Researchers:

We acknowledge that PGRs are a distinct group of students and staff at Sussex and we have provided a broad range of information for them, including supervisors which you can read here.

Students living in campus accommodation

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 (as well as existing info on the Student Hub), 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.

We also have information on the Student Hub with guidance on what to do if you feel poorly – and that students should continue to report this to our Health & Safety team so we can support you – the email address is HealthSafety@sussex.ac.uk

You can continue to contact the Health Centre by phone (rather than in person) and visit the on-campus Pharmacy should you need to.

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.

The Library

We will continue to offer a remote Library service. Staff and students are encouraged to use Library Chat to keep in touch and to ask us any questions you may have. This will be staffed 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Questions can also be emailed using library@sussex.ac.uk.

The Library will continue to offer 1-2-1 support, delivered remotely. Students can book a time using this online form. Support, including online tutorials, is also available via the Skills Hub.

Catering and the Co-op:

Eat Central is now closed.

The Co-op remains open and is closing at 8pm.

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 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

Sussexsport

Sussexsport has closed the Sport Centre and Falmer Sports Complex to protect the welfare of our users, but we are in the process of moving lots of content online, including live classes for our members. 

We have information and FAQs on our webpages for our users and members and this page is evolving according to common themes and queries that we receiving. 

We are monitoring emails closely and Sussexsport can still be contacted Monday-Friday during office hours by emailing: sussexsport@sussex.ac.uk.

The Meeting House

Look out for regular mindfulness videos from our Chaplain, Chris McDermott – you can find the first one here.

Contacting your 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 living on campus, do I need to let anyone know?

If you are living 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 living 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.

I'm 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.

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.

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