Brighton and Hove City in England is a UK student city that is home to the University of Brighton and University of Sussex.

Brighton Dock

Brighton and Hove, England (South East)

Population: 273,400

University students: 35,205 (12.9%)


Brighton, Sussex, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

A busy student city by the sea

As a coastal city that is about 50 miles south of the capital, the overwhelming majority of Brighton's large student population come from the London area for university study. The city is densely populated and is a hive of cultural activity.

Brighton and Hove is the official title of a city that includes the former Brighton district. Students of the local universities attend campuses spread throughout Brighton and nearby urban areas.

The city is popular with media and music professionals who prefer an alternative lifestyle within reach of the capital. It is sometimes called London-by-the-Sea. Brighton has also been called the gay capital of Britain. There is a gay district in Kemp Town, adding to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city.

Brighton has many businesses involved in media, particularly digital media. It houses American Express headquarters, which employs around 3,000 people and is the largest private employer.

1. Geography and climate

Brighton and Hove City is a seaside escape and a place of study for thousands of British and international students. Brighton's pebble beachBrighton and Hove is about 50 miles south of London, positioned between the sea and national park reserves.

It has an oceanic climate like the rest of Britain but is affected by sea breezes during the summer months. Temperatures can be five or so degrees lower by the sea compared to a few miles inland. Across the year, temperatures range from an average minimum of 8°C (47°F) to an average maximum of 14°C (57°F).

2. Accommodation

The city does not cater particularly well for students, with few buildings purpose-built for the student market. However, the private rented sector has responded to growing student numbers by converting family housing to student accommodation.

Student property hotspots exist in areas close to the city's universities and along transport lanes. Many students reside along the Lewes Road corridor where buses shuttle to and from Falmer campuses.

College residences are generally expensive - upwards of £5,000 per year - although cheaper options are available.

3. Transport

Transport options in Brighton City include bicyle riding using a network of bike lanes.Bicycle storage pods in Brighton and SussexBrighton and Hove is well connected to London but getting around the city can be difficult because of congestion. Students generally rely on bus networks or living within walking distances of campus.


Brighton and Hove has an extensive bus network. Buses shuttle between university campuses and there are frequent services in the city centre.

Walking and cycling

Brighton is compact and offers many places of interest within a short walk of the city centre. Although the area is hilly, cycling is a growing form of transport in Brighton. A network of cycle lanes run across the city.


Brighton Station is a major rail terminal and has excellent connections to London. The capital can be reached in under an hour. London Gatwick Airport is about 25 miles away and a 30-minute trip.

The station connects to a small suburban rail network, with trains serving areas of Hove, Preston Park and also the main campuses of the universities (Moulsecoomb, Falmer).


For most students travelling to most sites, driving is not the best option. University car parks quickly fill and, despite requiring permits, parking is not guaranteed. Parking in Brighton city centre is also difficult, particularly during peak tourism times.

4. Attractions

Brighton and Hove City is a favourite summertime festival destination for UK and international visitors.Street busking at a Brighton festivalBrighton is busy all year round but peaks during the summer months. This is when tourists, international students and revellers from London pour into the city to explore the nightlife, summer festivals and quirky shops. Much of the activity is near or on the pebbled beach.


There are numerous pubs and bars that cater for all tastes, including at least one establishment for almost every street in central Brighton.

Brighton is one of the UK's premier night-life hotspots. Live music venues include the Concorde 2, Brighton Centre and Brighton Dome. The city hosts numerous events throughout the year, but particularly during the summer.  It also attracts DJs from all over the country, contributing to a busy clubbing scene.

Festivals, galleries and museums

The Brighton Festival, held in May each year, is the second biggest arts festival in Great Britain behind Edinburgh. Among an eclectic mix of artistic displays are music, art exhibitions and book debates. The Brighton Festival Fringe runs at the same time as the main Festival, and features over 600 events, including comedy, theatre, music, open houses (local artists exhibiting in their own homes) and novelty tours.

Other festivals are The Great Escape (featuring three nights of live music in venues across the city); Soundwaves Festival (modern classical music); Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live (free gigs in pubs to show local bands); Burning the Clocks (winter solstice celebration); and Brighton Pride.


Brighton has diverse food offerings to cater for city residents and the regular intake of visitors each weekend. There are numerous takeaways and food stalls, including seafood stalls near the beach.

5. Recreation and sport

Living in Brighton encourages walking as an activity because of the large number of attractions in a small area combined with the difficulty of getting around by car. The city also has its fair share of golf courses, swimming pools, cricket pitches, tennis courts and football pitches.

The half mile between the old West Pier and Brighton Pier is one of the most well-known walking stretches in England. The pebble beach gives way to a flat sandy seabed - so its best to enter the water when the tide is low. You can fish from the marina or even surf nearby.

The marina also contains a leisure complex with a health club and bowling alley. Yellowave, the UK's only permanent beach sports venue, offers the chance to play volleyball, beachminton, beach tennis and footvolley.

6. Universities

Brighton University has several campus locations in the Brighton and Sussex region of south east England.Brighton UniversityThe University of Brighton has a student population of 22,075, of which 80% are undergraduates. It occupies several sites in addition to Brighton, with facilities in Falmer, Moulsecoomb, Eastbourne and Hastings. The standard tuition fee for international students is £10,900.

The University of Sussex is a campus university between Stanmer Park and Falmer, four miles from the city centre. It has a student population of 13,130, of which 70% are undergraduates. Tuition fees for international students start at £13,000 per year. The university scores higher than Brighton University on student course assessments, with a satisfaction rating of 3.9 compared to 2.3 (out of 5).

The universities of Sussex and Brighton have a joint medical school, the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which is located in Falmer.