The Student Room Group
University of Sussex
University of Sussex
Brighton

What are your honest pros and cons of Sussex university?

I’ve got a conditional offer for Sussex but don’t really know about it like the night life and the atmosphere
Recently finished my second year.

So the pros of Sussex
- Brighton (is a nice town generally with good restaurants, nightlife and culture)
- Close to London
- Generally fairly respected university, but not considered as good as the 'elite'.
- I have experienced nothing but great teaching.
- Very accepting environment on the whole

Negatives
- Campus is really isolated to the point where basically you have to leave campus for everything at the weekend, weekdays are fine as everything is open. However campus could do with a better supermarket.
- Close mindedness - there is a strong left wing regressive element at Sussex (this will vary depending on the course and certainly isn't the majority), basically avoid discussing politically contentious issues because these people basically cannot be reasoned with. Im not talking about being left wing or right wing its more like Far left vs everyone else type situation. See Kathleen Stock controversy for example.
University of Sussex
University of Sussex
Brighton
I also just finished my second year. Here's my pros/cons:

Pros
~Brighton is great for going out; good pubs/bars/restraunts, etc. it has a rep for having a great nightlife.
~People are generally quite friendly, especially at the student union
~Diverse uni in regards to ethnicity and nationality. Though I have noticed there's also too many londoners here for my liking, but apart from that quite a mixed bag.


Cons
~Living in Brighton is EXPENSIVE (after first year, you can't live in halls anymore and have to live in the city instead)
~As the other person pointed out, it is rather left wing here lol. It's certainly the most 'liberal' place in the UK i would argue, Brighton Pavillion is the only area where the Green Party wins a seat in every election :^) This will be a pro/con depending on your political affiliations of course
~It's moved down the league tables A LOT recently. When I first joined it was like in the 20s now it's 40th in the UK. Depending on your course though, it may still be strong. I.e, uni is still very good for psychology, biology etc.

Original post by Anonymous
I’ve got a conditional offer for Sussex but don’t really know about it like the night life and the atmosphere
I am just coming to the end of a 1-year MA at Sussex. I highly recommend you reconsider your choice. We lost six weeks of tuition this year due to strike action. That means, of 21 weeks of teaching we didn't have six of them! Devastating. I then found out that this is the THIRD consecutive year that this strike action has taken place, though I was not warned when I applied or had my offer accepted, and it is highly likely that there will be a fourth year of strike action in 2020. The university will not give you compensation for lost teaching.
I went around it and put it as one of my 5 but not as my final two, because I looked around and hated it.

Brighton is a really good city, especially if you're into partying or are lgbt or ally.

But the campus...is just ugly. the buildings look dirty and run down prefabs, and the whole vibe is just not modern or friendly really.
Original post by yzanne
I went around it and put it as one of my 5 but not as my final two, because I looked around and hated it.

Brighton is a really good city, especially if you're into partying or are lgbt or ally.

But the campus...is just ugly. the buildings look dirty and run down prefabs, and the whole vibe is just not modern or friendly really.

Haha - that's just unfortunate 1960s architecture. The university is pretty good though - its a golden age uni (meaning it was built between 1945 and 1967) and is the 15th best Golden Age uni in the world. It is fairly new so hasn't had loads of time to grow, I think.

Pros:
Brighton is really nice, and on the beach with loads of shopping, clubs and restaurants.

most accommodation is nice, though some is not great.

The campus has actually been rated one of the nicest in the country, and is right on the Sussex downs - so fairly green.

It's a well respected uni too. One thing I was kind of shocked about, is its 146th on the world rankings, and Durham (Which I see as elite) is 133rd, so they're apparently pretty close.

There are so many clubs which cater to everyone's taste - the nightlife is honestly amazing. E.g. Patterns - I guess kind of edgy? Underground club. Pryzm - Huge, definitely typically popular music, like a lot of London stuff too. Chalk - more sort of good music, you know? Like songs everyone knows - it's my favourite.

It's easy to make friends, in my opinion. I got a great group pretty much straight away.

