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.
Benefits of the Award
Taking part in the Award can provide you with a range of benefits including:
- feel more involved in life at Sussex
- making friends and build a wider network
- a University accredited certificate
- access to our alumni and award community
- regular events, workshop and opportunities to meet guest speakers
- enhancing your CV and showcasing your award to future employers
- opportunities to work with the team as speakers or exhibitors
- gaining insights and transferable skills for your professional and academic development via our Skills and Strengths Review
- an annual ceremony and celebration event for award winners.
Who can take part
The Spirit of Sussex Award is open to all undergraduate, Masters and research students at the University of Sussex, Institute of Development Studies 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 a foundation year, placement year, year abroad and any repeat year. However, you can’t carry points over if you study another course with us (such as a Masters or PhD).
Get inspired – watch a YouTube video celebrating our first group of Spirit of Sussex awardees.
- how to get points
- activities that give you points
- how to get the award
- examples of students getting awards.
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.
- 5 points if you attend and participate
- 10 points if you organise and support
- 15 points if you lead and represent.
Examples of different point scoring:
- 5 points – Attending events and talks or participating in training workshops, clubs or societies.
- 10 points – Supporting and organising the delivery of events, talks and activities or having a supportive role in a society committee.
- 15 points – Representing the voice of peers, leading on creative projects, or leading a society as a president.
You log your points on the Spirit of Sussex Award platform to work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Your progress bar automatically updates as you log points.
Activities that give you points
Find out more about our categories and what activities you can get involved in to start logging points towards your award. Whatever co-curricular activity you do, big or small, there is a Spirit of Sussex Award category for you.
- Ambassadorship and mentoring – This category is for logging any work you have undertaken as an ambassador or mentor. This could include being a Widening Participation or Recruitment Ambassador, School ambassador or a Sussex Connect mentor. You can also log activities such as Open days, Campus tours or BAME Mentoring projects.
- Co-creation and evaluation – This category is for logging participation in academic or professional collaborations. This could include co-creation in student connector roles or participating in focus groups and curriculum development.
- Creativity and culture – This category is for logging any cultural and creative activities. This could include Brighton Fringe, Brighton Festival and Pride & Trans Pride. You can also gain points for playing in bands, directing productions, dance shows or any other creative activity.
- Entrepreneurship – This category is for logging entrepreneurship. This category includes starting your own business or taking part in competitions such as Startup Sussex or the Social Impact Prize.
- Environment and sustainability – This category is for logging any sustainable or environment-based activities. This could include activities such as clothes swaps, sustainable societies, climate activism and participation in the Pitch for the Planet.
- Society and media membership – This category is for logging any involvement you have had with a Students’ Union Society or Student Organization. You can log 5 points for society membership, 10 for committee roles and 15 points for presidential leadership.
- Sports and recreation – This category is for any sport or recreational activity. You can log 5 points for attending or participating in a club or sports, 10 for organising events or activities and 15 for leading or captaining a team or club.
- Student representation and democracy – This category is for logging any activity relating to student representation within the University and Students’ Union. This may include voting in an election, being elected an elected Part-Time Officer or being a member of Union council.
- Training and development – This category is for logging any training you have undertaken. This could include participating in training courses such as Careers and Entrepreneurship Leadership Training, Consent Matters, Blackbullion finance learning, Skills Hub workshops or LinkedIn Learning.
- Volunteering and fundraising – This category is for any internal or external voluntary work and fundraising you have been involved in. This could include being a part of the Buddy Scheme or a volunteer in the Language Café.
- Work Experience – This category is for logging any part-time work you’re involved with either on or off campus. You can log your part-time role for 5 points and you can log promotions and supervisor or management roles for 10 or 15 points based on your level of involvement in your new role.
Logging your activities
Each time you complete a co-curricular activity you can log points in each of our categories. You can log points towards your award by logging in via the Spirit of Sussex Award platform.
Use your Sussex email and password when logging into the platform. You will be prompted to open a form to submit points, and you will be required to upload your evidence and add a start and end date. You will also need to provide a detailed self-reflective description of your activity and level of responsibility – this can be in writing, audio, or video. Do this for every activity you want to register towards your Spirit of Sussex Award.
How to get the award
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.
Submission and graduation
Once you have gained the points you need for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, your award is ready for submission.
You do not need to manually submit your award. As soon as you log the points, we can view your updated progress.
Important: You will not receive your award until graduation. For undergraduate finalists, the deadline for logging your points is 1 April. For postgraduates, the deadline is 1 August.
After the deadline, your award gets reviewed by a panel. To ensure your award meets our criteria, please see our submission guidance:
- Avoid duplication – ensure that you only log activities you engage with once.
- Evidence – make sure you include evidence that clearly shows the activity you took part in and your role and responsibility.
- Correct logging – ensure you log your work in the correct category.
- Self-reflect – make sure you reflect on your participation in each activity using the description box.
- Duration – ensure all activities you log points for are from during your degree at Sussex.
- Avoid academic credit – as the award recognises co-curricular and voluntary achievements, you can not log points for anything that provides academic credit.
- Checking and proofreading – ensure you proofread and check your award once you have finished, just like you would with an essay or job application!
Student case studies
These examples show how someone would collect the points needed for an award.
Bronze – 30
- Attended a concert – 5 points
- Attended a music event – 5 points
- Committee role in the BAME society – 10 points
- Attended gym classes – 5 points
- Completed the skills and strengths review – 5 points
Silver – 60
- Completion of the NSS – 5 points
- Attended a march in London – 5 points
- Sells clothes on depop – 5 points
- Worked at the G7 Summit – 5 points
- Member of the Sussex Snow Society – 5 points
- Cold water swimming – 5 points
- Voting in an SU election – 5 points
- Careers meeting – 5 points
- Volunteer with the elderly – 10 points
- Worked part-time for an agency – 5 points
- Worked as a catering assistant at a hospital – 5 points
Gold – 75
- Participated in a fashion show – 5 points
- Gave a speech at an ACS event – 5 points
- Participated in Start-up Sussex – 5 points
- Won the Entrepreneurs ‘ones to watch’ award – 5 points
- Hosted virtual workshops for his company for young people – 15 points
- Owns a fashion brand – 15 points
- Led a charity clothing give away – 15 points
- Member of a society – 5 points
- Plays football for a team – 5 points