Benefits of working here

Our reward package is generous and balanced and includes a wide range of benefits.  See below for details.

Staff Card

The University staff card allows staff to access a range of benefits and discounts both on and off campus, including access to the free campus bus and use of the University library.

The staff card can also acts as a contactless key for out-of-hours access to buildings (or certain rooms and floors).  If in discussion with your line manager you identify that this is a requirement for you then you will need to apply for this via the out-of-hours access form.

Please note that you are encouraged to have a Staff Card but carrying the card is not mandatory unless you wish to access associated benefits. Some Faculties or Service may make local arrangements to use the staff card as a form of identification, for example in a lanyard.

Benefits of the staff card include:

  • Identification whilst on campus;
  • Key card to get through security doors, where applicable;
  • ID to enable access to free use of the Connect and Student Union Campus Bus services, park and ride service at the Stadium of Light;
  • Library Card for all University libraries, enabling you to borrow up to 20 items, reserve and renew items using the Library Catalogue, and use the library 24/7;
  • University of Sunderland Students’ Union (USSU) membership gives discounts in many Sunderland outlets such as Accessorize, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Esquires Coffee House, HMV and Waterstones.
  • Staff discounts, including CitySpace fitness suite discounted rates;
  • Photocopier / Multi-Functional Device (MFD) roaming access.
  • CitySpace discounted membership - Purchase membership of the CitySpace fitness suite at subsidised staff rates.

To get a Staff Card you need to be a member of staff currently employed by the University of Sunderland, and you need to upload a passport-style photo of yourselfNew staff can upload a photo as soon as you have started your job, activated your account and changed your password.

You will need your staff number and your NI Number (both from your payslip) to login to this website. The photo will be automatically generated (by an external bureau) and sent to you at the same time as your next payslip (around the 20th of the month).

For more information see the Staff ID Card Policy.

Staff Benefits A-K

Accident / Death Insurance Cover and Benefits

  • Staff in the UK (including London Campus) receive Personal Accident Insurance provides payments to any staff (or their next of kin) who are killed or seriously injured as a result of an accident whilst they are engaged in their “usual occupation”. This includes commuting to and from work (by any mode of travel), any form of business travel, and homeworking (if the injury was sustained whilst carrying out work at home). 

  • The Teachers Pensions Scheme (TPS), Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) also provide Death in Service benefits to members.

Annual Leave

  • We offer generous annual leave entitlements, bank holidays and closure days.

Bus Travel Discounts

  • Stagecoach – Corporate Megarider (CM) and Corporate Megarider (CM+)

Annual Corporate Megaride and Megarider+ tickets are valid for unlimited travel on all Stagecoach buses. A standard Corporate Megarider provides travel within one zone only where as a Corporate Megarider+ enables travel across extended boundaries. For more information on Stagecoach bus services and tickets available visit

To apply for an annual saver ticket through the scheme please phone the team on extension 2468 or email:

  • Go North East – BuzzFare Tickets

BuzzFare tickets are valid for unlimited travel on all Go North East buses (except their night buses which are numbered with an ‘N’ prefix). For more information on the range of Buzzfare tickets available and the geographical areas the zones cover visit and check out the Buzzfare pages.

To apply for a Buzzfare salary deduction Scheme ticket please phone the team on extension 2468 or email

Car hire

Car Parking

  • The University has a number of car parks located around the city for use by staff and students. Parking permits can be obtained from Business Services.  More information about car parking rates and permits.


  • The University runs an on-site nursery catering for children from birth to school age, which is open throughout the year. Vacation childcare may be available for children up to the end of reception year, including the summer holidays before year one.
  • You can also make payments from your salary for University Nursery fees.

Campus Bus Service

Career Progression

  • We offer varied opportunities for career progression.

Cycle to Work Scheme

  • We offer a salary sacrifice scheme that provides tax and NI savings.

Eye Care

  • Help with eye care costs for staff who regularly use computers as part of their role.  Please contact for more details.