There are loads and loads of societies, which literally cover just about everything - from a conservative society to a pirate society. Sports teams range from tennis to american football.

I live in the southwest countryside so it's kind of hard for me to get home, but it's on the London trainline.

There's a huge variety of people, though like the previous said, maybe too many londoners... haha.


Cons:
Brighton is expensive to some people I guess - first year cost probably well over 1k per month - obviously not including tuition. I got the minimum maintenance loan which I used to live on, and then my parents paid my rent themselves, though I think some people pay for rent with their loan? When you leave campus accomodation it might cost you more too, not necessarily because of rent and bills (though it might be), but because of transport into the campus.

The campus is far from city. If you want to travel in the daytime, take the train because it's a 10 minute journey. For clubbing, from the campus the journey is usually 30-45 mins I'd say, and if you need a wee its grim haha. Also when you get into the city, because its on the beachfront and uni barely crosses into the summer, it is COLD!

Teachers are ridiculously left wing - to the point where there are articles saying teachers at sussex think right-wing students are 'a problem that needs dealing with.' They also held classes on how to deal with students with right-wing views.

The on campus coop is so convenient, but also the most expensive coop in the UK.

The strikes are ridiculous, some people missed like 6 weeks of tuition with a maximum refund of only £100. Also teachers aren't allowed to tell you why they personally strike, but they literally all did. One teacher said that they were striking because they thought students were paying too much for a service that didn't provide as well as it should - god knows how the hell they think striking (so we miss education) is possibly going to help that. After the first set of strikes, one teacher said that part of the reasoning for the second strikes was because teachers were deducted pay after the original strikes. Like wtaf hahaha. Why do they think they can get away with doing no work, opposing the institution which they work for, essentially STEAL the tuition fees of the students, and still get paid? Ridiculous!


On the whole, I like saying I'm at sussex. Aside from enjoying pretty much every day I spend there, it's a very well perceived university, and I'm honestly not just saying that because I go there. The left wing teachers can be annoying, but it's not all of them, and some students (if not most) probably agree with them. I have no issue with their views, obviously, I just think they could be kinder to others with differing views. You also meet a really wide variety of people.

I would recommend ! :smile:
(edited 3 years ago)
To be honest, so far it has been an absolute joke. I'm a current second year, but in my third year here as I also did a foundation year (which in fairness was great). In my experience:

Pros:
- Lovely campus, in the South downs so loads of green space, nice buildings, library is great
-Brighton is really nice, you've obviously got the beach but the Laines are really nice too - great for shopping if you're into that - also plenty of great cafes which is so useful for studying once you move off campus
- Teaching quality pretty great overall - the lecturers know what they are talking about
- Nightlife really good if you are into clubbing - pubs are good too
- Bus routes are so good, very regular and run through the night even on weekend

Cons:
- Expensive - campus accommodation prices are frankly laughable, off campus houses are actually cheaper than campus (and they are still expensive)
- STRIKES - so this term the uni are striking for 21 teaching days - this means that for one of my modules I am missing SEVEN out of ten lectures - frankly I am teaching myself with 0 help, they won't even reply to emails
- Some of the seminar tutors are shocking at responding to emails / being helpful - in both foundation and first year I had really good tutors but this year none of my tutors have replied to any of my emails even though they were about important things like assessments.
- Though campus is great for green space and really nice walks, off campus there are barely any green spaces - which for some people like me who come from rural areas, is not fun as living in the city can be depressing
- You will be surrounded by druggies if you are on campus - I have no issue with people doing drugs if they want, but honestly, it is not a personality to do ketamine and you will be surrounded by people off their face 24/7
- Lastly, and most significantly, the absolute hypocrisy of a university that claims it is accepting and diverse - what it means by this is people there are accepting of anyone with the same political views as them - bearing in mind here I am far from a conservative, I'd be considered left wing at home - but my god, you are going to offend someone if you open your mouth with even the slightest difference of opinion here - I've learnt to shut up to avoid being cancelled lol
(edited 1 year ago)
We are due to attend offer event DD wants to visit as they are not 100% on their insurance choice for Law or just take clearing route.

