Balfour Beatty will redevelop part of the campus to create 2,100 new bedrooms as well as a new building for the Students’ Union and social facilities.
The new buildings will replace the existing East Slope student accommodation, which dates from the 1970s and currently houses 600 students.
Alongside the University, Balfour Beatty will design, build, finance and operate the project under a 50-year contract.
The new bedrooms are the first stage of a £500m programme of investment to modernise and improve the University’s campus.
Last year the University was granted outline consent for its campus Masterplan, which includes the majority of this new student accommodation.
Work on the site will be carried out by a phased approach and is expected to begin in January 2017. The first phase will be ready around September/October 2018, with all work completed by 2020.
The University has been working in collaboration with Historic England, Brighton & Hove City Council and other local bodies to ensure that the campus’ architectural legacy is not compromised.
Sir Basil Spence, the original architect of the University, created several highly distinctive signature buildings. These include Falmer House, the Meeting House and the newly refurbished Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.
John Duffy, University of Sussex Registrar said: “We will be renewing the original Spence vision with the creation of new and equally distinctive signature buildings, as well as better pathways and movement through the campus, sustaining lines of sight to the South Downs.
“The choice of building materials will also echo those favoured by Spence.”