We understand how challenging balancing study, work and family commitments can be. Whether you are an undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD student – find everything you need to know if you are a parent studying at Sussex.

Find out: 

Advice and support 

If you are balancing family life with studying at Sussex you can get advice and support from:

Your School of study

If you are finding balancing the requirements of your course with having a family difficult, you might want to make an appointment with your School of study to discuss whether there are ways of making your course more manageable.

Speak to your school’s team to find out how to access this support.

Student Centre

The Student Centre is at the heart of your student experience.

Whether it’s a simple query or support with a more complex issue, there’s a wide range of information, advice and guidance available.

Students’ Union 

The Students’ Union helps ensure your voices are heard and responded to by the University. It exists to support the experience of all students, with elected Student Officers and Reps, clubs and societies, events, flexible employment opportunities and more.

Services and spaces 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.


  • Changing facilities

    There are baby changing facilities located across the campus, including in the Library, the Meeting House, the Health Centre and the Student Centre (ask at the reception desk).

    If you need a microwave or boiling water for feeding, you can find these in the Library Café area, the Meeting House kitchen, and the Student Centre ground floor, as well as other areas across the campus.

  • Accessibility and parking

    The campus map shows step-free routes across campus, and AccessAble can provide more detail on specific buildings.

    Although most students are not eligible to apply for campus parking, exceptions may be made for students with parenting or caring responsibilities. There are select parking spaces reserved for carers until 10am.

    Find out more about parking on campus

  • Sussex sport

    The campus Sports Centre offers a year-round programme of activities for children up to 16 years of age.

  • Childcare on campus

    The University has childcare services on campus for children aged between three 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. If you have questions about funding or paying for childcare, visit the Student Centre to arrange an appointment with the relevant advisor. 

    You must book and confirm a place for your child in advance. Apply early as the nursery is popular and places cannot be guaranteed. 

    If you have a student visa, and you have children aged three or four years old on a dependant visa, you may be able to 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.


  • 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, study desks with power and Wi-Fi, and comfy chairs. There are baby changing facilities and a water fountain on the same floor, and a microwave in the café downstairs.

    Find out more about the Library Family Room.

    Important: If you want to use the family room and/or the accessible entrances and lifts in the library, speak to staff at the library reception desk or email library.membership@sussex.ac.uk, so your access card can be activated.

  • Sunflower Room

    You can use our on-campus family room, called the Sunflower Room, located in Norwich House. It is free to use and can be booked for activities such as children’s birthday parties.

    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.

  • Playground and basketball court

    There is a basketball court and children’s playground on campus, with swings, a playhouse and bouncers. These can be found next to Northfield residences (block 1) and are open to all Sussex students.

  • Spaces at the Student Centre

    The Student Centre is a great place to relax, study and access our facilities, open 24/7 (staffed by security after 5pm and during weekends). It brings together our student support services, who provide confidential, pre-booked appointments, and hosts drop-in sessions and activities throughout the year. There’s lots of space to sit and relax, a sunny courtyard, kitchen area with microwaves/hot water, ‘changing places’ toilet and a coffee stand.

  • The Meeting House

    Located just off Library Square, the Meeting House is a welcoming space offering informal support for the whole Sussex community, of all ages, of all faiths and none. There is a lobby area where you can relax and a small kitchen with microwaves and a kettle, as well as a beautiful chapel upstairs.

Getting involved

There are a variety of events and activities taking place on campus for students who are parents or carers, including activities for your children.

Belong at Sussex

Belong at Sussex aims to support your involvement with university life and to build a sense of belonging through various year-round activities. The programme welcomes all students, with many events open to all and some for specific community groups including student parents, carers and mature students. Find out more about Belong at Sussex.

Students’ Union events 

The Students’ Union run various events both for student parents and their children and carers, such as film screenings and Christmas activities. Keep an eye on their event listings to find out more.

Other opportunities

You may also be interested in Career Lab, which offers a wide range of opportunities to develop your employability, and the Spirit of Sussex Award, which celebrates your extra-curricular achievements both on campus and at home.


It can be expensive to support a family while studying, particularly if you need childcare.

You can get money and funding advice from the University – including applying for the hardship fund or other financial support. There is also 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.

If you need to top up your income it’s worth exploring part-time jobs on campus. These can be more flexible around your other commitments than other employers, and are paid the Real Living Wage.

If you are an undergraduate student parent interested in flexible, paid roles supporting other parents’ university experiences, contact the Access Programme at: accessprogramme@sussex.ac.uk and Connector Programme at: connectorprogramme@sussex.ac.uk.

Accommodation for families

Housing Services have detailed information about renting in the private sector with a family.

The University are unable to provide housing for students with dependents but can give advice and guidance.

If you’re an international student with dependants, check the visa rules for bringing your family to the UK.

Local services

Brighton & Hove Council provide detailed, impartial information and advice about childcare and other services for families in the Family Services Directory.

You can also access Family Hubs, which provide workshops, information, advice and guidance about childcare, early learning, finances and other local services.

You can also check resources for parents from the local NHS wellbeing service.

If you are living outside of Brighton & Hove, see information and advice for families in East Sussex (including a Facebook page) and families in West Sussex.

See more from Support for our student communities