Know some of these comments are 2 years ago but interesting to read how 2 years on if anything has changed.

I had heard in regards drug and political life on campus.

So what questions should I ask that I may not have.
DD already has a few in regards to Law alongside crime % rate on campus and their safety record.

As for Campus accomodation cost, they're similar with few other universities we have looked at. Off campus what are private let prices like? How much have they increased, I.e House share 4 or 6 that areas closer to campus.

🙂
(edited 12 months ago)
Hi FirstGenMum72,

Firstly, it is definitely good to go to the offer holder open day as you are doing - a few things to bear in mind are:
1) Teaching quality for law is very good from what I know
2) But - bear in mind that more strikes are likely to happen next year so DD will have to be very self-motivated as law is intense and you cannot afford to miss content EVEN IF it won't be in the assessments she will need the info later
3) Crime rate IN GENERAL is low - you are safe walking around at night etc in the city - I am a girl and do this regularly, no issues (yes I know my username is Gavin)
HOWEVER - Sussex university is ranked WORST in the UK for sexual assault AMONGST STUDENTS - you are safe on the streets, it is the people who go to the uni you need to worry about! In terms of what I myself have witnessed and experienced, it seems that the open and sex-positive culture at Sussex (though positive in some ways) gives the impression to certain men that this means they can get away with things they wouldn't elsewhere because "we're in Brighton". This is overwhelmingly on campus, you're fine later years off campus. The uni is notoriously rubbish at dealing with these even when incidents are reported (I suggest you google this there are some articles on it). Also, in clubs there is a lot of spiking going on so you have to be careful to go in a group, and never put your drink down.

4) At the offer holders day, remember they are orchestrating it to look amazing, so make sure you look beyond what they are actually saying and ask anything you want. They are likely to skirt around any actual issues they have there.

5) House prices - if you can afford it, go for it on campus. Under no circumstances should your DD choose any of the accommodations ending in the word "House" (Norwich House, Kent House, York House, etc) - they are AWFUL despite good pictures online - never hot water, heating on off, etc - so many maintenance issues - Brighthelm is a very good option, East Slope is good but v expensive - in terms of off campus, you can find a good deal - I am in a house of 5 and pay £530 /month plus bills so about £610 a month. However, be aware that all housing off campus is not within walking distance of campus so your DD will be paying a bus or train fare every day.

LMK if you have any other questions :smile:
Original post by GavinWasHere7
Hi FirstGenMum72,

Firstly, it is definitely good to go to the offer holder open day as you are doing - a few things to bear in mind are:
1) Teaching quality for law is very good from what I know
2) But - bear in mind that more strikes are likely to happen next year so DD will have to be very self-motivated as law is intense and you cannot afford to miss content EVEN IF it won't be in the assessments she will need the info later
3) Crime rate IN GENERAL is low - you are safe walking around at night etc in the city - I am a girl and do this regularly, no issues (yes I know my username is Gavin)
HOWEVER - Sussex university is ranked WORST in the UK for sexual assault AMONGST STUDENTS - you are safe on the streets, it is the people who go to the uni you need to worry about! In terms of what I myself have witnessed and experienced, it seems that the open and sex-positive culture at Sussex (though positive in some ways) gives the impression to certain men that this means they can get away with things they wouldn't elsewhere because "we're in Brighton". This is overwhelmingly on campus, you're fine later years off campus. The uni is notoriously rubbish at dealing with these even when incidents are reported (I suggest you google this there are some articles on it). Also, in clubs there is a lot of spiking going on so you have to be careful to go in a group, and never put your drink down.

4) At the offer holders day, remember they are orchestrating it to look amazing, so make sure you look beyond what they are actually saying and ask anything you want. They are likely to skirt around any actual issues they have there.

