About us

HoDWe are a large and active department with an excellent record for both teaching and research. Together with our sister departments Animal and Plant Sciences, and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (some Psychology also), we form the biological sciences in the Faculty of Science. At any one time we have approximately 750 undergraduate students following our BSc degree programmes, and over 60 postgraduate students. Our staff include around 50 academic staff, 50 postdoctoral research workers, 60 technical and professional support staff.

The past three years have seen a large growth in our undergraduate intake, which has allowed further academic staff recruitment enabling us to strengthen our approach to research-led teaching and to grow critical mass in areas where we see greatest potential for internationally competitive research. Our facilities provide state-of-the-art laboratories, lecture theatres, computer suites and teaching equipment, providing an outstanding learning and working environment for our students and staff. We are located on a single site and occupy several buildings at the heart of the University, across from the Students' Union and the Information Commons library. The city centre is a 10-minute walk from the University.

Research and teaching excellence

In the most recent government review of higher education in the UK, BMS was awarded top scores for both teaching and research. Our research strategy is to focus on particular areas of excellence and, at the same time, to create synergies across the whole of biology and cognate disciplines. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges of biology will require new interdisciplinary approaches which we are undertaking with chemistry, physics, engineering, medicine and mathematics.

Our teaching draws on our pioneering research, which attracts academic staff of international scientific standing. This includes, for example, breakthroughs in ultrasound healing of wounds, human stem cells for hearing repair, the generation of animal models for neurodegenerative disease, schizophrenia, muscular dystrophies and cancer, and their use for therapeutic studies. Our internationally renowned research centres focus on translating laboratory research to the clinical environment. Ongoing investment in core facilities for bio-imaging including super-resolution and light sheet microscopy, RNAi screening, small molecule/in vivo cell screening, mass spectroscopy, single cell “omics” and bioinformatics, ensures that our researchers have access to all the technologies required for them to maximise their potential.

The achievement of our researchers has been recognized in the 2014 REF. A total of 33 BMS staff were returned to either of two Units of Assessment: Unit 3 Biomedical Science Underpinning Health in which we were ranked first (out of 94) and Unit 5 Biology in which we were ranked fifth (out of 44). In particular, our research environment was rated highly, reflecting our approach to cross-department and cross-faculty collaboration, staff development and investment in infrastructure.

The Standing of The University of Sheffield

A top 100 UniversityOur outstanding performance for research, as a member of the Russell Group of leading UK research universities, is consistently confirmed by independent assessment internationally.

The University is rated 84th in world in the 2017 QS World University Rankings. The most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014 confirmed our place as a world-leading university. The results demonstrated our research excellence across a range of disciplines, putting us in the top 10 per cent of all UK universities.