Our vision and people

We aim to exceed our students’ and customers’ expectations adding value to the Sheffield experience.

Accommodation building and The Edge with the piazza and trees

Our mission

  • Valuing people through investment in our staff and their wellbeing, placing students and customers at the heart of every decision we make
  • Building a community by continuing to develop an exceptional experience, through engagement and support
  • Delivering success through improving value, ensuring quality, providing great service and developing partnerships
  • Reinvesting any surpluses to maintain and improve facilities and services
  • Working towards a sustainable future

Our responsibilities

Accommodation and Commercial Services are responsible for providing a huge range of essential services and facilities to staff, students and visitors across the University, including accommodation, welfare support, catering and hospitality, conferences and events. 

We provide accommodation and related services and support for over 5,500 students in our residences located at Ranmoor & Endcliffe and in the City. We also run a number of high-quality bars and food outlets, as well as providing venues, hospitality and delivered catering for meetings, conferences and special events, such as weddings and graduations.

Our people

We strongly believe that our people are at the heart of everything we do. We employ over 250 employees across the department with hundreds of extra casual staff across the year adding value to the services we provide.

We embed our strong values and beliefs into our colleagues from the beginning of their journey with us and throughout their entire career. With a customer-centric attitude, we provide an outstanding service every time - exceeding expectations for both students and visitors.

Training and quality are at the heart of the ethos of the department, for which we employ a dedicated Head of Training and Quality. We recognise the importance of our employees and we have several initiatives in place to develop and reward them.

Staff Awards

We hold an annual Staff Awards Evening where we recognise colleagues who have worked at the University for a number of years and those who have achieved nationally recognised training awards.

It's also when we announce the winners of the People’s Awards, in which a shortlist of candidates is nominated by their colleagues within the department. The People’s Award winners are then decided by a judging panel, recognising the exceptional contributions that our colleagues have made during the year.

Engagement and communication

Our annual staff conferences engage employees from across the department in discussions and activities, which enable them to meet people in different teams and learn more about ongoing projects and targets. 

We also communicate through the regular ACS News Wrap, which is an informal way for employees to share news with their colleagues across the department, content ranges from new baby announcements, retirement farewells, or sharing charity fundraising information. 

Awards and accreditation

Investor in Students

Accommodation Services has taken part in Investor in Students (IIS) accreditation since the 2020/21 academic year, IIS evaluates the student experience by gathering feedback not only from the student residents, but also staff working across the business. We are proud to have first achieved a Silver award in the 2020/21 survey, and retained this for 2021/22. 

Hospitality Assured

We are delighted to announce that Commercial Services and UNICUS have been awarded Premier status of the internationally recognised Hospitality Assured standard. The award is not easily achieved and involves a full assessment of our commercial operations, therefore to be awarded Premier status on our second assessment is a fantastic accomplishment and recognises the great progress we have made over the last 12 months.

Class of 2020

We are so proud that Residence Life at The University of Sheffield won The Class Student Well-Being Award 2019. The jury said, “Amazing effort, with impact on student clearly underlined by overwhelmingly strong feedback from students."

The Class of 2020 Foundation is a partner-based non-profit organisation with a simple goal: to further the professionalism and knowledge of living, learning and working in university cities. Established in 2011, The Class of 2020 is now the largest student housing and co-living platform open to anyone and everyone.

Class of 2020 Winners
The University of Sheffield wins Class of 2020 Award

Inox, our flexible event space located on the fifth floor of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union Building walked away with the bronze medal for Business Venue of the Year 2019 at The White Rose Awards. Inox provides all-day dining, venue hire and a fantastic place for meetings and social working. 

Inox Dine scoops Bronze for Business Venue of the Year 2019
Inox Dine scoops Bronze for Business Venue of the Year 2019

We were awarded Best Student Housing 2018 in the higher education sector’s CUBO Awards for Sheffield’s Jonas Hotel, the first of its kind in the UK housing students and visitors alike. We recognise and celebrate the importance of our employees in achieving these awards and we have several initiatives in place to develop and reward them. 


UNICUS is an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary company, which was established in 2012 as a commercial proposition to deliver and enhance the University's hospitality services. 

UNICUS operates a wide range of hospitality services and venues under the brand name 'WithUS', providing healthy and sustainable food and drink options for staff, students and the wider community. 

The WithUS portfolio includes 17 cafes & bars across the University accommodation and campus, as well as two hotels, Halifax Hall and Jonas Hotel, and Inox restaurant & event space. It also provides delivered catering for meetings and events, conferencing, weddings and much more. Head to the links below for further information.

More about UNICUS

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.