What we do

A 21st-century civic university

The University of Sheffield was founded over a hundred years ago, founded on the aspirations and financial support of the people of Sheffield. They wanted to establish a university which would benefit their economy, health and children.

These far-sighted men and women could only have wondered at what would follow. Today we are a global community and our citizenship stretches around the world into over 150 countries. Like our city, our staff and students have roots and connections all over our planet.

What we continue to do is based on our values and rooted in our founding principles. Our approach inspires innovative collaboration across subject areas and with individuals, businesses and organisations to solve the more pressing problems we face, both close to home and around the world.

Being a civic university means that we are a place for open debate, for working together to solve problems and making partnerships which challenge and inspire new thinking. We are open to people, to change and to possibility.

These pages tell you more about our global impact, how we are a truly civic university and how our students make a difference.

University of the Year 2011The Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2011

In 2011 the University of Sheffield was named UK University of the Year Times Higher Education Awards.

Judges said that the University "stood out as a result of a strategy based on its values and rooted in its founding principles" and praised our "determination and grit" in focusing on our local community.

The judges found it to be a quality, research-led university, and a community with values, confidence, flair and its sleeves rolled-up.

We were previously named Sunday Times University of the Year and the Sheffield Students' Union is consistently rated the UK's number one.

Receiving our THE University of the Year award

Our strengths


Her Majesty The Queen opens SITraN at the University of Sheffield

Our university was founded to make real impact on the city's economy and improve health.

A university with impact

Civic mission

Outreach event in the Sheffield Winter Garden

Our inspiration and connection to the city comes from the penny donations given a century ago by Sheffield factory workers to establish a university.

A civic university

Students who make a difference

Students 250

We're proud that Sheffield students make a difference in the world.

Our inspirational students