Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience

The University of Sheffield

Studying at the University of Sheffield means you’ll get the future that follows a degree from a UK top 20 university (Complete University Guide 2024). You’ll see how world-leading research enhances our teaching and changes lives – starting with your own. You’ll also experience three unforgettable years at a Russell Group university in one of the best student cities in the UK.

An international outlook

Learning alongside 30,000 students from over 150 countries means your experience at Sheffield will be truly international. We’re a global community with an international outlook - it’s why we’re among the top 50 most international universities in the world (according to data from the 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.)

Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience

The best student experience

Experience all that student life has to offer at the UK's Number 1 Students' Union (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2017-23). While you’re here, you can join one, or all, of over 400 student societies and 60 sports clubs.

Learn from the experts

You’ll learn from academics conducting life-enhancing, world-changing research - the innovators in your subject. They’ll help you to shape the world we live in and get the best start to your career.

Your career starts here

Boost your career prospects - join the 8th most targeted university by employers. Sheffield is 17th in the UK for graduate employability. Get tailored careers advice and leave university with the skills, confidence and experience you need to pursue the future you want.

8th place in the High Fliers ‘Most Targeted Universities by Employers’
Graduate Market in 2022 report
17th in the UK for graduate employability
Student Crowd University League Table and Rankings 2022

Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience
Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience

Our partners

The expertise of our people means we partner with governments, multinational companies and charitable foundations from across the world. They include Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, Rolls Royce, and Boeing to name a few.

The city of Sheffield

The city of Sheffield is diverse, green and inclusive, with real character. It’s the big city vibe that feels like home. It’s also the UK’s third most affordable city.

With over 250 parks and woodlands, 4.5 million trees and numerous renewable energy sites, Sheffield is leading the way to a sustainable future - both nationally and globally.

Postgraduate research

World-leading projects take place here every day. Whatever your research interest might be, we have a broad base of expertise to help you realise your ambition. Explore current topics, and find PhD projects and supervisors.

Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience
Renowned for excellence - A world-class University, a unique student experience

Proud of our history, focussed on the future

We’re a University with a proud history of making things happen. From pioneering the first use of penicillin in 1930, to our current researchers developing a lifesaving drug for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer. We also have six Nobel prize winners amongst our former staff and students.

Be welcome. Be the person you want to be. Be the best at what you do.

Contact us

Call us on +44 114 222 8030
Phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 1pm to 4pm UK time.

Chat to us online

Our live chat service is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm UK time.


Academic Units


ACSE was established in 1968, in response to the growing importance of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering to all branches of industry worldwide. We have since grown to become the largest Control and Systems Engineering Department in Europe, with over 130 academic staff, research assistants and research students and over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate degree students. Our growth has been due both to the increasing demand for education in the area and the effects of rapid changes in computing technology.

We provide a range of research degrees offering opportunities for postgraduate training in Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and associated topics. Our PhD students become members of our research community, enjoying excellent research facilities in a rich intellectual environment.

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The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is a research-led department, formed in 1996. We have state-of-the-art laboratories to support our work along with all the modern IT facilities expected.

An important feature of the research environment in the department is the interdisciplinary research groups. The focus of our research effort through these groups means that we have been able to build up dedicated high-quality facilities and to tackle problems larger than those typically associated with single university researchers.

Our research groups provide the natural home for postgraduate research students; it is in their groups that students find the formal and informal supervision and much of the friendship that makes a research degree such an enriching experience.

We believe that a PhD in Chemical Engineering is an immensely valuable qualification for those aspiring to leadership positions in industry and research.

We also think that the environment we have created makes the Sheffield degree special.

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The Department of Chemistry is a grade 5 department. We have a wide variety of research centres, from Biological Chemistry to Polymer Science, equipped with the latest analytical equipment. We currently have over 100 PhD students, organised into small research groupings within the department.

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In the most recent RAE we were awarded grade 5, indicating research of international excellence. The Department is one of the largest Civil Engineering Departments in the UK and is very well equipped. It was again ranked 2nd for Civil Engineering by the Guardian Newpaper this year.

Our research income has continually expanded and we currently have research grants of over £12million in progress. About two thirds of this income is from Research Councils who only fund research of the very highest standard. We also receive funding from the EU, industry, regulators and local and national governments.

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The Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield has an international reputation for practical and real world economics. We are a leading research University and economics department and our academic staff are among the top economic experts in their field.
Students that study a PhD with us receive excellent academic support, in a friendly, vibrant research environment with excellent facilities. 94% of our PhD students were satisfied with their training in the 2017 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey.
We are part of the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP). The partnership provides research students with a world-class environment to develop their discipline specific and interdisciplinary research skills.

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The Department of Geography is a leading international centre of excellence in research, renowned for the quality of its PhD degrees, which are supported through world-class supervision.
We attract high-level students from across the world, who go on to successful careers, spanning academia and the public and private sectors. Our students benefit from participation in a large and active graduate school, and an individually tailored training program, focused on developing the skills set and knowledge base, required for each research topic.

