What to pack for university

Find out what you need to pack before you start at Sussex and what you can order online in advance.

Essential items

There are a few essential things you’ll need to bring to Sussex with you.


The weather in the south of England can be unpredictable so pack a range of clothes.


  • pyjamas or night clothes
  • dressing gown
  • slippers or flip-flops for indoors
  • everyday clothes
  • warm clothes for winter
  • waterproof jacket
  • sports clothes or activewear, if you want to join a club or society
  • a backpack or day bag for your books and laptop.

Tip: If you can’t pack everything, we have a launderette on campus where you can wash your clothes. You can do self-service washes every day from 8am until 12am, or service washes Monday to Friday from 9am until 2pm. There is a charge for using the launderette. To pay you can download an app from Circuit Laundry, or you can pay by cash or card at the machines.

Cutlery and crockery

You can bring your own kitchen items with you.

Pack a:

  • mug or cup
  • glass
  • set of cutlery – knife, spoon, fork, etc
  • bowl and plate
  • tea towel
  • saucepan
  • frying pan
  • wooden spoon
  • peeler.

If you cannot bring these things, or you’re travelling a long way, you can buy some of them from a supermarket.

You might want to share some things with your new flatmates, such as a chopping board or tin opener, rather than bringing them with you.

Tip: Put your mugs and breakables on top of your belongings. This helps protect them – plus you can easily make a drink when you unpack.

Bathroom products

You can get toiletries and hygiene items from shops in town and on campus.

Avoid bringing more than the basics with you (unless you really want to) as they take up room and weight in your luggage.

Study items

The exact things you’ll need (such as books and stationery) will depend on your course. But you might want to consider:

  • an extension lead, in case plug sockets are difficult to reach
  • USB sticks to store work
  • a portable hard drive, so you can back-up your laptop
  • an ethernet cable, to connect your laptop to a router and get a solid internet connection
  • a pack of your favourite pens, if you’ll be taking lots of notes
  • a diary or personal organiser, with important contact details inside it in case you lose your phone.

Once you’re settled, you may want a desk lamp, different sized notepads and other stationery. You can buy these locally, rather than bringing them with you.


You will need a duvet, sheets, pillows and pillowcases. Most beds are single-sized, but some beds are a bit larger. Check your Residence Handbook to make sure your bedding will fit.

If you’re travelling from abroad, you can buy a bedding pack to save space.

For a full breakdown of what to bring, refer to your Residence Handbook.

If you’re studying on a visa, remember to bring your essential documents.

You might also want to take out insurance for travel and personal belongings.


If you require medication which needs a prescription, make sure you pack what you need so you have enough to last until you have registered with a doctor.

If you're travelling from overseas, keep all medication in its original packaging as airport staff might want to see it. Read about what to do if you think you're bringing medication to the UK that contains controlled drugs.

What you can buy from the Online Shop

If you are travelling a long distance to get to Sussex you can buy a bedding pack from our Online Shop.

It contains a flat sheet, a duvet and duvet cover, and a pillow and cover.

Free stuff

You can save money by reusing second-hand items. The Students’ Union runs a Free Shop in Falmer House where you can pick up things donated by students who lived on campus last year.

These range from kitchen utensils to coat hangers but also stationery and other essentials such as fancy dress.

The Free Shop is open over Welcome Weekend and Monday of Welcome Week.

You can contribute to the Free Shop yourself later on to help other new students.

Shopping trips

You don’t need to bring everything with you. Going shopping for essential items is a nice way to get to know other students.

You can buy a ticket through our Online Shop for our shopping trip to IKEA, which takes place before the start of autumn term.

If you’ve forgotten a plug adaptor or phone charger you can get these from the Students’ Union shop.

See more from Before you arrive