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Research that transforms lives

Sheffield Hallam University

Research that transforms lives

At Sheffield Hallam, our approach to research emerges from our values as an institution. We believe in applied learning and multi-disciplinary collaboration. We believe universities should make material contributions to the cultural, economic, social and health challenges facing society today. Most importantly, we believe that the pursuit of knowledge has the power to transform lives.

We are recognised nationally and internationally for the quality of our research – 72% of our research submitted in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our research is changing lives through its impact on society, the economy and culture – 78% of our impact was assessed as world-leading and internationally excellent. You can browse our Impact Case Studies by subject area here.

Our research areas

Each of our four research institutes supports several research centres and research within academic departments:

Postgraduate Research at Sheffield Hallam

As a postgraduate research student at Sheffield Hallam, you will be part of the University's Doctoral School and a community of postgraduate researchers across the University. Your research degree will give you opportunities to develop a range of personal and professional skills as well as becoming an expert in your chosen project area. We offer PhD and masters-level research degrees across our research areas, as well as professional doctorates in Business and Education.

How to apply

We welcome applications all year round, for enrolment in October, February or May. Other degrees will have different enrolment points, as listed on our online prospectus. Funded scholarships will have specific closing dates as detailed on the scholarship advert.

If you have any questions about applying for a research degree, you can contact the relevant Research Institute team.

Fees and funding

You can find information on tuition fees and research costs on our online prospectus.

As part of our investment in research we offer a number of competitive PhD scholarships throughout the year. Available opportunities will be listed on our website.

A vibrant city

Sheffield is a welcoming, multicultural city with a rich and proud history. It is a safe, friendly and affordable place to live, which is why it is the study destination of choice for more than 60,000 students. The city also offers the best of both worlds, with all the amenities, culture and entertainment of a big city and the peaceful, green spaces of the countryside.


Academic Units


The Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre (BMRC) conducts its research through three themes, centrally coordinated and closely aligned to our expertise.

Theme 1: Development and application of tissue models to alleviate disease and infection.

Theme 2: Application of advanced physical analytical methodology.

Theme 3: Antimicrobial resistance and biofilms

Each theme is supported by senior staff (reader and above) who head specialist research groups that provide a focus for staff to maintain and develop key expertise, as well as providing suitable fora for support of PhD students and postdoctoral research associates (PDRAs). Each theme has impact in its mission and is associated with a current driving societal challenge, each theme has led to substantial impact. Our Knowledge Transfer and Consultancy team operate across all of the themes.  

The Centre has a designated commercial unit with strong industrial links, providing a range of services in bioanalysis and custom synthesis. Our research skills are utilised by local SMEs, national and international companies who access our expertise and facilities in co-development partnerships and contract research projects.

We also offer PhD research programs and a professional doctorate in biomolecular science.

The Research Centre holds an Athena SWAN Silver award. We first achieved this award in 2012, and it was renewed for a further three years in November 2019. The award celebrates our best practice in areas such as recruitment, retention, career progression and work environment, as part of our commitment to addressing gender inequality in higher education.

Project List:


The Department of Computing currently carries out research that can be categorised by four themes of excellence: People and Technology; Information, Systems and Organisations; Intelligent and Autonomous Technologies and the Digital Economy.

Under these broad themes, researchers in the Department are active in a number of areas of theoretical and applied computer science and informatics including:

Project List:

Project List:

Research Profiles:


The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering. Our experienced team has a highly successful track record applying cutting edge research to find innovative solutions to industry problems. The quality of our research has been confirmed by the results of the national Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, where 56% of the submitted research received the prestigious 4* and 3* rating as world-leading and internationally excellent.

From material analysis to infrastructure management our solutions generate real competitive advantage. Our research and consultancy activities are supported by a large advanced equipment base, ranging from the latest electron microscopes to high performance computing hardware.

As an institute committed to world-class, multidisciplinary research, MERI offers a vibrant community in which postgraduate researchers work closely with experienced academics to develop their knowledge and expertise.

Working towards your research degree with MERI, you could benefit from:

  • Supervision by an active researcher in your chosen area
  • Access to excellent facilities and learning resources
  • Part-time lecturing and tutorial work to broaden your experience
  • Funding to help with your study costs
  • Lively debate and discussion with colleagues

Our current students are studying topics across the full range of materials and engineering research pursued in MERI, and are encouraged to disseminate their research by publishing papers and attending conferences with other MERI staff.

Research centres

MERI is organised into four primary research centres, plus a consultancy unit (MARS CIC). The activities of each research centre are carried out within focused research groups.

Centre for Automation and Robotics Research

The Centre consists of two research groups and a consultancy arm:

  1. Mobile Machines and Vision Laboratory
  2. Systems Modelling and Integration and Sheaf Solutions consultancy

Thin Films Research Centre

The Centre has five research areas:

  1. Thin Films and Sensors
  2. Physical Vapour Deposition
  3. Semiconductor Characterisation
  4. Theory of Semiconductor Materials and Optics
  5. Photovoltaics

Polymers, Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre

The Centre has two research groups:

  1. Polymers, Composites and Spectroscopy Group
  2. Materials and Fluid Flow Modelling Group

Structural Materials and Integrity Research Centre

The SMIRC consists of three research groups:

  1. Centre for Corrosion Technology
  2. Centre for Infrastructure Management
  3. Metal Joining Research Centre

Project List:

Project List:

Research Profiles:


The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES), which began operations in 2000, is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research and consultancy in the areas of physical activity for health, sport performance, and wellness. The centre is led by Professor Ian Maynard, Professor of Sport Psychology, editor of The Sport Psychologist, and consultant to elite and professional athletes across a broad range of sports.

The centre currently comprises 24 research staff and 20 PhD students, and includes experts from the main sport and exercise science/medicine disciplines: physiology, biomechanics, psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, and strength and conditioning. This provides the potential for an interdisciplinary approach for addressing sport, exercise and health issues.

We boast one of the largest physical activity and sport-related portfolios of research expertise in the UK, if not Europe. We have a wide range of clients from the public and private sector, and operate across three main disciplines

•Sport and Exercise Science
•Physical Activity for Health
•Workplace Wellness

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Other PhD Programmes