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We're the UK's leading department for landscape architecture. Our league table rankings are excellent, our reputation for teaching and research stretches worldwide, and our welcome is friendly. Our work creates beautiful environments which make lives better. Whether you are a current or prospective student, feel free ask any questions you may have regarding the courses offered or the department itself.

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The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is one of the national leaders in the field.

The Department currently has 47 academic staff including 19 Professors, 6 Readers, 9 Senior Lecturers, 9 Lecturers and 3 Senior / University Teachers. They receive excellent support from 27 technical and 24 administrative staff.

One of seven departments in the Faculty of Engineering, the Department is growing rapidly, and currently has 73 postdoctoral research staff, 210 PhD students, 115 MSc students and 242 UG students taking taught MEng and BEng degree programmes.

The Department’s teaching is underpinned by world-leading research, and facilitated by world-class facilities. Study with us and you will become part of a welcoming community, benefiting from the knowledge and experience of leading academics.

Further details on each of the research areas can be accessed via the Departmental website: www.sheffield.ac.uk/materials/research.

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering is internationally renowned for high quality research. The expertise of our staff covers a wide range of specialist areas and our mission is to carry out research in fundamental science through to practical industrial applications. The Department was awarded an outstanding rating (30% 4*, 45% 3*, 20% 2*, 5% 1*) in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. All our academic research staff were submitted to the assessment.
Much of the research undertaken by the Department of Mechanical Engineering is carried out by our postgraduate students as part of their PhD programmes. The department's current postgraduate research students are working on a wide range of projects, and they are vital to our success in research. Our students come from both the UK and overseas and typically have a first degree in engineering, or a related subject such as physics or mathematics.

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The Department of Music at The University of Sheffield is a hub for world-leading interdisciplinary research and hosts a broad range of specialisms. As a PhD researcher, you become part of an active and thriving research environment, whilst benefiting from world-class supervision, research resources and facilities. Apply now for a PhD positions and research funding.

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy has an international reputation for the quality of its research (grade 5 in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise).
The department comprises of 31 academic staff, over 30 research fellows and postdoctoral research associates, and over 60 research students.
The research laboratories and offices have recently been refurbished, there are frequent group seminars and meetings, and the University of Sheffield provides a Research Training Programme for PhD students. The department therefore offers an excellent environment for postgraduate research work.
As a member of the White Rose Consortium of leading Yorkshire universities, the department is part of the Doctoral Training Centre in the Life Sciences.
The research areas in the department are wide-ranging and include,
- Astronomy and astrophysics
- Astroparticle theory and cosmology
- Organic optoelectronic materials and devices
- Particle Physics (ATLAS experiment at CERN, dark matter, neutrino physics)
- Polymer physics and soft nanotechnology
- Semiconductor physics and devices
- Theoretical condensed matter physics
Visit our home page for more information.

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The Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield has an established international reputation for excellence in teaching and research across the disciplines of Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work and Digital Society.

We are proud of our disciplinary breadth and achievement, which helps make the Department an exciting and lively place to study and work.

Teaching excellence
Our teaching achieved a grading of 'Excellent' in the most recent Teaching Quality Assessment, which recognises us as a major provider of education across the main sociological subjects.

A top rated research department
In the recent Research Assessment Exercise (2008) overall 95% of our research was rated as of international standard, within this, 45% was rated as internationally excellent and 20% as world-class. This makes the Department of Sociological Studies a top-ten research department in its field, consolidating our previous excellent rating (Grade 5) in the previous research assessment exercise.

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About our Research School

You will be joining one of the UK’s largest and most successful research schools in the fields of Urban Studies and Planning.

The value of a Sheffield PhD can be seen in the rapidity with which graduates have obtained employment in a range of contexts including not just academia, but also local and central government and the charitable sector.

A dynamic academic community

The Research School is brought together as a community through a range of activities that continue throughout the academic year. This includes bespoke weekly training sessions in both semesters, presentations of research in progress, an enhanced support programme, and other events such as masterclasses from visiting academics, reading groups, and co-writing sessions.

Everyone’s involvement in these activities is encouraged: this enhances your own professional development, and maintains the strong ethos of mutual support that has underpinned the School’s success.

An international learning environment

Students come from all over the world to pursue postgraduate research in this department.

International students currently comprise just over half of the over fifty doctoral students in the department, joining us from countries such as India, China, Korea, Syria, Mexico, Nigeria and Turkey and across the EU. This international diversity provides a rich learning experience for all students.

Many of our doctoral students undertake research in international contexts and make visits overseas to conduct research, participate in PhD workshops and attend conferences.

The department also has close links with a number of universities internationally, and the exchange of ideas within the Research School has long been enriched by the presence of visiting scholars from throughout the world.

These contacts are important as they enable students to challenge their ideas against the circumstances found in environments outside their own focus of study.

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Our field is characterised by its distinctive, interdisciplinary focus on the interactions between people, information and digital technologies. It has the ultimate goal of enhancing information access, and the management, sharing and use of information, to benefit society.

