Join us

Welcome to the University of Brighton. If you are considering becoming a part of our community this site provides an overview of what it means to be a leading civic institution in the 21st century, exploring who and where we are, how we work with partners and where we are heading together.

Scroll down to hear Professor Julian Crampton, our Vice-Chancellor introduce the university.

We think of ourselves as a twenty-first century civic university. We were established in Brighton over 150 years ago in response to the needs of the town and its population. We now have a geographical footprint that includes three coastal locations and we make a significant contribution to the city and towns in which we are based. Brighton is among the most successful of the modern generation of universities. We have over 21,000 students studying at five campuses across Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings

We have an excellent reputation for innovation, for anticipating and responding to professional and industry needs, and we never forget that we have a responsibility to the health and wealth of our world. We collaborate with partners from industry, commerce, the arts, business, other universities, colleges and research institutions in the UK and around the world. We are justifiably proud of the company we keep.

The University of Brighton is one of a small number of post-1992 universities to have its own medical school, run jointly with the University of Sussex, which trains 128 doctors a year.

Recognised as a ‘rising research star’ following the RAE 2008, we are proud of the significant success we have achieved in our research and we now intend to take that success to the next level.

We provide over 500 courses to our students; offering a range and diversity of subjects including architecture, chemistry, medicine, digital media, midwifery, education, international tourism management, performance and visual art, civil engineering, fashion, mathematics, sport and exercise science, product design, retail management, criminology, pharmacy, business, podiatry, geography, nursing and the list goes on...

Chapter One

The Brighton experience: an inspiring place to work and study

We have an enviable reputation for strong, accessible and supportive leadership that helps to ensure that we attract colleagues who are leaders in their fields and committed professionals. We run learning and teaching excellence awards each year and offer teaching fellowships that, in turn, enable our colleagues to be supported for a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) managed by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). We now have seven NTF winners and have won NTF awards in each of the last two years. In 2013, our HE teaching and CPD scheme (based on UK professional standards) was accredited by the HEA.

We offer students an inspiring and enlightening learning experience both academically and socially. We offer them blended learning where learning and teaching provides a combination of face-to-face and elearning or digital learning.

Our model of education is based on a spirit of enquiry and the active co-production of knowledge among staff and students, in learning, teaching and research. Curriculum and course development is underpinned by our educational values and enabled by interactive teaching and learning. Importantly, our teaching and learning is informed by research. We believe research contributes to the transformation of the learning experience and develops students into active researchers.

We encourage our students to see themselves as owners of their learning – in the construction, problem identification and solving, and in the practical application of knowledge and skills. Our students are part of learning communities in which they interact directly with academic staff, their student peers and professional and external partners. They take responsibility for their own learning and understand how to generate and critique knowledge.

A curriculum that offers opportunities to engage and apply, and to explore notions of community, global citizenship and sustainability, is seen as central to the Brighton offer to students.

Our students graduate with the skills that they need to thrive in the twenty-first century economy. Linking academic study and research to professional practice is a big part of their student experience. They become independent-minded and inquiring, seeking to fulfill their potential and to play and active and creative role.

The University of Brighton is one of the few universities to ensure that each student has a career planning agreement in place. We place great emphasis on employment skills for our students and our courses are developed in collaboration with industry and the private sector to ensure they are relevant to the changing demands of employers. Business and professionally focused education means work-ready students.

We recognise that work placements have never been more important for future graduate employment. Over 90 per cent of our full-time undergraduates have the chance to do assessed work-related learning as part of their course and we are working towards offering this opportunity to every student as part of our new strategic plan.

Jonty Bloom from Radio 4’s World at One at our graduate show

Our university has a significant number of professional and vocationally oriented awards and, as a result, has extensive engagement with a wide range of professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs). In 2012–13, there were 231 courses listed as having had an engagement with 55 PSRBs. Across the university, over 50 per cent of students were registered on a course that had an engagement with at least one professional, statutory or regulatory body in 2012–13.

55 PSRBs

Our students are a diverse mix from many backgrounds, nationalities, ages and previous educational experience. What all members of the university have in common is a desire to make a difference: through our learning, research and professional practice and our engagement with a global network of social and economic partners.

Our students are part of a learning community in which the physical and digital environment supports high value face-to-face learning with academic staff, student peers, and external practitioners and partners.

We continue to rise in the National Student Survey ratings. Our overall satisfaction scores continue to improve and in some areas are over 90 per cent. Our £28.5m medical school consistently appears at the top of the NSS student satisfaction ratings.

