Learning and teaching

We've adapted our teaching to make sure you continue to receive a world-class education from our teachers.



We’re currently to offering a blend of face-to-face teaching and digital delivery, with a reduction in the amount of face-to-face teaching and further safety measures. Please check your timetable regularly by logging into MUSE or iSheffield for the latest updates.

In guidance issued on Wednesday 11 November, the government instructed that face-to-face teaching for the winter term should finish at all universities by 9 December. This means that all of our teaching from that point onwards, until the end of term on 18 December, will be online.

Information about travelling home at the end of term and advice for international students travelling overseas.

If you're unable to travel to Sheffield

We know that some students may be unable to travel to Sheffield, due to international travel restrictions, visa delays, medical reasons or a disability. We're committed to ensuring that you are not excluded or disadvantaged for this reason, and you will not receive a penalty if you cannot attend. Please note there may be some exceptions for clinical courses, or courses with professional accreditation. You will be able to access all our digital learning online, until you are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

Facilities and study spaces

  • Our campus services and facilities, such as student support and libraries, will remain open. Study spaces on campus are also available.
  • Laboratories, studios, clinical spaces and practical areas are open and social distancing measures are in place.

How we’re keeping our community safe

Hear from our students

Third year journalism student Alice vlogs her online video editing workshop and gives her thoughts on online teaching and learning

Dentistry student Raina talks about her experience of face-to-face teaching at her clinical skills workshop and the safety measures that we've put in place to keep our staff, students and community safe.

Library access and services

Access to the Information Commons and Western Bank Library is available through bookable slots, 9.30am–4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Book a study space

You must wear a face covering in our libraries, unless you are exempt due to a medical reason or a disability.

Where possible, we encourage you to chat with us online via Live Chat, or email: library@sheffield.ac.uk. Library staff will be also available at reception points for help.

The University's extensive digital library is open as usual. Our online service has almost a million ebooks and over 60,000 journal titles along with a virtual library team and specialist librarians ready to support you to ensure your studies are unaffected as much as possible.

Information on the University Library

Support for online learning

For support with online learning, please read our guidance:

Download software to use at home

We have a range of software to support you while you work and study from home.

Download University software

Financial support and IT equipment

If your internet connection is not good enough and you decide to upgrade your broadband with an increased cost that leaves you in financial difficulty, you can apply for Financial Support through the University's hardship fund.

If you cannot afford an internet connection or are unable to access one because of where you live please contact our Financial Support team to discuss your options. 

If you are concerned that you might not be able to afford equipment to study remotely the University can provide laptops on long term loan or a grant depending on your circumstances. Further information is available on our IT equipment support page.

Accessing your emails

If you think you may have issues accessing your University Gmail account from home, you should set up automatically forwarding Gmail messages to your personal account (Gmail help). Contact IT Services for more information and help.

Online Writing Advisory Service

The English Language Teaching Centre offers an Online Writing Advisory Service, where you can submit a piece of writing online for a tutor to comment on and return.

Book a Writing Advisory Service appointment

Your appointment slot will be the time and day by which your writing will be returned and commented on. After booking, you'lll be sent a form to add your name and email to, followed by a document to add your text. Please do this as soon as you receive the document to make sure you get your comments back on time.

Tutors provide advice on aspects such as language use, sentence and paragraph structure, organisation and linking of ideas, or referencing conventions. The Writing Advisory Service isn't a proofreading service – the team will point out general areas for improvement rather than checking every word.

If you have any questions or problems about the Online Writing Advisory Service please contact: eltc.support@sheffield.ac.uk

Autumn term exams

Autumn Semester formal examinations are expected to be conducted mostly online, or in alternative assessment formats. If you are required to attend an examination on campus (for example, practical, professional, or lab-based) please make sure that you are in contact with the academic department responsible for setting the assessment.

Extenuating circumstances

If your circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments, you can use the extenuating circumstances form to self-certify for the full duration of the period. This means you don’t need to get supporting medical documentation and you don’t need a medical professional to authorise the form.

Firstly, contact your academic department, who can help you with the extenuating circumstances process.

What to do if you have symptoms or you’re self-isolating

If you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, or self-isolating for any other reason, please follow our guidance, which includes how to inform the University so we can support you.

What to do if you have symptoms or need to self-isolate

If you need to self-isolate and you are too unwell to engage in online learning, this will not impact any Tier 4 visa requirements for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

Study abroad

If you’re registered on a programme with study abroad in the 2020–21 academic year as a mandatory and integral part of your course, then this may continue, subject to risk assessment (including Foreign Office travel advice) and restrictions in place at your host university. You should speak with your department about the necessary travel arrangements.

Optional study abroad and international placements are cancelled for the 2020/21 academic year. Your department will advise you of alternative arrangements as soon as possible.

Leave of absence

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

We recognise that, as a result of Covid-19, medical or personal circumstances might mean you’d like to explore the possibility of pausing your studies, and taking a period of leave.

If this is the case, please first discuss your options with your academic department to ensure that this is the most appropriate course of action for you. If, after you’ve considered your options, you’d prefer to take a break from your studies, you can apply to take a leave of absence for a set period and return next year – for example, at the start of the second semester. We will be supportive of requests that are made on the basis of coronavirus impacts.

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught leave of absence

Postgraduate research students

Postgraduate research students are entitled to take annual leave each year and the University's guidance follows that of the UK Research Councils, which is 30 days' leave.

We recognise that some postgraduate research students will have additional childcare commitments or other caring responsibilities at the present time. There are a range of flexibilities which can be explored, including annual leave, changing candidature to part-time, pro-rata leave of absence. If your funder allows these flexibilities, we’ll work with you to help you balance your home and study commitments.

If, after you’ve considered your options and discussed these with your supervisor and, where relevant, talked to your sponsor, you would prefer to take a break from your studies, you can apply for a leave of absence from your degree. We will be supportive of requests that are made on the basis of coronavirus having an impact on your ability to engage with your research project. You should be aware that this may have implications for your funding and, where relevant, your visa.

Postgraduate research leave of absence

Support – get in touch

Our extensive range of support services for students and staff are all available online.