One of the key benefits to studying online with Sussex is the flexibility to plan your study time around your career and life commitments, from wherever in the world you choose. Before starting the course, we recommend you check your equipment and internet access to ensure your technology is reliable and meets the minimum requirements, allowing you to get the most out of the course content and activities.

To get the most out of your Masters, it’s essential that you fully engage and participate in all aspects of your Masters course, including the live sessions, activities, interactive exercises and online discussion forums. If, for any reason, you’re struggling to take part or keep up with the course, please speak to your Student Success Advisor in the first instance. They are there to help you complete your studies successfully. Do bear in mind that this course is academically rigorous, and you should set aside at least 20 hours study time a week.

We’ve created a student induction module on Canvas, the university’s online study platform. You’ll receive an email link to the online registration system. Here you can collect your Sussex username and password. You’ll then need to log in to and complete online registration. Once you have completed both these tasks, you will be given access to Canvas. Log in to the platform and work through the induction activities before starting the course. It will help prepare you for the weeks ahead.

As part of your induction you’ll receive an email invitation to attend a welcome webinar, where you will:

  • Engage with your academic leads
  • Meet your Student Success Advisor
  • Identify a selection of services available to you
  • Interact with the other students joining the course
  • Have the opportunity to ask any questions you have.

As a student at Sussex you’ll not only benefit from excellent teaching informed by our world-leading research, but also from our dedicated Student Success Team, who specialise in supporting students studying online.

The success of our students at the University of Sussex is at the heart of everything we do. The Student Success Team understand the investment you are making in your future with us and we look forward to supporting you throughout your studies.

The Student Success Team are committed to making sure you get everything you can out of your time with us. We will be your first point of contact for any issues that might affect you on your journey. You’ll be assigned a personal Student Success Advisor (SSA) who will stay with you throughout your studies at Sussex, from enrolment to graduation, ensuring you can focus your attention on your studies.

The Student Success Team will help you:

  • Navigate your studies
  • Provide advice and guidance
  • Answer any non-academic questions
  • Remind you when your fees are due, or when assessment deadlines are approaching.

Our support is designed to ensure you graduate with all the skills and knowledge the course provides, and to make sure you enjoy your time studying with us.

It’s worth noting your Student Success Advisor will contact you through your University of Sussex email account, so please check this account regularly.

They’ll contact you with key information updates throughout the course and keep track of your progress.

How to contact the Student Success Team
All Sussex students are given a Sussex email account when they register on their course.

Please use this account to contact the team. We won’t send any emails to your personal email once you’ve registered on the course, so please check your Sussex email regularly to make sure you don’t miss vital information.

You’ll be given a six-digit number, which is the direct dial extension number for your Student Success Advisor. Whenever you have a question or a query, just contact your advisor and they’ll be able to help. If for any reason your Student Success Advisor is not available, you can email or call the Student Success Team and they’ll get back to you.

You can also arrange regular support calls with your Student Success Advisor. We appreciate that our students come from all over the world and work in different time zones, so we always try and arrange calls when it’s convenient for you.

You can contact the Student Success Team in a way that suits you:

Your Module Leaders and Online Tutors change as you progress through the course modules, to ensure you’re being taught by experts in each area. If you have a question, but are unsure who to contact, your Student Success Advisor is the best person to ask. At the start of each module, you will be told who your Module Leader and Online Tutor will be. You can contact them via Canvas if you have any questions about the assigned work or assessments.

Ask your Online Tutor if you have a question about…Ask your Student Success Advisor if you have a question about…
Le ads the independent and group learning activities throughout the moduleBe your first point of contact, escalating academic, technical and student support queries
Will provide module-specific academic advice and supportSend out assessment deadline and submission process reminders
VLE facilitationAnswer financial queries including fess, student loan signposting and refunds
Can answer assessment queriesAdvise you about taking a break from your studies
Is responsible for grading and feedbackDiscuss any personal issues affecting studies, including advising on exceptional circumstances eligibility
Should be your initial contact for academic concerns and grievancesSupport your ongoing student experience

The table below shows some important dates to help you plan your studies.

Teaching PeriodPayment DeadlineModule Start DateModule end date
Jan 202031/12/201906/01/202021/02/2020
March 202004/03/202009/03/202024/04/2020
May 202029/04/202004/05/202019/06/2020
July 202024/06/202029/06/202014/08/2020
Sept 202025/08/202001/09/202016/10/2020
Oct 202022/10/202026/10/202011/12/2020
Jan 202130/12/202004/01/2119/02/21
March 202124/02/202101/03/202116/042021

What skills do I need to study online?
You don’t need to be a computer expert to take part in your course, but we do expect all students to have a basic level of computer literacy. Support is available for students that encounter any problems. Please contact your Student Success Advisor, if you have difficulty accessing your learning and assessment activities or materials.