In 2013, more than 1,100 students voted in our own Students’ Union Excellence Awards which include nine categories for staff and course representatives from across the university and our partner colleges. The awards celebrate university life by recognising excellent teaching and student support as well as outstanding contributions to the student experience, academic experience and student life. These awards are now a highlight of the academic year. They are going from strength to strength and testament to this is that so many students take the time to nominate members of staff and their peers for this accolade.

The diversity of my course encourages students to challenge their way of thinking and to develop a creative, independent practice. Anything is possible.

Emma Whiting received national media coverage when she developed sustainable-design shoes which show a different pattern as they age.

A consistently engaging and motivating teacher, who has instilled a passion in me.

Students talking about Keith Triggs, School of Education
(awarded Teaching Award for Academic Engagement)

I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Brighton. It was challenging and very rewarding, especially on placement and dealing with real patients.

Faye McClelland combined studies in physiotherapy with paratriathlon events – she is a world, European and national champion.

She supports each person individually based on their interests and aspirations.

Students talking about Dr Jessica Moriarty, School of Humanities
(highly commended for Inspirational Teaching Award)

Our Strategic Plan has an ambitious vision for how digital technology can support interactive learning and the overall student experience. A number of strands of work are underway which will be taken forward in the context of our overall Learning and Teaching Strategy over the next two years.

We have assigned over £6million to improving our student experience which will be used to:

· implement our mobile learning strategy and innovation programme

· launch a new student virtual learning environment

· extend electronic book and journal collections

· enhance transformational learning

· develop our policy on new delivery models such as massive open online courses

· further develop the skills of both our staff and our students.

We will also invest in the realisation of the future classroom and learning environment.

Chapter Two

Leading the way: a university with local strength and global ambition

We believe in leading the way in everything we do – in the way we teach, in our range of courses, in the research we undertake, in our connections with business and in our involvement with community. We pride ourselves on our innovative approach in these areas and for which we are recognised nationally and internationally. In all of this we have a core value of sustainability and a responsibility to the health and wealth of our world.

Pictured is Professor Liz Aggiss, performer, choreographer and film-maker. Key areas of research within her work are: screen dance, live performance and interdisciplinary performance practices.

Our research

Our research achievements to date are a result of our exceptional people and our vibrant, spirit of enquiry-based learning. We expect to be at least in the top 60 institutions in the quality research league tables following the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. But our ambitions are long term and we plan to build on these over the next 10 to 20 years and beyond so that our research continues to stimulate innovation and test conventional wisdom in the interests of a better and fairer world.

In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 we were described as one of the rising stars in the UK. The appointment of eight of our leading academics to sit on panels for the REF and our success in being part of two consortia to win £15m from the AHRC to support doctoral development places us firmly on a trajectory of success for 2014.

Our research strategy

Central to our research strategy is the better understanding of how this activity forms a network of academic, public, community and economic partnerships. Our engagement is focused on achieving this synergy and on operating for maximum return to our stakeholders.

In the last academic year the university provided doctoral studentships and research capital representing a total of £2.4m. This has allowed for the development of four new research centres who have the capacity to develop self-sustaining research excellence of international standing. This will develop our research esteem for REF 2019.

3D-COFORM, a research consortium led by Brighton, made up of computer scientists and specialists in the arts and heritage sector has been short listed for inclusion at Universities UK's Universities Week to be hosted at the Natural History Museum. The university has also just been awarded a share of £350m in funding from the EPRSC to help ensure a future generation of heritage scientists.

Our communities

We are unique in our relationships with the communities in which we live, work and study. We believe in the power of education to regenerate communities and help with the economic, social and material development of those areas. The University of Brighton was the first university in the UK to set up a university centre. This centre, based in Hastings and established as the university’s fifth campus in 2009, has grown to offer courses to more than 1,000 students. It has a fast-growing reputation for its broadcast media courses which attract large numbers of applicants both nationally and internationally.

Working with BT and East Sussex Council we are the lead sponsors of the Hastings and St Leonards academies. These new academies provide educational opportunities for 60 per cent of the 11 to 16 year olds in the area. Previously amongst the worst achieving schools in the country they have successfully managed, within two years of opening, to achieve a 'good' rating from Ofsted.

Over the last ten years the university’s Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp) has used its expertise to support more than 150 partnership projects, and each year over 300 students have undertaken community activities – a model that has now been copied by other universities up and down the country.

Cupp is recognised nationally and internationally, and has more than 120 academics actively involved and, at a time when universities are struggling to fund community partnerships, we continue to invest £250,000 annually into its programme.

