International student

International students

We currently have around 150 PhD students in our department. Around a third of these students have come from outside the UK, moving to Sheffield from more than a dozen different countries. They are based in one of our four research clusters, which are made up of world-class researchers who produce more than 100 papers for peer-reviewed journals each year.

The University of Sheffield's webpages have lots more information about what makes Sheffield a great place to study, how we'll help you settle in and the support that is available throughout your degree. There is also information about English language requirements, visa requirements, funding opportunities and other information specific to your country.

Applying for your PhD

The PhD opportunities listed on our 'Projects' page are available to students from anywhere in the world, unless the description says that this is not the case. Once you have identified a potential project and supervisor, please complete the University's postgraduate online application form to apply. It is a good idea to contact the supervisor of any PhD opportunity you want to apply for, before you submit your application.

If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should tell us this in the form. You should also include any information you have about funding that you are applying for separately, or that you have in place already.

Please note that the funding opportunities listed on our 'Funding your PhD' page may have specific eligibility requirements, so make sure that you are eligible for any scholarships you are applying for as part of your application.

Postgraduate online application form

A full explanation of how to complete the form, including details of the supporting documents you will need to submit, is given on the following webpage:

How to apply


Entry requirements

If you have studied at a university in the UK, we usually ask for a first class or upper second class MChem or MSc degree in chemistry or equivalent in chemical physics, chemical engineering, materials, or a relevant biological science.

However, we can also accept qualifications from many other countries. You can find out which qualifications we accept from your country on the University's webpages for international students.

Prospective international students: Your country

You will also need clearance through the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before you can start your PhD. You will be given more guidance on the ATAS process if you receive an offer of a place.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)


English language requirements

If you have not already studied in a country where English is the majority language, it is likely that you will need to have completed an English language qualification in the two years before starting your PhD. We usually ask for:

International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
Overall grade of 6.5 with 6.0 in each component

You can find out whether you need to have an english language qualification, and which other English language qualifications we accept, on the University's webpages for international students.

English language requirements

The English Language Teaching Centre offers English language courses for students who are preparing to study at the University of Sheffield.

English Language Teaching Centre

Fees and funding

Up-to-date tuition fees can be found on the University's webpages for international students.

Tuition fees

Some of the PhD opportunities listed on our 'Projects' page may come with specific funding to cover your tuition fees and living expenses. If you successfully apply for one of these projects, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be automatically awarded the funding. Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements before you submit your application.

If a project does not come with specific funding, you may be awarded a scholarship after you have submitted your application. Visit our 'Funding your PhD' page to find out about the different scholarships that are available, and let us know if you wish to be considered for a scholarship by including this in your application form. Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for any scholarships you wish to apply for before you submit your application.

It is a good idea to contact the supervisor of any PhD opportunity you want to apply for, before you submit your application, as they may be able to advise you on other sources of funding. We also accept applications from students who are applying for funding separately, or have funding in place already.

Funding your PhD

Zainab Taher

"This is my first experience of studying outside of my country, and I have found the academic staff in the Chemistry department very helpful and friendly. Also, they try to explain the most basic techniques and important instrumental and lab work in an easy way to understand."

Zainab Taher, Libya (pictured with Dr Sarah Staniland and Professor Jane Grasby)

"Four years ago I moved to study in the chemistry department at the University of Sheffield and since that time found it to be an enjoyable place where you can find helpful and friendly staff who help you to have good communication and understand the equipment like HPLC, NMR, mass spectrometry and other techniques. In addition to that, Sheffield is a very nice city since it is the greenest city in England and it is very convenient in terms of living costs."

Adel Al Hussain, Iraq

"I chose the University of Sheffield to do my PhD from the rest of the universities around the world. Studying at the University of Sheffield is a dream for international students, because it is a well-known university in the world. There are professional and kind staff, a lot of facilities and great equipment and instruments. According to my experience, the staff and people in the University are co-operative and the staff in the chemistry department are highly qualified with a high level of expertise. I am very happy to study here and I advise my friends to come here to find the marvellous facilities available for studying here."

Layla Alajmee, Iraq

"The University of Sheffield is one of the leaders in the UK in higher education. Day after day, while studying here you will have the opportunity to improve your skills and you will learn and gain new valuable skills as well. The University of Sheffield has excellent facilities and features for education that are suitable for all students who have different cultures, giving you the chance to broaden your horizons."

Fatma M Ashour, Libya

"As a member of chemistry department at the University of Sheffield, I am happy to work with outstanding staff and apply the state-of-the-art equipment to my research."

Dian Li, China

"I chose Sheffield because the reputations of the Chemistry Department and the University are excellent. The University of Sheffield is one of the pioneering research institutions in UK and in the world. My supervisor provides support like I could never imagine. The level of support and guidance I get from the staff and faculty in my department is amazing. The facilities for study and the resources in the chemistry department are quite remarkable, making it just the right environment for research."

Fatma Aburass, Libya