About the department

Our school is known around the world for its strong social ethos. We believe in architecture that makes a difference and know that it has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of life of those who inhabit and use it.

Model in window at exhibition

Architecture with a view

The School of Architecture sits high up in one of Sheffield's most recognisable buildings - The Arts Tower. Offering unrivalled views across our green city and beyond, the Arts Tower studios promote collaborative working and a community feel.

Through our teaching, research and partnerships we engage with real architectural, societal and environmental issues. Live Projects are a pioneering educational initiative. Masters students work in groups with a range of clients including local community groups, charities, health organisations and regional authorities. We have also set up the first permanent University-led Urban Room in the UK. Live Works creates a shop window for the School in Sheffield City Centre where local people and organisations can learn about our civic engagement activities, suggest and collaborate with us on Live Projects.

We are in the UK's top four research schools. Our academic staff are at the forefront of their field and our students develop into skilled and critical researchers. We are proud to have an inclusive, open and approachable working environment and unique studio culture, supporting and enabling students to develop their own approach as individuals. 

We are shaping the future of practice and are leading on cutting edge, interdisciplinary architectural education. Not only do our students, staff and alumni produce outstanding architecture and research, but they are also having a positive and lasting impact on the global built environment. 

Graduates throwing hats outside Arts Tower

Reputation

We are one of the UK's leading schools of architecture and we are consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. We have a strong record in league tables and some of our successes include:

  • 3rd in The Guardian University League Tables 2020
  • 3rd in the Complete University Guide Subject Tables 2019
  • 3rd in the Times Good University Guide 2019
  • 21st overall and top 4 UK School in QS World Rankings by Subject 2019
  • 3rd in the AJ100 Practices Survey 2018

On top of this, the RIBA 2017 visiting Board Report commended us for "the open and collegiate culture of the school with staff, students and external examiners all contributing to the ongoing development of the courses".

Old drawing studios in the Arts Tower

History

The University of Sheffield School of Architecture first opened its doors at the beginning of 1908, shortly after the university was founded. Started with the help of the Sheffield Society of Architects, the school at first served largely to train the sons and personnel of local firms, and remained very small until the Second World War. In the post war period it saw a huge expansion, bringing in students not just from across the nation but across the world. In 1965 it moved into the upper floors of the new Arts Tower. This accompanied the development of a Faculty of Architectural Studies embracing Town Planning, Landscape and Building Science, which lasted until recently when the school moved to Social Sciences. Over the remainder of the century the school grew in size and reputation, producing many distinguished alumni. Its good reputation among students and its strong research record have assured it a consistent place among the top schools in the country.

Professor Peter Blundell Jones
26 September 2014