A key feature is the Cupp Helpdesk, which provides a way in to the university for local organisations interested in joint research or wanting to make use of university resources. The helpdesk now fields around 200 enquiries a year, with about half turning into projects. Since 2003, some 1,400 enquiries have spurred about 160 projects that the programme has taken on itself, with many more developing independently.

· In 2008 it received the Times Higher Education Award for an outstanding contribution to our local community.

· In 2011 the university won the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.

· In 2012 The Joseph Rowntree Foundation recognised Cupp for its community engagement work. Brighton is one of a handful of UK universities which is a signatory to the Talloires Network, an international association of institutions committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education.

· Juliet Millican, Cupp's Deputy Director won a National Teaching Fellowship award for linking teaching to community work.

The image on this slide is of a proposed design for Hastings Pier, from a project where architecture students were able to respond to a brief provided by the commissioned architects working on the actual pier renovation project.

One project involved the production of a play – The Tuesday Group – performed by students at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). The play was part of a programme to support a holistic approach to medicine and to share and explore relevant issues more widely in the city. With minimal staging and simple costumes these young people transformed themselves into people of varying ages brought together because they were each facing the end of their life.

The Tuesday Group was originally written as part of a European Commission-funded project headed up by Bobbie Farsides, BSMS’s Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics. She commissioned Sue Eckstein to write a play based upon the notes that had been taken during patient support group meetings at a well-known London hospice. The authenticity of the play proved particularly striking for those with firsthand experience of caring for the dying. Its final performance came at the end of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust’s annual End of Life Care conference in 2012.

Brighton is an exceptional city in terms of its artistic life and BSMS has always sought to tap into this, particularly given the commitment to educate well-rounded doctors with an holistic approach to medicine and health care. By inviting poets, graphic artists, playwrights, actors, filmmakers and historians into the medical school, students have been challenged and their education has been enriched.

Inclusive Arts was originally set up to give people with learning disabilities the chance to develop their art in a university setting rather than merely as a diversionary activity. The project has since spurred a body of research and an MA, as well as helping to ensure wider inclusion and access to art for excluded minorities. It has also helped the work that is created to filter into the mainstream visual culture. Art from the project was exhibited at Tate Modern and sold to commercial buyers, helping to increase the visibility of marginalised groups in wider society, serving to challenge preconceptions and trigger social change.

Chapter Three

Trusted partner: a track record of professional engagement

We collaborate with partners from industry, commerce, the arts, business, other universities, colleges and research institutions in the UK and around the world. We are proud of our status as a valued and trusted partner.

We embed our engagement activity in a model of partnership and knowledge exchange that is underpinned by mutual benefit. Our approach has the same rigour with respect to quality as we apply to our taught programmes and research.

With a focus on developing knowledge and skills highly relevant to future employment, the Southern Water masters programme 'Excellence With Industry' was introduced to provide students with a competitive advantage when seeking a fast-track career. The programme links the university with some of the UK’s most prestigious employers in the water, engineering and construction industries. This has led to the development of a degree path which combines academic study, industrial placements and validated workplace learning in an integrated programme for mechanical, electrical, electronic and civil engineers as well as project and construction management students.

The university has been awarded £2.98m to deliver the Green Growth Platform, a strategic five-year project designed to support growth amongst Sussex-based environmental sector companies. This is part of a £50m investment to stimulate the UK economy. The Green Growth Platform (GGP) will provide the intellectual infrastructure required to foster sustainable economic growth in Sussex. Led by the University of Brighton, it will work with key partners to deliver a healthy innovation ecosystem, address strategic skills shortages and ensure that low carbon environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sectors achieve and exceed the high growth rates predicted for the sector.

Sixteen universities and colleges have been allocated a share of the money to work with business and support the UK's economic recovery. The projects are expected to help create more than 500 new companies, 1,200 products and 3,000 jobs – adding more than £3bn to the UK economy.

Brighton is one of the country's leading universities to benefit from the cash injection to boost cutting-edge research and innovation projects. Universities and colleges are vital to the UK’s economy.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science

In 2008, we were the only university in the country to achieve an 'outstanding' rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for management and quality assurance across the full range of primary, secondary and post-compulsory (16+) teacher education courses. This rating was maintained in 2010/11. We are one of the largest providers of education and training for student teachers, teachers and other learning and development professionals in the country.

The university’s School of Education has secured a prestigious, three-year contract for the development and implementation of a National Troops to Teachers Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme. The programme, which integrates ITE with continuing professional ddevelopment, is targeted at service leavers from the armed forces who have the potential to be outstanding teachers. The University of Brighton is the lead member of a consortium comprising six other universities. Troops to Teachers is part of a cross government initiative being developed by the Department for Education and the Ministry of Defence and is an innovative, employment-based programme with a strong school-led focus. Consequently, the consortium is also working with a range of outstanding primary and secondary schools in its development and delivery.

