Our Research

We believe firmly in arts and humanities research as a common cause. Starting with a strong discipline base, we work with researchers across the university and beyond, and with a range of external partners to understand and to challenge what it is to be human. Working individually and collaboratively, we develop innovative methods of enquiry within and across our disciplines.

We reflect critically on all aspects of human society and culture, past, present, and future, and on the process of reflection itself. We investigate cultures and languages near and far, their ideas, texts, artefacts and landscapes, and we create the cultural capital of the future.

Further information about staff research interests; research projects, clusters and centres; and postgraduate research is available on our Departmental research pages (links below). See also our Faculty research centres, the Humanities Research Institute, and the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies.


The department is committed to excellent and worldwide cross-disciplinary and embedded research. We use the intellectual and methodological strengths of the humanities and social and natural sciences, enabling interdisciplinary research, while treating archaeology as a unified discipline. Our research interests range from archaeobotany and palaeoanthropology to community archaeology and material culture, and through all periods.


With a record of internationally outstanding and innovative research across the full range of English and Film Studies, Theatre and Performance, English Language, Linguistics, and Creative Writing, it is one of the leading Schools of English in the country. Research interests extend from avant garde poetry to language learning, from 12th century manuscripts to site-specific performance.


With a distinguished record of internationally outstanding, innovative and interdisciplinary historical research, research interests extend chronologically from late ancient history to contemporary history; geographically worldwide; and thematically to include political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history, with a distinct specialism in the application of digital technologies to historical research.


With agenda-setting work in language-based studies across a range of disciplines, the School is an internationally recognised centre for vibrant and highly impactful research. Research is conducted across an unusually wide range of languages and geographical regions, embracing fields as diverse as literary and cultural studies, film and visual culture, politics and the history of thought, digital humanities and linguistics. The School's research supports a number of local, national and international public initiatives and programmes.


The department has a strong and diverse research profile, with research organised into the six main areas of composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, music technology, performance and the psychology of music. These groupings reflect the benefits of sharing experience and perspectives as a solo research and the increasingly collaborative approach being taken in music research.


With wide-ranging research interests and internationally-acclaimed staff, the department has leading authorities in areas including feminism, German idealism, philosophy of psychology and metaphysics and is home to a number of major research projects. There is a programme of regular conferences and workshops with guest speakers from around the world, reading groups and public seminars.