University of Sheffield ranked among world’s best for arts and humanities

The University of Sheffield has been ranked 62nd out of more than 500 universities worldwide, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

 Jessop West building

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020 has ranked Sheffield 62nd out of more than 500 universities across the world for arts and humanities subjects.

One of the most renowned university league tables, the rankings highlight institutions that are leading in subjects such as languages, literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, music, architecture and archaeology.

Professor Susan Fitzmaurice, Vice-President for Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised once again as one of the world’s top 100 universities for arts and humanities subjects. Arts and humanities scholars and graduates are needed in the world now more than ever as they have the unique skills and abilities to help us understand and address some of our biggest challenges.

“Human behaviour is at the centre of many of the world’s most pressing issues and the arts and humanities are best placed to help us understand them. We can’t address the climate crisis, deal with the major political issues of the day or build international collaborations and friendships without scholars and graduates from the arts and humanities sharing their critical reflection, analytical skills, knowledge and understanding.

“The rankings reflect the University of Sheffield’s leading teaching and research in this area, but I also hope they can remind everyone of the vital importance of arts and humanities subjects.”

The University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities is home to more than 3,500 of the brightest students from around the world. They study everything from the novels of Jane Austen and the Brontȅs, famous musicians such as Mozart and Beethoven, to languages and cultures, past civilisations, human behaviour and its impact on some of the world’s biggest issues.

Modern languages students at the University of Sheffield have recently played a key role in a pioneering mentoring scheme to help school children throughout South Yorkshire learn new languages. The initiative saw local school children paired with a student mentor at the University in a bid to inspire a love for languages and increase the number of pupils studying modern languages at GCSE.

Sheffield Archaeology students have recently uncovered stories from one of the biggest prisoner of war camps in Britain during the Second World War. The camp, whose remains have been hidden in the Sheffield countryside for more than 60 years, held some of the most fanatical of prisoners and people from across Germany, Italy and Ukraine.

Painting of Lodge Moor WWII POW camp, Sheffield

English literature students from the University have recently discovered new insights into the secret lives of servants and staff who lived and worked at Chatsworth House between the 18th and 20th centuries. After studying the archives at the English Country House for the first time, the students uncovered hundreds of letters and documents that pieced together frivolous spending, private parties and grumpy governesses at the real life Downton Abbey.

Since 1999, students from the University’s School of Architecture have worked with community clients in Sheffield, across the UK and internationally, to make a real difference to local buildings, streets and neighbourhoods. Working as part of the Live Projects initiative, architecture students have delivered more than 200 projects and worked in 16 different countries, building a leading reputation in socially-engaged architectural education.

The University of Sheffield is also home to more than 350 leading arts and humanities researchers whose curiosity about the languages, cultures, histories and imaginaries that make us human drives learning at all levels.

Research from the University’s Department of Philosophy is highlighting how action to address climate change can enhance and undermine both security and justice around land and food for vast numbers of people around the world. The research, led by Dr Megan Blomfield, is calling for urgent but fair action to protect land use from climate change.

Chatsworth House

Researchers from the University’s Department of History are leading a major European study into how the world’s most widely consumed intoxicants such as tobacco, caffeine, chocolate, sugar and opium were first trafficked and consumed in Western Europe. Led by Professor Phil Withington, the project is collaborating with European universities, museums, schools and the United Nations.

The University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities also continually reflects on and refines its learning and teaching in order to provide a unique student experience and help students develop the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career.

Students of Germanic Studies now work with businesses in the Sheffield City Region to put their German language and cultural skills into practice. They work with businesses to break into or extend their German-speaking markets.

History students have an opportunity to take a module in which they can improve Wikipedia’s content on the Middle Ages. The course helps students apply their studies and expertise in a hands-on way to improve the encyclopaedia’s coverage of medieval history.

Archaeology students at the University can work alongside local community groups to develop their research skills. The Archaeology Matters module helps students develop an understanding of the cultural, ethical and professional contexts of archaeological research and heritage conservation.

Music students have opportunities to work on projects and workshops with local schools and businesses as part of Music in the City. The student-led volunteering organisation enables students to work on initiatives around musical storytelling, music sessions in care homes and music sessions for children with additional needs.

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.