Our Faculty Themes

Our Faculty themes reflect, inform and underpin our research, learning and teaching activity.

Engaged humanities

We have a proud record of engaging the wider community in our research and teaching, from strategic partnerships with major institutions such as Chatsworth House and the National Civil War Centre, through to collaborations with diverse local civic groups. We share the design and delivery of projects to produce high quality work that has impact and relevance.

Theme in practice

Political and social change

Using a diversity of methods, our approach to political and social cultures is always collaborative and often international. The big issues that we address transcend intellectual and national boundaries. Our research and teaching is designed to be mutually beneficial, enriching the experience of our academics while providing added value to our partners.

Theme in practice

Dynamics of representation

From the discovery and revival of long-lost musical scores, through to investigations into culturally significant – but neglected – literary forms, the use of innovative research and teaching methods is extending our understanding of how the dynamics of human creativity have represented and shaped the past, and what this knowledge could mean for the future.

Theme in practice

Digital humanities

By developing digital technologies, we are transforming research and teaching in the Arts and Humanities. Sheffield’s academics are pioneering new perspectives and opening up new intellectual territory. We are devising tools to provide the widest possible access to material and creative thinking, and
tackling the big issues of identity, cultural memory and intellectual property.

Theme in practice

Cognitive practice

Our studies of how humans gain knowledge and understanding – and the mental processes that stimulate creativity and help shape our beliefs and attitudes – is a collaborative process that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Whether we are grappling
with intractable philosophical issues, or finding a common language between linguists and digital modellers, our academics know the value of working together.

Theme in practice

Diversities of practice

Within our disciplines we emphasise variety, breadth,
risk-taking and difference. Diversity characterises our understanding of the Arts and Humanities and encompasses our practices, our modes of teaching and research, and our approaches to our Faculty Themes and their practical and intellectual applications.

Theme in practice

Our themes in practice:

Storying Sheffield

storying sheffield

To understand a city, one needs to study both the stories of local lives, and the spaces in which they unfold.

Storying Sheffield is about narrative, community, arts/wellbeing, mental health & place.

Cultures of the Cold War


Seeking to foster interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars working on different aspects of the Cold War.

Sheffield Centre for Research in Film (SCRIF)

film centre logo

A hub for a diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars and researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield and beyond, with shared interests in the significance, analysis, role and impact of the moving image.

Old Bailey Online

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913

old bailey

A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.

Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies


Supporting collaborative research on fundamental issues concerning the nature of cognition.

Music Mind Machine


Combining expertise and methodologies from music theory, psychology and computer science to investigate cognitive processes underlying the perception and performance of music.