When you arrive at Sussex, the first thing you notice is its architecture and setting in a range of undulating hills. The campus lies between the raffish but still glamorous Brighton and the historic old hill town of Lewes. Both can be reached by very frequent bus and train services that run from the campus. Brighton itself is best known for the extravagant Royal Pavilion, its miles of pebble beaches and the gaudy Brighton Pier, the fourth most-visited tourist attraction in Britain. The entertainment capital of the south coast, Brighton has one of the most active music and arts scenes in Britain. Theatre ranges from repertory and West End shows to experimental and controversial works performed by fringe and amateur companies at intimate pub venues. Brighton and Hove offer cuisine from around the world in more than 400 restaurants - more per resident than anywhere in the UK outside central London. There are also countless pubs, wine bars, cocktail bars and cafes. The Brighton Festival, England's biggest arts festival, takes place in May. Three mini-festivals - fringe, jazz and comedy - add to the variety. Brighton is less than an hour from London by train - close enough to go for the evening or the day. France is only a ferry ride away from nearby Newhaven and Gatwick Airport is half an hour away by train.
The University of Sussex's excellent academic record, its emphasis on interdisciplinarity and flexibility, and its location assure that time spent at Sussex is rewarding, in terms of both educational and personal development. It was founded in 1961 and since then has established an international reputation for the quality of its research and for its innovative and effective styles of teaching, which attract scholars from all over the world. Sussex also offers you the opportunity of studying with people from many different backgrounds. They have varying experiences, views and beliefs, and this wide mix contributes to your learning. Some British universities are divided into faculties or departments. Sussex is different. Every undergraduate and every tutor is a member of one of the five Schools of Studies. The School is the academic and social cornerstone of Sussex life. The University campus is on the edge of Brighton, a town that could almost have been designed for students. The campus offers a refreshing contrast. Entirely self-contained, it has an excellent range of academic and social facilities.
The University is divided into five Schools of Studies, and all faculty and students belong to one of the Schools of Studies, which are the primary academic units of the University. The Schools are designed as interdisciplinary units, each with a particular intellectual interest and each with its own distinctive curriculum that brings together subjects often kept apart in departmental universities. You are assigned to the School most appropriate to your choice of courses, but this placement does not restrict your choice to courses run solely by that School, and you can be imaginative in course structure within the bounds of academic coherence.
Humanities: American Studies, Art History, Drama Studies, English, Film Studies, History, Linguistics, European Humanities, European Languages, Music, Philosophy, TESOL
Life Sciences: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology and Conservation, Environmental Biology, Environmental Science, Psychology, Human Sciences, Molecular Genetics in Biotechnology, Molecular Medicine, Natural Science, Neuroscience
Science and Technology: Infomatics, Electronics, Communication and Electrical Engineering; Mathematics and Statistics; Mechanical and Automotive Engineering; Physics and Astronomy; Product Design
Social Sciences and Cultural Studies: Anthropology, Contemporary European Studies, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, Economics, Gender Studies, Geography, International Relations, Politics, Media Studies, Sociology
The Sussex Institute: Creative Studies (part-time), Cultural Studies (part-time), Educational Studies, Landscape Studies (part-time), Law, Social Work
All Sussex departments received either a 4 or 5 out of 5 in the Research Assessment Exercise conducted in 2001 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Rankings depend on how much of the research work is judged to reach national or international levels of excellence.
Pre-medical Program: The decision to spend a year abroad is often an especially difficult one for American pre-medical students. This is because they feel that a year away from their home institution might reduce their chance of entering medical school. However, Sussex has arranged a flexible program that may make a most positive addition to the student's curriculum vitae in the eyes of a prospective medical college. Sussex has a pre-medical adviser; helps to obtain volunteer medical work and hospital-based research projects; provides revision seminars for the MCAT examination; makes available science courses that allow a student to complete the full curriculum of pre-medical requirements and offers a course on the British National Health Service, dealing with social, administrative and economic considerations, and professional and patient attitudes to the Service. Sussex is also a center for taking the MCAT.
September Program: Sussex, like many British universities, is on a trimester system. This means that the fall term is not equivalent to a full semester's work and students can normally obtain only three Penn c.u.'s. The September program, joined to the Autumn Term, provides a full semester in credits or four Penn c.u.'s. The following courses are usually offered: "British Popular Culture," "English Literature and History: Sussex Perspectives," "The Idea of the European Union," "Introduction to British Politics," "Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry," "Introduction to Archaeology," "Shakespeare's Plays and the Elizabethan Theatre," and "English Composition."
Program website: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/.
A full student load is 120 units per year: 48 units for the fall term, and 72 units for the spring and summer terms. You may take any combination of courses for which you are academically qualified, including a mixture of arts and science courses; but it is important to ensure that the combined weighting of the program you choose adds up to these figures. The credits quoted in the Study Abroad at the University of Sussex guide are intended as a rough guide to the proportion of your work time you need to commit to each course.
Undergraduate performance is assessed by various methods, which depend on the subjects taken and the School of Studies by which they are given: for example, essays, tests, practical work or examinations, etc. Information about modes of assessment is given in the course descriptions, and further information can be obtained from Visiting and Exchange Student Advisors in relevant Schools. As on all Cornell-sponsored programs, grades are recorded on the Cornell transcript but are not added into the grade point average. The grading scale is as follows: A = 70 and above, A- = 65-69, B+ = 60-64, B = 55-59, B- = 50-54, C+ = 45-49, C = 40-44, D = 30-39, Fail = Below 30.
ACADEMIC CALENDAR (approximate)
Fall Semester: early October - early December
Spring Semester: early January - June
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students. Most study abroad students are provided with University-managed housing in single or shared rooms, both on and off campus, is a wide variation in the amenities provided in halls of residence and students are advised that it is unlikely that all of the services to which they are accustomed at Cornell will be available (i.e. phones in rooms, ethernet connections). Any student attending the University for only part of the year is not guaranteed University-managed accommodation. If you arrive in January, the Housing Office will endeavor to place you in suitable accommodation. However, housing options available at this time of year may include host family accommodation as well as University-managed housing. Many students live off campus in private rented accommodation, mainly in Brighton, and you may do so if you prefer. All University accommodation is self-catering, having shared kitchens where you cook your own meals. The Refectory (open seven days a week during term-time), plus a take-away food service, bars and restaurants, supplement the self-catering facilities provided in the campus housing.
The Gardner Arts Centre - housing a theatre, studios, art galleries, bar and brasserie - is one of the most striking buildings on campus. Its program includes internationally famous performers and artists and ranges from theatre, film, dance, jazz and classical music to exhibitions and workshops. The Students' Union is the focus for student clubs and organizations at Sussex, and represents its members on University committees and to the public. There are more than 100 Union societies, covering most interests and activities. The University maintains excellent athletic facilities for a wide range of sports activities.
Immunization for group C meningococcus and for mumps is recommended by UK health authorities.
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