Family Leave

  • Our Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave policies provide enhanced pay for parents taking time off for their children.

Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

  • We aim to provide you with opportunities to work flexibly and balance your work and personal life.

Give As You Earn (GAYE) - Charitable Giving

  • We offer the opportunity to make donations to charity through salary deduction by contacting Payroll.

Health Cash Plan

  • We offer a health cash plan through BHSF.  A health cash plan works very much like an insurance policy. You decide which plan to take out, and pay by deduction from your monthly salary (after tax).  In return you get cash back off medical treatments, which can help with the cost of:
    • Dental treatment
    • Eyesight tests, new glasses or contact lenses
    • Professional therapy treatments
    • Diagnostic health consultations
    • Plus many more benefits
    You simply have to supply a receipt for treatment covered by the individual schemes rules such as dental and optical care (there are limits on how much can be claimed for each premium.)  If you sign up to BHSF you will also receive a passcode to a network benefits site, which enables you to access 'money off' vouchers and offers for many high street shops, restaurants and leisure activities.
  • For more information see the BHSF website. We offer the Corporate Health Cash Plan, on a voluntary basis (the University does not contribute financially); this offers up to 7 levels of cover [and is slightly different from some of the other plans listed on the BHSF website]. To find out more you can speak to one of their advisers or contact Payroll. To sign up you need to arrange a salary deduction by contacting Payroll.

Staff Benefits L-Z

Learning and Development

  • As a University we take great pride in supporting our staff to learn and develop.  We offer a wide range of learning and development opportunities for staff to continue to learn and develop whilst working here, including training and courses.

Library facilities

  • The two University libraries - St. Peter's library and Murray library offer a wide range of reading material for both its staff and students. As a member of staff you are entitled to join the library from the first day of your employment, free of charge.  Our staff card also acts as your library card.  You will be entitled to borrow items, reserve and renew items using the Library Catalogue and use the library 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Read about the University libraries.

National Glass Centre

  • Located on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, with views across the River Wear, the National Glass Centre is home to our internationally renowned glass and ceramics programmes. University staff can become a Friend of the NGC at a discounted rate by salary deduction.

Metro Travel Discounts

  • Corporate Metrosaver Travel Pass at a discounted rate, allowing free travel across the entire Metro Network seven days a week. It is also valid on the Shields ferry and the Newcastle - Sunderland rail line.  (Also see our Train Travel discounts from Northern Rail below, and the Bus Travel discounts from Stagecoach above.)

NUS Card

  • In addition to the USSU membership that comes with our staff card, employees are also eligible to apply for an NUS (National Union of Students) card and associated discounts.

Occupational health support

  • We employ our own internal Occupational Health Adviser, offer counselling and other forms of support to our staff.  We believe that a safe and healthy working environment contributes to the health and wellbeing, motivation, job satisfaction and performance.

Pay and Grading Structure

  • We have a generous and fair pay and grading structure that meets principles of equal pay.

Pension schemes

  • Our main occupational pension schemes are generous Defined Beneift schemes with pensions based on a clear formula using your salary and length of service.

Relocation Assistance

  • Where stated in the job advert, we offer targeted assistance with relocation from outside the North East of England area (this only applies to exceptional roles where we have identified a need to attract applicants from beyond the region): Relocation Assistance Policy and Procedure.

Salary sacrifice schemes

  • We offer salary sacrifice schemes that provide tax and NI savings.

Sport facilities

Train Travel Discounts


  • Salaried staff on our Sunderland campus can opt to receive some of their monthly pay earlier in the month, before the normal pay date, using the Wagestream app.  This is not a loan or credit; there is no credit check, and no interest rate.  It’s your pay, early.  It can help staff who find it difficult to budget over the month or who need money for an emergency.  For more information see: Your Pay.

Wellbeing support

  • We run regular wellbeing events.

This page was published on 18 January 2021