#UniShorts: Spotlight on the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield has excellent facilities, a high-quality library network, and the best Student’s Union in the UK.

The Diamond library on the 18th February, 2020

The University of Sheffield’s Diamond building is a state-of-the-art library where students can study (photo by loocmill/ Shutterstock.com)

According to the Times Higher Education rankings from 2022, the University of Sheffield is not only the best university in Yorkshire, but the 13th-top university in the UK, above prestigious institutions like St Andrews, Exeter, and Durham. 

In this spotlight on the University of Sheffield, we’ll look at some of the top draws Sheffield has to offer its undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

The Cost of Living 

If you want a more in-depth look at the cost of living in Sheffield, check out this article on the cheapest cities for students in the UK (hint: Sheffield is at the top of the list). 

Simply put, Sheffield is a very affordable city, with student rent rates oscillating between £350 and £480 per month and good pints often costing as little as £3.50. 

Reputation for Research Excellence 

The University of Sheffield also has a brilliant reputation when it comes to producing high-quality research output. 

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework survey, over 90% of the university’s research output was rated as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent.” 

Some examples of Sheffield’s innovative and incredibly useful research include: 

  • Creating a more effective manufacturing process in collaboration with the Boeing aerospace company. For more information on the University of Sheffield’s world-leading Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), check out the end of this article. 
  • Professor Brendan Stone’s insightful “research in practice” technique uses storytelling and narrative as powerful ways in which to reconnect people with their own sense of self and help them to live more aligned, healthy, and happy lives. 
  • A far-reaching and fascinating analytical project on the intrinsic links between psychoactive products like coffee and tobacco and the 16th and 17th-century slave trade. 
  • The exceptional Centre for Speech and Language Technology collaborates with the San Franciscan company VoiceBase to help the latter business “to accurately transcribe and analyse over a billion minutes of calls per year.” The speech engine developed by the Center has proved groundbreaking for understanding and analysing fluctuating and natural conversations between companies and clients.  
  • The innovative and life-saving Desert Garden appeal grew out of an idea by the University of Sheffield professors Tony Ryan and Duncan Cameron (along with their PhD student Harry Wright). They helped show refugee farmers how to repurpose polyurethane foam mattresses as a “hydroponic system” for growing plants and making food at their camp in Zaatari. 
  • A fresh approach to therapy for those suffering from an eating disorder: CBT-T is the brainchild of Clinical Psychology Professor Glenn Waller, and it involves clients taking part in ten CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions (rather than the usual twenty for this kind of diagnosis). For those who aren’t in the high-risk category, this shortened form of therapy allows patients to get help from the NHS sooner rather than later. 

Spotlight on the University of Sheffield: Best Student’s Union in the Country 

The Sheffield SU won the coveted award for No.1 Student’s Union in the UK in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards this year, and has a longstanding reputation as being the best of the best when it comes to putting on top-quality gigs and club nights, providing comprehensive student support, and offering a wide range of food and drink options. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best features of the Sheffield SU, from the Foundry line-ups to the Give it a Go initiative: 

  • The Foundry: this three-room on-site venue is one of the best in the city, and attracts an impressive calibre of artists. For example, in the next few months, you can get tickets to go and see starlet Beabadoobee, noughties indie rock icons The Cribs, or compelling Brighton foursome Porridge Radio. See also: the Abba Disco on the 7th of October!
  • The Give it a Go initiative: this awesome project was launched in the early 2000s and encourages students to try out new things in a safe, inclusive, and non-judgmental environment. Examples of activities that you could try include Quidditch (the Muggle version), macrame making, self-defence classes, improv comedy, and various trips to places like Hadrian’s Wall, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Newcastle. 
  • Food and drinks on-site: if you fancy an energy boost, head to Coffee Revolution, the student-run coffee house that collaborates with local roasteries and businesses. For those fancying something a little more substantial, head to Interval for some pizza or to sit in their beer garden. If you just need to grab a quick bite for lunch, check out New Leaf for a salad or soup and sandwich combo. 

Spotlight on the University of Sheffield: A Friendly and Inclusive Environment 

Sheffield is known for being a friendly city, and the University of Sheffield reflects this reputation in the way its faculty and student leaders support the wider undergraduate and postgraduate communities. 

As previously mentioned, the Student’s Union is exceptional when it comes to providing support to students for a range of issues from financial need and housing to mental health resources and career advice. 

Here’s a rundown of the best student-friendly factors that Sheffield has to offer: 

  • Lots of green spaces: there are a number of gorgeous green spaces and public parks in and around Sheffield, from the 15-hectare Endcliffe Park and the Botanical Gardens to the nearby Wyming Brook Nature Reserve and Crookes Valley Park. 
  • Vibrant nightlife and music scene: the city of Sheffield has a rich musical history, fostering greats like The Human League, Pulp, Toddla T, and the Arctic Monkeys. True to form, Sheffield’s current music scene punches weigh above its weight when you take into consideration the size of the city, making it a perfect environment for students. 
  • The Peak District: when students want to get out of the city and take a break from studying for a few hours or days, they could visit the nearby Peak District, with its dramatic craggy hills and rich moorlands. You never feel far from nature when you live in Sheffield.

Spotlight on the University of Sheffield: Sector-Leading Links with AMRC 

Last, but not least, the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has incredible links with some of the biggest, most prestigious names in the manufacturing industry, including: 

Simply put, if you’re interested in getting into the manufacturing industry in any capacity after university, you won’t find a better university to apply to in the UK than Sheffield.

Final Thoughts 

The University of Sheffield is an excellent institution, with world-leading industry links, the best Student’s Union in the country, and an assortment of gorgeous green spaces where you can rewind and relax with a book or with mates after a hard week’s work. 

If you want more in-depth information on the UK university application process, including advice on how to pick your top UCAS choices, check out the Studying in the UK section of our website. 

You can also get in touch with our team of experts via our website to get an info pack and book a free consultation.

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