5) House prices - if you can afford it, go for it on campus. Under no circumstances should your DD choose any of the accommodations ending in the word "House" (Norwich House, Kent House, York House, etc) - they are AWFUL despite good pictures online - never hot water, heating on off, etc - so many maintenance issues - Brighthelm is a very good option, East Slope is good but v expensive - in terms of off campus, you can find a good deal - I am in a house of 5 and pay £530 /month plus bills so about £610 a month. However, be aware that all housing off campus is not within walking distance of campus so your DD will be paying a bus or train fare every day.

LMK if you have any other questions :smile:



Thank you very much 'GWH' for great reply, really appreciated, very insightful, and these are questions I have already noted.

We have already visited a few institutions Sheffield, Manchester, Swansea, Durham, Lancaster, Newcastle, Exeter, Kent, Goldsmiths, City Law school and Oxford Brooks when it was their open days back in year 11 & 12 and asked similar questions so be interesting what answers will be given at UoS.

Accomodation wise Sussex prices are very similar to couple of others of DD other 4 choices. She has worked last 2 years and been saving to top it up.
Think Brighthelm, East Slope & Lewes was on DD wanted to check out this Saturday.
I also noticed student share houses are not as overpriced as I expected, similar to York area where my niece is.

I have a friend to who lives not too far from Brighton, so DD will have a break glass back up. 🙂
Original post by GavinWasHere7
Hi FirstGenMum72,

Firstly, it is definitely good to go to the offer holder open day as you are doing - a few things to bear in mind are:
1) Teaching quality for law is very good from what I know
2) But - bear in mind that more strikes are likely to happen next year so DD will have to be very self-motivated as law is intense and you cannot afford to miss content EVEN IF it won't be in the assessments she will need the info later
3) Crime rate IN GENERAL is low - you are safe walking around at night etc in the city - I am a girl and do this regularly, no issues (yes I know my username is Gavin)
HOWEVER - Sussex university is ranked WORST in the UK for sexual assault AMONGST STUDENTS - you are safe on the streets, it is the people who go to the uni you need to worry about! In terms of what I myself have witnessed and experienced, it seems that the open and sex-positive culture at Sussex (though positive in some ways) gives the impression to certain men that this means they can get away with things they wouldn't elsewhere because "we're in Brighton". This is overwhelmingly on campus, you're fine later years off campus. The uni is notoriously rubbish at dealing with these even when incidents are reported (I suggest you google this there are some articles on it). Also, in clubs there is a lot of spiking going on so you have to be careful to go in a group, and never put your drink down.

4) At the offer holders day, remember they are orchestrating it to look amazing, so make sure you look beyond what they are actually saying and ask anything you want. They are likely to skirt around any actual issues they have there.

5) House prices - if you can afford it, go for it on campus. Under no circumstances should your DD choose any of the accommodations ending in the word "House" (Norwich House, Kent House, York House, etc) - they are AWFUL despite good pictures online - never hot water, heating on off, etc - so many maintenance issues - Brighthelm is a very good option, East Slope is good but v expensive - in terms of off campus, you can find a good deal - I am in a house of 5 and pay £530 /month plus bills so about £610 a month. However, be aware that all housing off campus is not within walking distance of campus so your DD will be paying a bus or train fare every day.

LMK if you have any other questions :smile:



Thank you very much 'GWH' for great reply, really appreciated, very insightful, and these are questions I have already noted.

We have already visited a few institutions Sheffield, Manchester, Swansea, Durham, Lancaster, Newcastle, Exeter, Kent, Goldsmiths, City Law school and Oxford Brooks when it was their open days back in year 11 & 12 and asked similar questions so be interesting what answers will be given at UoS.

Accomodation wise Sussex prices are very similar to couple of others of DD other 4 choices. She has worked last 2 years and been saving to top it up.
Think Brighthelm, East Slope & Lewes was on DD wanted to check out this Saturday.
I also noticed student share houses are not as overpriced as I expected, similar to York area where my niece is.

I have a friend to who lives not too far from Brighton, so DD will have a break glass back up. 🙂 I am from East London so DD ain't bothered regards to London students she isn't wet behind the ears and gets my colloquialisms. As for spiking unfortunately and sadly that is a cross country issue.

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