Good information empowers people and enriches their lives. Expertise to use, design and manage information products, services and systems effectively has never been more important than today, in our increasingly fast-moving and complex world.

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You will find your degree programme both stimulating and rewarding, working within the School´s active research environment at the University of Sheffield. At the same time, we encourage you to take part in Sheffield´s social, sporting and cultural activities, which are second to none.
Picture of PG Students

We hope you take up the opportunity to study in Sheffield. You will be able to gain an important and respected qualification.

Visits to the University for potential postgraduate research students take place on the first Tuesday of every month from 1pm.

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Formed in September 2021, the School of Biosciences brings together more than 100 years of teaching and research expertise from the former departments of Animal and Plant Sciences, Biomedical Science and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
The school is home to around 120 academics, including Royal Society, RCUK, EU and other Independent Research Fellows, 300 postgraduates supported by Doctoral Training Programmes and Centres, and 1,500 undergraduates. Our expertise spans the breadth and depth of bioscience, including molecular and cell biology, genetics, development, human physiology and pharmacology through to evolution, ecology, biodiversity conservation and sustainability. This makes us one of the broadest and largest groupings of the discipline and allows us to train the next generation of biologists in the latest research techniques and discoveries.
We carry out world-leading research to address the most important global challenges such as food security, disease, health and medicine, ageing, energy, and mitigating the biodiversity and climate crises.
Within the school we house a number of specialist research facilities. The Arthur Willis Environment Centre provides state-of-the-art 'GroDome' plant growth facilities comprising 16 discrete compartments with the capacity to simulate a range of current environments as well as future climate scenarios. The NERC Environmental Omics Visitor Facility here in Sheffield provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK community in the science areas that fall under the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council.. Others include a Biological NMR Facility, a Biomolecular Interaction Suite, and the University of Sheffield’s Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility.

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Creative, critical, civic-minded and collaborative, the School of English at the University of Sheffield is one of the largest and most successful English departments in the UK. We are an interdisciplinary department, bringing together the study of literature, language, linguistics, theatre, film and creative writing to form a community that is unique in the world in its breadth and depth of study of the English language.

We have a thriving research environment, with world-leading experts conducting cutting-edge research across the full spectrum of English studies. We also have the largest group of researchers in the UK working on the intersection of language and literature. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), we were ranked number 1 in the UK for research environment.

The interdisciplinary nature of the School of English provides unique opportunities for cross-departmental and collaborative research. A selection of our centres for research demonstrates the breadth of our interests: Centre for Linguistic Research; Centre for the History of the Gothic; Centre for Poetry and Poetics; Literary Linguistics Research Cluster; Sheffield Animals Research Colloquium; Sheffield Centre for Research in Film; Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies.

We maintain strong links with our local community, using our research to inform and support projects that have a real-world impact in our city and region, as well as nationally and globally.

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The School is committed to excellence in language-based research in a range of disciplines. Members of staff in the School conduct individual research, supervise postgraduate students, and collaborate on larger scale research projects, local, national and internationally. We seek to maximize the benefits gained from the specificity of research in each of the School's constituent sections, based in a language or a language group, while reaping the added value to be gained from comparative exchange and collaboration across the School. Our teaching at both undergraduate and MA level is informed by our research, and research skills form an integral part of students’ training. To find out more about Postgraduate study in the School of Languages and Cultures, please visit our Postgraduate Programmes pages.

The School has a thriving research community of academic staff, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate students. While we conduct research in a wide range of languages, disciplines and geographical regions, we are united by a commitment to accessing sources in the language, and to the study of language-based cultures.

School Research Clusters

Research Clusters are cross-School groups, united by similar disciplinary or thematic interests, who work together to share knowledge and inspiration from their individual subject areas. To find out more please visit our Research Clusters Pages:

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/slc/research/clusters

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School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

The Medical School at Sheffield University is a premier organisation that integrates basic scientific and clinical research, teaching and the practice of medicine. Research in the medical school is structured into larger thematic research groups. This improves the competitiveness of our highly rated academic staff at the cutting edge of modern medical research thus contributing to the development the medicine of tomorrow. The Medical School was rated 5 in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) - illustrating the quality of our research. Our main research themes are:-
• Cardiovascular
• Endocrinology and Reproduction
• Infection, Inflammation and Immunity
• Musculoskeletal
• Neuroscience
• Oncology
• Primary Care & Ageing

Our research facilities are housed in the newly completed Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Medical Research as well as in the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and our clinical research benefits from a longstanding and close collaboration with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Post graduates are supported by a clear administrative structure, research training programme and School Graduate Research Committee which strives to improve the postgraduate experience.

The following website will be of use to prospective students as it outlines the support and monitoring systems currently in place.
www.shef.ac.uk/medicine/current/postgraduates.

For a list of our available studentships please visit:
www.shef.ac.uk/medicine/prospectivepg/vacancies.

For general queries contact:
Sara Watkinson (s.watkinson@sheffield.ac.uk)

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Other PhD Programmes