University students who have barricaded themselves inside their vice chancellor’s office for two days have been threatened with legal action.

The students, calling themselves the University of Brighton Solidarity, have been holed up in Professor Debra Humphris’s office since 3am yesterday protesting over planned job losses at the institution.

They have demanded no redundancies be made and said they will remain in the Cockcroft building until that demand is met.

Staff were told earlier this month that 110 jobs will be lost in a restructuring of the workforce.

The students have now been served with a letter from solicitors acting on behalf of the university.

The letter warns them that action is being taken to remove them from the office and says they pose a “health and safety risk”.

“Your actions are unlawful and potentially criminal in nature,” the letter from DMH Stallard said.

“Our client has reported your conduct to the police and intends to pursue disciplinary action under the student disciplinary process.

“Moreover, by securing the doors with fixed screws and batons, you have created a material fire safety risk to yourselves and others. Our client is also concerned that you do not have access to sanitary facilities because the facilities of the 8th floor are out of order.

“Our client intends to seek emergency injunctive relief to recover possession of the premises. This will incur substantial legal costs and if our client is able to identify any of you, our client will seek to recover those costs from you personally.

"In order to avoid the escalation of the dispute in this way and in light of the material health and safety concerns caused by your unlawful occupation, please confirm that you will vacate the premises immediately."

The group has rejected the content of the letter and said they are “peaceful” and are not doing any damage to the building.

A group spokesman said the group is "doing well".

"These are the allegations University of Brighton is making,” the spokesman said.

“We want to respond directly, they did not communicate with us directly and instead are communicating through solicitors. We are disappointed by this. We are peaceful and not destructive.

“We do not aim to commit any damage."

Yesterday, members of the group could be seen on the roof of the Cockcroft building saying thank you to fellow students who performed a sit-in at the entrance.

They were pictured with a banner they had displayed calling for no redundancies.