Find out about our Library and Study Environment Programme.


What it is: A complex change programme that will deliver a choice of high-quality, new and refurbished, library and study spaces across campus. 

Why it is better for you: It will aim to improve student and staff experience by providing a choice of accessible options that meet individual learning, research and study needs.

Why it is better for the University: The investment will help us meet the diverse study space needs of our students and staff for years to come. 

When it is happening: The expected completion date for the programme is 2028.

How it will launch: We will provide regular updates throughout the delivery of the programme.

Our vision

The way we teach, learn, research and study is evolving and so our University Library and study space must adapt to meet the changing needs of the community. Involving students and staff from right across the University, we’ll collaborate to create high-quality, accessible and inclusive spaces – improving the studying and research experience for everyone.

The Library and Study Environment Programme will deliver four projects:

Library Pavilion

Following consultation and engagement with our students, and building on our strong culture of challenging convention, our new Library Pavilion has been designed as an extension of our existing provision – but the design challenges the traditional view of an academic library, and includes experimental and digital approaches to providing learning spaces.

Staffed by students, the Library Pavilion will be delivered as part of our West Slope development and will mirror our iconic Meeting House in its design.

It will also:

  • include an additional 25% of quality study space
  • offer dedicated space for quiet individual learning
  • be available to use 24-hours a day, seven days a week.


Every day 1,500 students visit our beautiful, Grade II listed Library. It is home to our extensive collections of books, periodicals and archives and to some incredible artwork and study spaces. The Library is much loved by our student and staff community, but its age and design present challenges. 

Progress has already been made to improve the structure of our Library, with significant improvements to the roof already completed – but there is much more that can be done to ensure our Library is meeting the needs and expectations of current and future students for years to come.

Library accessibility

Physical access to main entrance of the library is difficult due to the steep bank of steps. This project will ensure that the main entrance is fully accessible to all users, whilst still celebrating the Spence design aesthetic.

Study space

Every student has individual learning needs and preferences. From the Library, to the Student Centre, to Schools and cafés, campus is full of spaces where students can study, collaborate and learn.

We aim to make access to study spaces better across campus. We will be working closely with Access Sussex to ensure that spaces accessible to all are highlighted and easy to navigate. We will also advertise opening hours, and generally improve information about our spaces, so students can choose a dedicated study space that suits them. 


The Library and Study Environment Programme aligns with our values in the Sussex 2025 Strategic Framework.

For example:

  • we will deliver a connected Library and Environment Programme Space Programme that engages and collaborates with students at all levels, in all disciplines. Our students will be co-designers in the delivery of their new and existing study spaces, and library services across campus
  • the programme will be inclusive by design. It will provide all our students and staff with a sense of security and shared community space, offering them a place that is a trusted ‘home’ for their learning
  • the physical spaces will be exciting and ambitious, encouraging the exploration of new research ideas and innovative pedagogies. We will be courageous and disrupt the conventional view of an academic library with experimental approaches 
  • our libraries will be distinctive in the sector, strongly reflecting Sussex 2025 and in particular, our value of kindness by working with colleagues and students across the University to create new and refurbished library spaces and places which support environmental sustainability
  • we will deliver accessible space and services that continue to put our users at the heart of our services, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly with dignity, respect and integrity.

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