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Spirit of Sussex Award

There are many ways to enrich your experience with us – and the Spirit of Sussex Award is our way of recognising what you’ve achieved. Find out more about the scheme.

About the award

The Spirit of Sussex Award celebrates your extra-curricular and voluntary achievements.

By taking part in different activities, such as part-time work or volunteering, you can gain points towards either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Spirit of Sussex Award. These will be awarded at your Graduation ceremony.

The award can help you:

  • feel involved with life at Sussex
  • make friends and build a wider network while you're with us
  • get a job after your studies by showcasing all your achievements to future employers.

Go to award platform

Who can take part

The Spirit of Sussex Award is open to all undergraduate, Masters and research students at the University of Sussex and Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

You can start collecting points for the award from the start date of your degree and you have the whole length of your course in which to complete it.

Your award continues throughout:

  • any foundation year
  • placement year
  • term or year abroad, included in your degree syllabus
  • any repeat year.

You can’t carry points over if you study another course with us (such as a Masters or PhD) and your award will be put “on hold” if you defer a year, because this does not count towards the award.



Getting points

To get a Spirit of Sussex Award you need to gain points.

The more points you earn, the higher the award:

  • Bronze – 25 points
  • Silver – 50 points
  • Gold – 75 points.

The number of points you get for each thing you do depends on your level of participation, recognising the life experiences you’re achieving in addition to your degree.

You get:

  • 5 points if you Attend & Participate
  • 10 points if you Organise & Support
  • 15 points if you Lead & Represent.

To work out how many points your activity is worth, ask yourself if you have:

  • attended any events, talks or activities or participated in training of workshops, clubs or societies – if so, that’s 5 points
  • organised or supported the delivery of any events, talks or activities or supported – if you have, that’s 10 points
  • led any events, talks or activities or represented the voices of other students and peers – if so, that’s 15 points.

You log your points on the Spirit of Sussex Award platform to work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

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Activities that give you points

If you already take part in any of the activities in these categories, then you’re working towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

Don’t worry if you’re not doing them right now – it’s not too late to get involved and start working towards an award.

  • Sport and Recreation: This category is for logging any sports or recreational activity for example, being a member of a Students’ Union Sports club or participating in Active US sessions.
  • Society Membership: Any involvement you have had with a Students’ Union Society, for example being part of the Students’ Union or being part of a committee.
  • Part-time work: Any part-time work you are involved in on or off campus.
  • Volunteering: Any internal or external voluntary work, including being a Buddy Scheme Ambassador or a Sussex REDS Volunteer.
  • Student Representation: Any activity relating to student representation within the University, including being an elected course representative or being a member of a working group.
  • Culture and Creativity: This category includes any cultural, creative or sustainability activities for examples participating in Brighton Fringe or Sussex Go Green Week. You can also gain points for playing in bands or orchestras, or for directing shows and productions.
  • Training and Development: Any training or work experience you have undertaken, include participating in training courses such as the Careers and Employability Centre Leadership Training or the Consent Matters online training.
  • Enterprise: This category includes owning your own business or undertaking business challenges such as Startup Sussex or The Sussex Innovation Centre Social Impact Award.
  • Ambassadorship, leadership and mentoring: This category is for participation in any paid or voluntary work you have undertaken as an ambassador or mentor, for example being a Widening Participation Blue or Yellow Ambassador or being a Sussex Connect Mentor.
  • Environment and Sustainability: This category is for any sustainable or environment-based activities such as clothes swaps or attending climate activism events.
  • Academic and Professional Collaborations and Evaluation: This category covers participation in academic or professional collaborations including (but not limited to) co-creation or co-delivery of elements of your curriculum or taking part in focus groups.

If you think your activity:

  • belongs in more than one category, choose the one you think fits it best
  • does not fit into any category, list it in the Other category.

Log into the Spirit of Sussex Award platform to see more ideas for activities.

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How to get the award

The first thing to do is participate in, attend, organise or support an activity, event or talk. It should fall into one of the activity award categories.

Next, you need to log into the Spirit of Sussex Award web platform.

Use your normal Sussex or BSMS log-in details. Once you’re logged in, you can also download the app for your phone.

Add your activities

Enter your activity on the activity log page by choosing the category for your activity. There are prompts on the page to help you if you get stuck.

Then choose the level of your activity: Attend & Participate, Organise & Support or Lead & Represent. You get more points depending on your level of involvement in an activity.

Finally, upload relevant evidence using the "More info" form.

Do this for every activity you want to register towards your personal Spirit of Sussex Award.

You can’t log the same activity more than once during your course – unless you participate with a new level of involvement. See examples of how students get an award.


Once you have gained the points you need for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, you can submit your award for approval.

Important: You’ll need to do this by 30 April of your final year to be awarded at graduation.

You can only submit your award for approval once.

Example: You can’t reach 25 points for a Bronze Award, submit it and then continue working towards a Silver or Gold award. If you get more points than you were originally aiming for, keep collecting points until you reach the maximum you feel you can achieve (or after you have achieved Gold).

Getting help

If you get stuck, there is help and support on the Spirit of Sussex Award web platform.

There’s also a chat function on the app and you can contact our team for support: email sosa@sussex.ac.uk.

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Student case studies

These examples show how someone would collect the points needed for an award.


Bronze Award – 30 points

  • Participated in Active US Volleyball – 5 points
  • Participated in a focus group – 5 points
  • Has a part-time job as Spirit of Sussex Award Connector – 10 points
  • Led a workshop for primary school children – 10 points


Silver Award – 55 points

  • Member of the football club – 5 points
  • Participated in University Open Days and Applicant Visitor Days – 5 points
  • Member of Union Society (Travel & Marketing Society) – 5 points
  • Participated in a Park Run – 5 points
  • Supported placement student mentor sessions – 10 points
  • Committee member of Union Society (events secretary for Travel Society) – 10 points
  • Completed a placement year (at The Walt Disney Company) – 15 points


Gold Award – 100 points

  • Member of business society – 5 points
  • Member of ACS society – 5 points
  • Participate in Active US (football) – 5 points
  • Part-time job as Student Connector for Skills Hub – 10 points
  • Student Ambassador for Buddy Scheme – 10 points
  • Cut off hair for fundraiser for Tanzania – 10 points
  • Business Management course representative – 10 points
  • Founder of a mentoring alumni project – 15 points
  • Set up a Brighton monthly homelessness project, giving food and clothing, etc – 15 points
  • Founder and programme coordinator of mentoring project – 15 points

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