We have a partnership with Kaplan to provide an International College that offers university preparation for international students. The International College prepares students for progression to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Students who successfully complete a preparation course at the college are guaranteed a place on a degree in a diverse range of subjects, including business, computing and engineering.

International partnerships are an important element of the university’s international strategy. The university has established formal links and agreements with major institutions in countries worldwide which enable us to offer staff, students and researchers the opportunity to work and study in other parts of the globe.

In July 2013, we renewed our agreement with the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in Kuala Lumpur, which was originally signed when Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julian Crampton went to Malaysia in 2008 to support partnership development and collaborative working in the automotive engineering area. Since the original agreement with UTP, many student and staff exchanges have been undertaken including research in the Sir Harry Ricardo Research Laboratories within the our Centre for Automotive Engineering led by Professor Morgan Heikal. Professor Heikal spent two years on secondment at UTP, developing its industrial research base.

In addition, a recent visit to UTP by Professor Andy Cundy, Dr Ray Whitby and Dr Rob Morgan has led to initial discussions about diversification into collaborations in the nanotechnology, green technology and clean energy research areas.

The audio you can hear is Professor Neville Jackson, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Ricardo talking about the collaborative work that has been engaged in with the university.

The university is also influencing ground-breaking changes to health services in China and Thailand. Our School of Nursing and Midwifery has delivered bespoke courses to senior health professionals from both countries, giving participants a chance to examine how health services are delivered in the UK. One course on offer, Introduction to Community Health Care in the UK, is run in collaboration with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School’s Division of Education, and Innotech Ltd, a company which develops innovative business ideas. Our courses have been running since 2008, educating nearly 100 senior health professionals from Shanghai and Beijing, and already the Minhang district has implemented a new GP service with the Minhang model now viewed as a beacon of innovative service delivery in Shanghai.

We believe that strong partnerships of this nature allow the university to develop and widen its international research base. This type of partnership exemplifies how universities across the globe can work effectively together for mutual benefit.

Nagoya exchange

Every year, four art and design students are funded to exchange with students from Nagoya University of Arts in Japan. Students are assessed on their work and staff also take part in the exchange on an annual visit during degree shows to judge student awards. Other partnership initiatives with Nagoya involve academic staff, publications, joint research projects, joint teaching and cultural exchanges.

The audio you can hear is Lizzie Thomas, a Design and Craft graduate, who participated in the Nagoya exchange programme.

Chapter Four

The future: investing in our students and the environment

The University of Brighton is a financially sound institution with strong ambitions in education, research, social engagement and community. We plan to invest further in these areas and positively increase our impact and involvement. We invest in sustainability in its broadest sense; in the way we work, the way we develop our partnerships, the way we educate our students, the way we take care of our environment and in the way we invest in our buildings and infrastructure. We use our Education for Sustainability (EfS) programme to inspire staff and students to consider how sustainability is relevant to their individual areas of work and to reinforce internationalisation, global citizenship and to develop students as researchers.

As part of the university's biodiversity action plan, we are reducing the amount of chemicals that we use, and are encouraging native species to recolonise areas of our estate by introducing more meadowlands and creating habitat corridors.

Radio 4 Today programme – Evan Davies with Professor Jonathan Chapman

We are investing in a new programme of social informal learning spaces (SILS). The project aims to support graduate designers to create new spaces for other groups of student and users, focusing on unused or underused spaces and existing communal spaces across the university’s campuses. The project is transforming these spaces into vibrant, stimulating and positive environments for conversations, socialising and learning.

We believe students don’t just attend university for the concentrated study of a particular subject; universities need to provide opportunities for informal dialogue, collective and social learning and the opportunity to interact on a one-to-one basis in a supportive environment. This project aims to create environments that allow for and encourage such activities and to create new kinds of learning spaces.

We are investing £4million a year on digital transformation projects to further equip the university buildings with the latest technology and to provide our students with a twenty-first century digital experience.

This year we are appointing 19 professors and increasing our PhD studentships to extend our research reach and significance.

We have some major construction developments either underway or about to begin which will benefit not only the university and our students and staff but also the communities, towns and city in which they take place.

In the last decade, we have invested more than £100m on the equipment and buildings our students use every day. The University of Brighton is one of the greenest universities in the UK according to the People and Planet 2012 Green League. We are tackling our environmental impacts in many ways and in 2010 implementing an ambitious 50 per cent carbon reduction target in five years. Our target is more ambitious than that of any other higher education institutions in the UK. It requires many changes to the way we operate and the c-change initiative is helping everyone at the university to get involved.

In Brighton we have invested over £60m in developing and improving our Falmer campus. In 2009 the new Checkland building was opened providing a home to the schools of Education and Humanities. It provides flexible hall spaces, which are suitable for exams and performances, which are set around a central glazed multi-storey atrium. The £7.6m sports centre opened for business in 2010. As well as a new £650,000 astroturf football pitch, the new centre includes a fitness suite, two activity studios and a sports hall with six badminton courts. There are also netball and tennis courts. This state-of-the-art facility was built in record time and has many environmental features such as a green roof, solar-powered heating and rainwater harvesting.

Huxley, a £23m bioscience building, was opened in July 2011 and contains impressive facilities for pharmacy education and research. Its modern laboratories provide the ideal environment for teaching pharmaceutical sciences. The clinical skills facility enables students to benefit from the patient-focused education necessary to meet the new educational standards of the General Pharmaceutical Council.

A three-year project investing £26million in the major refurbishment of our Cockcroft building began in 2013. This 1960s building is being redesigned and transformed by making the best use of space for learning and working, with innovative and creative use of technology. The solar panels installed on the roof in 2012 are the largest generator of renewable power in the Brighton area.

The success of the newest campus in Hastings has led to the development of a new building in the town centre, completed in 2013. It brings new subjects to the Hastings campus, including nursing and biology, and will lead to significant growth in the student population in the area.

The university is in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and South East Dance in a redevelopment at Circus Street near our Grand Parade building. The development will provide accommodation for 400 students, a university library, dance studios, offices and up to 200 homes and is expected to create 170 new full-time jobs and pump more than £150 million into the local economy over 10 years.

Chapter Five

University life: the South Downs and along the coast

Each town has lots of opportunities to get involved in its culture and community – offering something for everyone and a great place to study and live.


Brighton is vibrant, colourful and creative. It has a reputation for being free-thinking and for valuing different cultures, and is known for its exciting cultural and social life.

The city hosts the largest arts and culture festival in England – the Brighton Festival – along with a number of other events, such as the Brighton Science Festival, Pride, Burning the Clocks, the London to Brighton Bike Ride, the Brighton Food Festival and the Brighton Marathon.

Brighton offers a hotbed of festivals, galleries, museums, film, nightlife, comedy and theatre. Shopping in the city is second to none, from the high street to Brighton's famous North Laines and South Lanes areas.


Considered the sunniest place in the UK, Eastbourne is a lively seaside town surrounded by beautiful countryside.

There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, traditional pubs, wine bars and nightclubs in the town, along with many sporting and cultural activities. Sports range from golf to horse riding, with water sports such as sailing, canoeing, body boarding, windsurfing and power boating all very popular in the town.

The town boasts four theatres, two cinemas, four shopping centres, and is home to the Towner contemporary art museum for south-east England, all within a short walking distance of our campus.

Eastbourne is host to the largest free airshow in the UK. This event sees a vast array of air displays along the seafront and attracts approximately one million people over four days in August.

Thousands of people attend the extreme sports festival every year to watch and take part in the adrenaline fuelled activities on offer including kite surfing, parkour, street surfing and speed skating.


Hastings is an historic and beautiful town with a vibrant arts and live music scene. It is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe, the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror, a preserved Old Town and a strong local arts community.

The Old Town, to the east, is a mix of half-timbered houses, narrow streets and passageways, locally known as twittens. It has a quirky mix of shops that sell vintage pieces and one-offs. To the west is St Leonards which features the classical elegance of James Burton’s architecture and the fashionable Norman Road which offers a great collection of antique shops and vintage galleries.

Hastings is home to the Jerwood Gallery, which is the new public home to the Jerwood Foundation’s collection of twentieth and twenty-first century british art. Annual events in Hastings include Hastings Day, Jack in the Green and Pirate day.

The Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival is a celebration of Hastings sustainable fishery and fishing heritage, its surrounding vineyards and excellent local food producers.

Chapter Six

Join us: your role and what it means for the university

How to apply

If you are interested in studying with us please visit the prospective student section of our website. You should consider coming to one of our Open Days to experience what Brighton has to offer and to meet fellow students.

If you are interested in working for the university please visit our vacancies page and see if there is an opening that matches your skills.

If you have any questions please email or phone (+44) 1273 644 644.

We look forward to welcoming you.