Delve into Canvas, your online study platform
Your online studies will be based in Canvas, an advanced learning platform designed to facilitate, stretch and compliment your learning journey. From here you’ll be able to access your learning materials and activities, connect with other students, carry out group work and source research.

If you have any technical problems with Canvas, please call the Canvas helpline on +44 800 060 8441. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Technical Requirements for the Canvas online study platform
We recommend you always keep your browser up-to-date and use the best internet connection you can. Canvas will still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times. Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements. You can find more information on Canvas system requirements on the Canvas site.

The minimum length of study for your Masters course is two years. If you need to take a break during your studies, the design of the course allows you to step-off by electing to opt out and rejoin when you are ready.

You can take a break from studying for as long as needed, provided you agree a return date and complete the course within the maximum length of study, which is four years from the start of the course.

We strongly recommend you don’t take any breaks until after your fourth module. You must arrange an opt out with your Student Success Advisor before the first day of teaching of your next module. If by this point, you’ve already paid the module cost, you can request a refund.

Speak to your Student Success Advisor if there’s any reason you can’t return after your break, or if you have any questions about taking breaks and how this impacts the time it will take you to complete the course. Bear in mind that missing a module may delay your graduation time considerably; the impact varies depending on where in the carousel you decide to take your break.

Study Planner
Before you begin your course you’ll be given access to a Study Planner, which will help you manage your time effectively. This interactive guide will help you plan your week and identify the best time to study around your existing professional and personal commitments.

The minimum length of study for your Masters course is two years. If you need to take a break during your studies, the design of the course allows you to step-off by electing to opt out and rejoin when you are ready.

Break in study
You can take a break from studying for as long as needed. You need to agree a return date and complete the course within the maximum length of study (4 years).

We strongly recommend you don’t take any breaks until after your fourth module. You must arrange an opt-out with your Student Success Advisor before the start of your next module. If by this point, you’ve already paid the module cost, you can request a refund.

If there’s any reason you can’t return after your break, speak to your Student Success Advisor. Remember that missing a module may delay your graduation time considerably; the impact varies depending on where in the carousel you decide to take your break.

Graduation planning
If you decide you need to take a break from your studies, your Student Success Advisor can give you support and guidance, and help you map out your new graduation date. Please remember that the maximum length of study for your course is four years, so you’ll need to ensure you can complete your studies within this timeframe. If you do take a break from study, it’s essential you negotiate your planned return date with your Student Success Advisor.

The University of Sussex warmly invites students who have successfully completed the course to attend their graduation ceremony. Graduation events are usually held in Brighton, East Sussex, UK.

You can choose which ceremony you’d like to attend, allowing you to organise your attendance at graduation around any commitments you might have or planned travel to the UK. Our graduations usually take place twice a year in January and July, and there’s no time limit on attendance; you can complete and pass your degree and attend a ceremony in the year/s following. The University of Sussex also holds several graduation ceremonies in overseas territories. Your Student Success Advisor will be able to advise you if there are any ceremonies in a location near you, once you’ve completed the course. The graduation team at Sussex will be happy to help you find the ceremony that works best for you.

Sussex Alumni Community
The Sussex Alumni Network, is an active community of Sussex alumnus based in over 100 countries worldwide. When you graduate from the University, you’ll be invited to join the network. Benefiting from a range of events, networking opportunities, as well as being able to keep in touch with fellow alumni.

Find out more about alumni engagement and opportunities

How and when can I pay for my course?
Before the start of each module, you’ll be made aware of all future payment deadlines, but it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure you pay on time. If you fail to make a payment, you will not be able to access the next module.

Methods of payment
Students will be able to pay via debit, credit card or PayPal. Currently we can’t accept bank transfers. However, we are implementing a new payment solution, which will provide a greater range of payment options for international students.

Refunds
Under the regulations governing distance selling contracts, you have 14 days from the date the University of Sussex receives your payment to change your mind and request a refund. Payment is due five days before teaching begins and a refund can be requested up to nine days into the module. After the 14-day period has passed, the payment is non-refundable. If you are within the 14-day cooling off period and would like to request a refund, please contact your Student Success Advisor who will be happy to talk you through the process.

Library Services
Students have access to online library resources and learning materials through their student account. This includes eBooks, journals, newspapers and databases. If the Library doesn’t have a copy of a journal article or chapter, you can ask for a digital scan to be emailed to you. Your Online Distance Learning (ODL) Librarian will support you through Canvas with any Library-related queries and will offer study and research skills webinars to help with assignments.

Health, Wellbeing and Counselling Services
You will have access to a range of selfhelp materials including SilverCloud, an interactive tool for managing mental and behavioural health. Further information is available on our health and wellbeing pages and you can also contact your Student Success Advisor.

Student Support Unit (SSU)
The Student Support Unit (SSU) is a team of specialist advisors who work with students who need support due to a disability or conditions such as mental health, autism spectrum and other learning difficulties.

The University offers a range of resources to support students to successfully complete their course. Information about these services is available at Student Support and you can always contact your Student Success Advisor if you need more help.

