Find everything you need to know if you’re living with your family while studying at Sussex.
Services on campus
There are some spaces and services put in place on campus, to make it easy for you to navigate University life with your family.
You can use our on-campus family room, called the Sunflower Room, to study and have your family with you at the same time.
The family room is free to use and is based in Norwich House. It is fully-furnished with toys and books for children of all ages. There is a bathroom, small kitchen and an outdoor play area.
Find out more about the family room and book it through the Students’ Union. Make sure you have read and understood the rules of use before making a booking.
Library Family Room
The Library Family Room is a space where you can study while your little ones play. It is equipped with toys and books for a range of ages, safety-gated play area, bean bags, a quiet/feeding corner with a privacy screen, and comfy chairs.
Find out more about the Library Family Room.
Childcare on campus
The University has childcare services on campus for children aged between four months and five years, with a discount available for students.
The nursery is open every weekday from 7.30am to 6.30pm. It costs money to send your child to the nursery. See the fee options available, ranging from half-days to full weeks.
As a Sussex student, you get a 20% discount on the prices. Charges include food, nappies and baby wipes.
You must book and confirm a place for your child in advance. Apply early as the nursery is popular and places cannot be guaranteed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a student visa, and you have children aged three or four years old on a dependant visa, you can claim 15 hours of free childcare every week from the government. Make sure you arrange childcare before you leave your home country.
There are other childcare services in the local area. Find registered childminders, nurseries and playgroups run by Brighton & Hove City Council.
Events for student parents
The Students’ Union runs various events both for student parents and their children, as well as events which are inclusive and accessible for children to attend so you might want to keep an eye on their event listings.
It can be expensive to support a family while studying, particularly if you need childcare.
Find government information about financial support available for students with children or dependant adults.
If you plan to bring your family with you to the UK, you’ll need to make sure you have the money to support all of you.
Accommodation for families
There are family flats on campus and in the city. Due to ongoing development works on campus, the housing team are currently unable to take applications for family accommodation. You can get updates about family accommodation on campus as they are published.
Contact Housing Services if you’re an international student with questions about bringing your family to the UK.
Find out about renting in the private sector with a family.
If you’re an international student with dependants, check the visa rules for bringing your family to the UK.
University help for parents
If you are facing challenges with balancing family life and studying, there are sources of advice and support.
Your Academic Advisor
If you are finding balancing the requirements of your course with having a family difficult, you might want to make an appointment with your Academic Advisor to discuss whether there are any ways of making your course more manageable.
If you are considering part-time options or taking time out from your course, you can speak to a Student Advisor to discuss your situation.
If you’re doing a PhD
Combining parenting with doctoral studies is a big challenge, but many researchers overcome it successfully. There are childcare facilities available on campus for either long-term bookings or half-day sessions.
Make sure your supervisor is aware of any parental responsibilities, as it’s often possible to schedule meetings to suit your commitments or to catch up by phone or Skype. It’s not unreasonable to request flexibility, so long as you’ve provided enough notice.
Some of the training opportunities through the Researcher Development Programme are available as webinars or online modules, and some take place at the weekends.
In Brighton & Hove, the Family Information Service (FIS) is a free and impartial way to get detailed information and advice on childcare as well as information on services for families.
It can provide advice on:
- registered childcare
- free early education
- children’s activities
- family support
- childcare careers
- local childcare jobs.
The Carers’ Hub is a focal point for unpaid carers in Brighton & Hove to get information and support they need.
You can also check resources for parents from the local NHS wellbeing service.
Across the county, you can also get: