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University of Sheffield
Motto Latin: Rerum cognoscere causas
Motto in English To discover the causes of things
Established 1905
1897 - University College of Sheffield
Type Public
Endowment £31.5 million[1]
Chancellor Sir Peter Middleton
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Keith Burnett
Staff 5,306
Students 25,700[2]
Undergraduates 18,480[2]
Postgraduates 7,225[2]
Location Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Campus Urban
Colours Black & Gold         
Affiliations Russell Group, WUN, EUA, ACU, N8 Group, White Rose, Yorkshire Universities
Logo of the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is a leading research university, located in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. Ranked 40 in the World's top 100 Universities by one study[3] and constantly ranked amongst the top 20 universities in Britain and Europe according to The Good University Guide.[4] The university has produced five Nobel Prize winners so far. The University of Sheffield is one of the original 'red brick' universities, a member of the Russell Group and is, according to the latest available data, the 18th largest university in the United Kingdom in terms of student enrollment[5].





The University of Sheffield was originally formed by the merger of three colleges. The Sheffield School of Medicine was founded in 1828, followed in 1879 by the opening of Firth College by Mark Firth, a steel manufacturer, to teach arts and science subjects. Firth College then helped to fund the opening of the Sheffield Technical School in 1884 to teach applied science, the only major faculty the existing colleges did not cover. The three institutions merged in 1897 to form the University College of Sheffield.[6] Sheffield is one of the six red brick universities.

Victoria University

It was originally envisaged that the University College would join Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds as the fourth member of the federal Victoria University.

Royal Charter

However, the Victoria University began to split-up before this could happen and so the University College of Sheffield received its own Royal Charter in 1905 and became the University of Sheffield.

From 200 full-time students in 1905, the University grew slowly until the 1950s and 1960s when it began to expand rapidly. Many new buildings (including the famous Arts Tower) were built and student numbers increased to their present levels of just under 24,000. In 1987 the University began to collaborate with its once would-be partners of the Victoria University by co-founding the Northern Consortium; a coalition for the education and recruitment of international students.

In 1995, the University took over the Sheffield and North Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery, which greatly increased the size of the medical faculty. In 2005, the South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority announced that it would split the training between Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University - however, the University decided to pull out of providing preregistration nursing and midwifery training due to "costs and operational difficulties".[7]

Over the years, the University has been home to a number of notable writers and scholars, including the literary critic William Empson, who was head of the Department of English; author Angela Carter; five Nobel Prize winners; and Bernard Crick.


There are two official histories of the university:

  • Arthur W. Chapman (1955) The Story of a Modern University: A History of the University of Sheffield, Oxford University Press.
  • Helen Mathers (2005) Steel City Scholars: The Centenary History of the University of Sheffield, London: James & James.


Sir Frederick Mappin Building, Faculty of Engineering.
Bartolomé House, home of the School of Law from January 2008.

The University is in the process of changing its structure, from the existing seven faculties[8] into five new faculties:[9]

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
    • Archaeology
    • Biblical Studies
    • School of English
    • French
    • Germanic Studies
    • Hispanic Studies
    • History
    • Modern Languages Teaching Centre
    • Music
    • Philosophy
    • Russian & Slavonic Studies
  • Faculty of Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
    • Chemical and Process Engineering
    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Electronic and Electrical Engineering
    • Engineering Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
    • Cardiovascular Science
    • School of Dentistry
    • Human Communication Sciences
    • Human Metabolism
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Medical School
    • Neuroscience
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery
    • Oncology
    • School of Health and Related Research (SCHARR)
  • Faculty of Pure Science
    • Animal and Plant Sciences
    • School of Mathematics and Statistics
    • Biomedical Science
    • Chemistry
    • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Psychology
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • Architecture
    • East Asian Studies
    • Economics
    • Educational Studies
    • Geography
    • Information Studies
    • Journalism Studies
    • Landscape
    • Law
    • Management School
    • Politics
    • Sociological Studies
    • Town and Regional Planning


There are several bodies which form the governance of the University.

University Executive Board

Members of the UEB are:

  • Vice-Chancellor
  • Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors (x5)
  • Institutional Pro-Vice Chancellors (x3: Research and Innovation; Learning and Teaching; External Affairs)
  • Registrar and Secretary
  • Director of Finance
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Academic Secretary


The Court is a large body which fosters relations between the University and the community, and includes lay members. Ex-officio members of the Court include all the MPs of Sheffield, the Bishops of Sheffield and Hallam, and the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police.[10] It also includes representatives of professional bodies such as the Arts Council, Royal Society and the General Medical Council.[11].


The Council manages the University's business side (finance and property).[10].


The Senate manages the academic side of the University. It is the highest academic authority of the University.[10]. The Members of the Senate are[12]:

  • The Vice-Chancellor
  • The Pro-Vice-Chancellors (3 Institutional PVCs, and 5 for the Faculties)
  • The Deans of the Faculties (5, 1 for each)
  • Faculty Officers
  • Heads of all academic departments
  • Two heads of the School of Clinical Dentistry
  • The Librarian
  • Elected representatives of staff
  • Five student officers
  • A student elected from each Faculty
  • Two postgraduate student representatives
  • One mature student
  • The Registrar and Secretary (Secretary to the Senate)


The brand (encompassing the visual identity) is centred on the theme of "discovery", led by the Latin motto from the coat of arms "Rerum Cognoscere Causas" – "to discover the causes of things" (the same motto is used by the London School of Economics).

The visual identity includes two specially-designed fonts, TUOS Blake (sans-serif) and TUOS Stephenson (serif)[13], and a carefully-placed full stop added in the most recent rebranding exercise[14].

The identity has been applied across print, screen and other areas such as signage, vehicle livery and merchandising. The project was key to the University's Marketing Department receiving "HEIST Marketing Team of the Year, 2005".[15]


Sheffield was the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2001 and has consistently appeared as one of their top-20 institutions. Just three universities nationally have more than Sheffield's 30 top-rated subjects for teaching excellence and only five have a greater number than the 35 subject areas at Sheffield deemed to have conducted world-class research in the most recent ratings.[4]

The University of Sheffield is rated 8th in the UK, 18th in Europe and 69th in the world in an annual academic ranking of the top 500 universities worldwide published in August 2005. Shanghai Jiao Tong University evaluated the universities using several research performance indicators, including the number of highly cited researchers, academic performance, articles in the periodicals Science and Nature, and the number of Nobel prize-winners. A separate ranking, published in the US by Newsweek magazine, and released in August 2006, ranked Sheffield 9th in the UK, 18th in Europe and 70th in the world in a list of the Global Top 100 Universities. The University is rated 12th in the UK, 22nd in Europe and 68th in the world in the Times Higher Education Supplement's November 2007 ranking of the top 100 universities in the world.

League tables

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
THES - QS World University Rankings 82nd[16] 76th[17] 68th[18] 64th[18][19] 49th[20]
Academic Ranking of World Universities 81st[21] 77th[22] 65thnd[23] 62nd[24] 69th[25]
Global University Ranking 40th[3] N/A N/A N/A N/A
Newsweek - The Top 100 Global Universities 70th[26] N/A N/A
UK University Rankings
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Times Good University Guide 18 18th[27] 12th[27] 18th[28] 11th 26th[29] 25th= 18th 17th[30] 20th 20th 13th 12th 16th 20th= 15th= 12th= 19th=
Guardian University Guide 30th[31] 17th[31] 23rd[32] 12th[33] 8th[34] 21st[30][35]
Sunday Times University Guide 19th[27] 11th[36] 20th[37] 14th[37] 8th[36] 5th=[36] 20th[36] 10th[36] 22nd[36] 17th[36] 9th[36]
Independent / Complete 26th[38] 25th[38]
Daily Telegraph 25th[39] 13th 14th
FT 23rd[40] 28th[41] 21st[42] 29th[43]


The Arts Tower. During the year, windows of south facing façade have been occasionally blanked out to form massive advertisements for charity campaigns.

Main campus

The University of Sheffield is not a campus university, though most of its buildings are close together. The centre of the University's presence lies one mile to the west of Sheffield city centre, where there is a mile-long collection of buildings belonging almost entirely to the University. This area includes the Sheffield Students' Union (housed next door to University House), the Octagon Centre, Firth Court, the Geography and Planning building, the Alfred Denny Building (housing natural sciences and including a small museum), the Dainton and Richard Roberts Buildings (chemistry) and the Hicks Building (mathematics and physics). The Grade II*-listed library and Arts Tower are also located there. The Arts Tower houses one of Europe's few surviving examples of a Paternoster lift. A concourse under the main road (the A57) allows students to easily move between these buildings. The Information Commons is amongst the newest building, added in 2007. The Information Commons is a new library, coffee shop and cafe, with a digital and computer infrastructure, lounge areas and flexible learning space.

St George's

To the east lies St George's Campus, named after St George's Church (now a lecture theatre and postgraduate residence). The campus is centred on Mappin Street, home to a number of University buildings, including the Faculty of Engineering (partly housed in the Grade II-listed Mappin Building) and the University of Sheffield School of Management and Department of Computer Science. The University also maintains the Turner Museum of Glass in this area. The University has recently acquired the listed old Victorian Jessop Hospital for Women buildings and HSE Building. Both buildings are currently being refurbished to house the Departments of Modern Languages, History and English, thus fully joining the West and St. George's campuses. The Law School moved from the Crookesmoor Building to Bartolomé House in early 2008.

West of the main campus

Further west lies Weston Park, the Weston Park Museum, the Harold Cantor Gallery, sports facilities in the Crookesmoor area and medicine, in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital (although taught in the city's extensive teaching hospitals under the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and throughout South Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire).

Student accommodation

Further west still lie the University halls of residence. These comprise Tapton Hall of Residence, The Endcliffe Student Village (comprising of several new blocks of apartments, the established Halifax and Stephenson Hall of Residence, newly created Burbage, Stanage, Howden, Froggatt, Yarncliffe and Derwent, as well as University owned private houses). A new student village was completed for the 2009/10 academic year comprising of 1200 beds on the site of the former Ranmoor Halls of Residence.

Manvers campus

The Manvers campus, at Wath-on-Dearne between Rotherham and Barnsley, is where the majority of nursing is taught.

Research and teaching quality

The University of Sheffield has been described by The Times as one of the powerhouses of British higher education.[4] The University is a member of the Russell Group, the European University Association, the Worldwide Universities Network and the White Rose University Consortium.

In the latest round of Teaching Quality Assessments (TQA 1993-2001) Sheffield ranked third in the UK for the highest number of "Excellent" rated subject areas. Nearly 75% of all teaching subjects achieved a 24/24 (Excellent) score.

Firth Court Quad

The University of Sheffield is rated 8th in the UK, 24th in Europe and 77th in the world in an annual academic ranking of the top 500 universities worldwide published in August 2008.[44] A separate ranking, published in the US by Newsweek magazine, and released in August 2006, ranked Sheffield 9th in the UK, 18th in Europe and 70th in the world in a list of the Global Top 100 Universities.

The University has won Queen's Anniversary Prizes in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2007.[45] It was also named the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2001.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, five of the University of Sheffield's departments reached the top of the table for overall student satisfaction among the UK universities. "Dentistry, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Philosophy, East Asian Studies and courses in Modern Languages and Modern Languages with Interpreting returned the highest satisfaction scores in the UK".[46]

Major research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, and Slazenger, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations. As an example, the Department of Architecture, under the guidance of Professor Jeremy Till, are currently involved in a research project with development and disaster relief charity Article 25 to investigate the possibilities of building sustainably in arid regions using human urine.

For many years the University has been engaged in theological publishing through Sheffield Academic Press and JSOT Press.

The University of Sheffield is also a partner organisation in Higher Futures, a collaborative association of institutions set up under the government's Lifelong Learning Networks initiative, to co-ordinate vocational and work-based education.[47]

Research areas

The University's research areas, groups and institutes include (in topic alphabetical order):

Area Group name Affiliated departments Head Details Website
Ageing Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing (SISA) Medicine, Biomedical Science and others Prof Stuart Parker [1]
Ceramics and composite materials Ceramics and Composites Laboratory Engineering Materials [2]
Computational mechanics and design Computational Mechanics & Design Civil & Structural Engineering Dr Matthew Gilbert [3]
Freemasonry and fraternalism Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism History Andreas Önnerfors [4]
Power engineering Electrical Machines & Drives Electronic & Electrical Engineering Prof Qiang Zhu [5]
Social inequality Social and Spatial Inequalities Group Geography [6]
Water and wastewater Pennine Water Group Civil & Structural Engineering Prof Richard Ashley Based at UoS and University of Bradford [7]
Work psychology Institute of Work Psychology Psychology Prof Sharon Parker [8]


The University of Sheffield's 25,000 students arrive mostly from the UK, but include more than 3,700 international students from 120 different countries. The University employs nearly 6,000 people, including almost 1,400 academic staff.

Students' Union, sports and traditions

The University of Sheffield Union of Students was founded in 1906. It has two bars (Bar One – which has a book-able function room with its own bar, The Raynor Lounge – and The Interval); three club venues (Fusion, Foundry and Octagon); one off-campus public house (The Fox and Duck in Broomhill[48]); and coffee shops, restaurants, shops, a supermarket, the cinema Film Unit, a fully functioning and student run theatre company (suTCo), a student radio station called Forge Radio, its own newspaper, The Forge Press, and about two hundred student societies and many sports teams.

The Union is one of the best in the country. It hosts a variety of advice and support services. Real-time information can be found by following @SSiDSheffield or @sheffieldunion on Twitter.