Careers and Employability Centre
The Careers and Employability Centre provides students with 1-2-1 careers support and guidance throughout their time at the university and for up to three years after they graduate.

The centre provides a number of resources, including recordings of CV writing workshops aimed at helping Masters students.

Student Union
All registered students at the University of Sussex are members of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union exists to represent students’ interests both within the University and the wider community and campaigns on relevant local, national and international issues.

English Language for academic study
The Sussex Centre for Language Studies (SCLS), offers an English Language for Academic Study service.

The aim of this service is to help students who have English as an additional language, to develop their Academic English skills and to adapt to UK academic study which may have different expectations to Universities in other countries.

For many students it takes time and practice to develop appropriate academic language skills, so we would advise you to make time for this alongside your academic studies throughout the course.

You will be able to email queries and book online 1:1 tutorials with their tutors on topics such as:

  • Using cautious language in academic writing to develop a strong argument
  • Developing academic style and vocabulary
  • Paraphrasing, summarizing and quoting in academic writing
  • Textual cohesion in academic writing

Contact them on: elas@sussex.ac.uk and in your email, please give your name and details of the course or module you are studying on.

This checklist will tell you how to prepare for your first day on the module, helping to ensure your transition to online study is a smooth one. Please complete the following checklist before your module start date.

  • Had a Welcome Call with my Student Success Advisor
  • Registered for/attended the upcoming welcome webinar where I can learn more about the course
  • Completed the activities in the student induction module
  • Familiarised myself with the key dates calendar
  • Checked my internet connection and hardware
  • Used the study time planner to map out my study time and sent it to my Student Success Advisor
  • Accessed my University of Sussex student email account
  • Marked Sussex as a safe sender in my personal email inbox
  • Explored the Canvas online study platform.

Next steps
Before your course start date, please complete your student induction activities and attend your welcome webinar (you’ll receive a reminder 48 hours beforehand). If you have any questions during your induction period, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We can also support you if you require access to any of the university services mentioned in this pack.

We are sure you have a lot of questions about your course, online learning and more. Below are some of the questions that our team get asked most by our students.

Who do I speak to if I have a concern or problem?
Generally, your Student Success Advisor is the best person to contact in the first instance. They can advise you, or point you in the right direction if needs be.

Is support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
You can contact the Student Success team between 8am– 6pm UK time. If you call outside of these times, please follow the prompt to press 1, you will then be directed to the 24/7 support team.

I’ve forgotten my password for the online study platform
You can find information on the IT help page on the University of Sussex website.

How do I get in touch with my tutor?
You should contact your tutor through Canvas in the first instance. If you have any trouble contacting your tutor please talk to your Student Success Advisor.

I’m having general technical difficulties, what do I do?
Call +44 1273 019313 and follow the prompt to the helpdesk or visit the IT Help Centre.

I’m having issues with Canvas
If you have any problems with Canvas, you can call the 24/7 Canvas helpline on +44 800 060 8441. Alternatively, click on the ‘Help’ button at the bottom of the left-hand navigation in Canvas. There’s a live chat link, or you can go to the Canvas Student Guides pages.

I’ve forgotten my password for the online study platform
You can find instructions on how to reset your password here.

Do I need to apply for a student ID/library card?
All students at the University of Sussex are entitled to a student ID/Library card. You’ll need to provide a photograph when you complete your online registration and ask your Student Success Advisor to post your card to you

I want to take a break from my studies, what are my options?
Contact your Student Success Advisor to discuss your options. They’ll talk you through your next steps and the impact it will have on your graduation date.

I’m struggling to finance my course, what should I do?
This course has been designed to be flexible and allow you to take a break from studying if finance is an issue, as long as you do not exceed your maximum length of study (four years in total). You can speak to your Student Success Advisor about the financial support available to you and funding your studies.*

*Please note financial assistance and loan eligibility is dependent on the students personal circumstance and is not available to all students.

How do I pay my fees?
You’ll receive an email advising you of the payment date and a link to the payment portal.

What reading do I have to do for each module?
Reading lists for your modules can be found on Canvas.

How do I access the live classes?
Live sessions (seminars/classes) will be delivered through Canvas. Information on how to join them are provided in each module. Please contact your Student Success Advisor, if you’re unsure how to join a live session.

How many students are there in a typical class?
Class sizes will vary. We aim to maintain a tutor-student ratio of approximately 1:25 students. However, for some activities, the group sizes could be larger or smaller.

When and how do I submit my work?
All work is submitted electronically through Canvas, your online study platform. Some assignments will also be submitted through Turnitin. It’s your responsibility to ensure your work is submitted on time, failure to submit before the deadline will constitute a non-submission. You can find more information on the Assignments page within the module on Canvas.

When will marks be released?
Provisional marks will be released on Canvas and Sussex Direct; the exact date will vary from module to module. We aim to publish your results around 15 term-time working days after the end of each module.