Good University Guide 2023

University of Sheffield

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Sheffield

Contact details


Western Bank, Sheffield , S10 2TN,

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A raft of academic facilities are opening at Sheffield, dedicated to further augmenting the Russell Group university’s research-led teaching and learning. Leading the way is the new Faculty of Social Sciences building, due to open in the spring of 2023, where a range of disciplines will be housed under the same roof, enabling students to benefit from collaborative teaching and social spaces. 

The social sciences development follows the completion of a building for the university’s Gene Therapy and Manufacturing Centre, where scientific discoveries into treatments for patients with life-threatening diseases are being advanced. Elsewhere, a new building in the university's renowned Faculty of Engineering houses the Royce Discovery Centre, whose aim is to develop the next generation of materials for UK manufacturers. 

At Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing campus, situated on the former Sheffield Business Park, the Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC) has begun working on the latest carbon capture technologies. The university is developing a neighbouring facility and partner to the TERC that will focus on research, innovation and commercial testing of sustainable aviation fuels — the first of its kind in Europe. 

The university’s renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which provides work experience opportunities for students with industry giants such as McLaren, BAE Systems, Boeing and Rolls-Royce, is extending its footprint across the north. The £20 million AMRC North West opened on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Lancashire in 2021.

Sheffield’s strength in research was evidenced in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in which 92 per cent of its work was rated in the highest two categories of world-leading or internationally excellent. The university entered all of its independent researchers and submitted work to 25 different REF units of assessment. 

The REF outcomes have triggered an impressive eight-place rise in our research quality index for Sheffield, helping to propel the university into the top 20 of our main league table this year. Sheffield is in the top 100 of the 2023 QS World University Rankings, where it ties for 96th place with St Andrews. 

In tandem comes impressive rates of student satisfaction, a bugbear at many other research-led institutions. Based on the latest National Student Survey, Sheffield ranks 28th for the wider student experience (it was 27th last year) and 47th for students’ evaluation of teaching quality (joint 48th last year). 

Teaching is in-person for all courses this year and the university has an internal system for lecture-capture that has been operating since pre-pandemic times. “We are an campus-based university and we will use digital methods to enhance in-person teaching,” Professor Mary Vincent, vice-president for education, said. 

Sheffield’s main university precinct stretches for a mile, ending near the city centre. Among its resources is the Engineering Heartspace — home to renowned Faculty of Engineering and the £23 million Information Commons, which operates 24-hours throughout the year. The university also operates at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre/Campus East and at Endcliffe and Ranmoor student accommodation.

Rated silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework, assessors commended “high levels of stretch and challenge” that help students to develop skills valued highly by employers.

More than four in five graduates were in high-skilled work or further study 15 months after finishing their degrees according to the latest figures, ranking Sheffield just outside the top 30 of our graduate prospects measure. The university is one of Siemens’s leading UK suppliers of graduates, who are targeted through hackathons, curriculum engagement and internships. A longstanding relationship with Rolls-Royce is the source of an active apprenticeship, as well as an internship and graduate programme.

Sheffield offers nine degree apprenticeships in total, across a range of engineering disciplines, and also in nursing and in psychology. There were nearly 370 student apprentices, at the last count.

The first PPE (politics, philosophy and economics) students started courses at Sheffield this term. Four options in quantitative social sciences also launched, offering specialisms in criminology, management, politics or sociology, and the landscape architecture master’s course welcomed its first students. From 2023 the curriculum gains another two degrees, in global sustainable development and data science. 

Between 45 per cent and 50 per cent of 2021’s intake received some form of financial help, a proportion the university expects to be much the same for 2023. The Sheffield Bursary is worth between £250 and £1,000 per year to students from households with incomes up to £40,000. Among other awards are Global Summer Experience scholarships for incoming first-years with A*AA (or higher) A-levels cover their air fares to overseas summer schools, as well as tuition and accommodation fees while there. For 2022 entry Sheffield offered more than 200 Experience Sheffield scholarships of up to £3,600 to UK students who met a broad range of widening participation criteria.

Sheffield is the second-highest ranked Russell Group member in our social inclusion index. It has moved up to 75th place this year, closing the gap on 58th-ranked Queen Mary, University of London. A longstanding commitment to encouraging participation in higher education encompasses outreach initiatives that aim to raise expectations among students across to the UK and to develop the skills they need to study at a research intensive university. In 2021, 10 per cent of applicants received a contextual offer up to one A-level grade below the standard requirement, a proportion that Sheffield expects will increase in future.

Excellent sports facilities near the main university precinct include five floodlit synthetic pitches, a swimming pool, sports hall and a bouldering wall. Outdoor pitches for rugby, football and cricket are a bus ride away. Sheffield has one of the biggest programmes of internal leagues at any university, while scholarships for elite student athletes contribute to the university’s flourishing high-performance sports.

Sheffield guarantees accommodation to first-years who apply by the deadline. Students can look forward to a thriving Students’ Union and a student-centric city known for its green spaces and friendly atmosphere.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 20= (22)
Teaching quality 76.3 47th
Student experience 75 28th
Research quality 59.1 15th
Ucas entry points 150 28th=
Graduate prospects 80.1 32nd
Firsts and 2:1s 84.7 25th
Completion rate 93.1 23rd=
Student-staff ratio 14.9 36th=
World ranking - 96= (95)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 39,350/5,980
Applications/places ratio 6.6:1
Overall offer rate 75.6%


Places in accommodation 6,005
Accommodation costs £80 - £147
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,230
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £20,000 - £25,670
Fees (international, medical) £38,050
Finance website
Graduate salaries £25,295


Sport points/rank 1,746, 21st
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 75
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 77.3%
Grammar school admissions 11.2%
Independent school admissions 11.5%
Ethnic minority students (all) 22%
Black achievement gap -6.9%
White working class males 5%
First generation students 32.6%
Low participation areas 10.3%
Working class dropout gap -1.4%
Mature 10.3%
EU students 5%
Other overseas students 19.3%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

General engineering 95.9%
Archaeology and forensic science 94.4%
Nursing 87.5%
Music 86.6%
Town and country planning and landscape 84.8%
Mechanical engineering 83.5%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 82.3%
Chemical engineering 81.8%
Geography and environmental science 81%
Materials technology 81%
Electrical and electronic engineering 80.4%
Communication and media studies 80.2%
Dentistry 79.9%
Linguistics 79.5%
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering 79.1%
Civil engineering 79%
English 78.8%
Education 77.3%
Economics 76.9%
History 76.8%
Architecture 76.7%
Computer science 76%
Biological sciences 75.5%
Physics and astronomy 74.5%
Accounting and finance 74.4%
Chemistry 74.4%
Mathematics 74.4%
Iberian languages 74.3%
German 73.9%
Politics 73.8%
Philosophy 73.6%
Medicine 73.4%
Sociology 73.1%
Criminology 72.4%
East and South Asian studies 72.3%
Subjects allied to medicine 72.3%
Business, management and marketing 69.4%
French 67%
Law 65.6%
Psychology 62.8%