Left to right: the Hicks Building, students' union/University House (conjoined), walkway to the Octagon Centre and the Education Building (in background).

The annual "Varsity Challenge" takes place between teams from the University and its rival Sheffield Hallam University in over 30 events.

As well as rag week, University of Sheffield students used to raise funds by taking part in the Pyjama Jump pub crawl, cross-dressed only in nightwear in mid-winter: the men often dressed in nighties or in drag featuring mini-skirts and fishnet tights, and the women in pyjamas.[49] This event was banned in 1997 following the hospitalisation of several students.[50]. Another rag tradition is Spiderwalk, a fifty mile trek through the city and the Peak District, the first half through the night, other societies run fund-raising activities through the night while the walk is on such as a 24-hour role-playing event. Sheffield's students are also very active when it comes to volunteering for good causes. The Union's "SheffieldVolunteering" scheme is one of the countries most active and well-recognised student volunteering schemes and has won various national acclaims over the years.

Varsity sports

The University has 26 varsity sports (sports contested in varsity). The University sports colours are black and gold.


  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Basketball
  • Canoe Polo
  • American Football
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Indoor Cricket
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Volley Ball
  • Waterpolo
  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing


  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Canoe Polo
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Indoor Cricket
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby Union
  • Volley Ball
  • Waterpolo
  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing


  • Athletics
  • Climbing
  • Golf
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Korfball
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Trampoline
  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Ice Hockey

Nobel Prizes

The University's Faculty of Pure Science may boast an association with five Nobel Prizes, two for the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology:

And three to its Department of Chemistry:

Notable alumni

See also Category:Alumni of the University of Sheffield.








Public service




Notable academics


See also


  1. ^ J10521_Finance Inner
  2. ^ a b c "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  3. ^ a b Global University Ranking
  4. ^ a b c "University of Sheffield". Times Online. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  5. ^ HESA (2010) Students and Qualifiers Data Tables, Cheltenham: HESA. Available from: <,com_datatables/Itemid,121/task,show_category/catdex,3/> [Accessed 16/03/2010].
  6. ^ About the University
  7. ^ Donald MacLeod, The Guardian (20 July 2005). "Sheffield pulls out of nurse training deal". Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  8. ^ The University of Sheffield. "Departments". Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  9. ^ Christine Sexton (25 November 2007). "Senate Steering Group reports". Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ The University of Sheffield (5 April 2006). "University scoops top marketing award". Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  16. ^ "Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2009". Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  17. ^ "THES - QS Top Universities 2008". Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  18. ^ a b "THES - QS World University Rankings 2007" (PDF). QS TopMBA. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  19. ^ "Oxbridge closes gap on Harvard in world university rankings". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 5 October 2007.,,1888151,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  20. ^ "THES - QS World University Rankings 2005". THES. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2009". 
  22. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2008". 
  23. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2007
  24. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2006
  25. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2005
  26. ^ "The Top 100 Global Universities". Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  27. ^ a b c [ "Times University Guide"]. The Times. 
  28. ^ "The Times Good University Guide 2007 - Top Universities 2007 League Table". The Times.,,102571,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  29. ^ "The Times Top Universities". The Times.,,32607,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  30. ^ a b "The Table Of Tables". The Telegraph. 
  31. ^ a b "The Guardian University Guide". The Guardian. 
  32. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  33. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian.,,-5163901,00.html?start=40&index=3&index=3. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  34. ^ "University ranking by institution 2004". The Guardian.,,1222167,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  35. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian 2003 (University Guide 2004).,,-4668575,00.html. 
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h "University ranking based on performance over 10 years" (PDF). Times Online. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  37. ^ a b "The Sunday Times University League Table" (PDF). The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  38. ^ a b "The Independent University League Table". The Independent. 
  39. ^ "University league table". The Daily Telegraph.;jsessionid=HXFCSGXMNVABTQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/30/ncambs430.xml. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  40. ^ "The FT 2003 University ranking". Financial Times 2003. 
  41. ^ "FT league table 2001". FT league tables 2001. 
  42. ^ "FT league table 1999-2000". FT league tables 1999-2000. 
  43. ^ "FT league table 2000". FT league tables 2000. 
  44. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities
  45. ^ University website Queen's Anniversary Prizes
  46. ^ "Students satisfied at the University of Sheffield". University of Sheffield. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  47. ^ "Partners". Higher Futures. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  48. ^ "The Rising Sun - How to contact us". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  49. ^ "Pyjama Jump". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  50. ^ "No reprise for Pyjama Jump say University Registrar and Rag Chairperson". University of Sheffield. 23 February 1999. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 

External links


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