Achieve More - The State of Sheffield: Global perspectives on local issues

State of Sheffield diagram

The State of Sheffield: Global Perspectives on Local Issues is about introducing you to what it means to be a social scientist at the University of Sheffield. It gives you the time, space and freedom to think about how the world should be and to explore ways in which their chosen course can fit with other subjects in the social sciences. It's also a chance to get to know Sheffield, the city you've chosen to study in for the next few years, in a very different way.


We've designed The State of Sheffield around the format of a 'faculty challenge'. For four consecutive days, all level one social sciences students come together to explore some crucial global issues and how these are having an impact in our city.
You will work in groups of seven with students from other departments in the Faculty to look at issues as diverse as inequality, migration and climate change, and how these are impacting on Sheffield. The projects are led by enthusiastic academics from across the social sciences and all relate to the central concern of social scientists - people and societies.

The Week

The module runs from Monday to Thursday (inclusive) of Week 15 in Semester 1. In 2016-17, the dates of the module are Monday 30 January - Thursday 2 February 2017.

Projects include a range of activities, such as site visits, meetings with community representatives, and guest speakers, as well as group work and time for reflection and evaluation. There will be workshops specifically tailored to your project, offering the opportunity to discover University resources and try out new skills, such as representing statistical data and video editing.

Timetable details vary between projects. A detailed timetable showing the content, timings and venues of the sessions for your own project will be provided when you have been assigned to one in Week 13.

Group of students sat around a table working


Each group is assigned a trained facilitator. The facilitators are postgraduate students from the Faculty of Social Sciences who work closely with the academic leads to develop the projects. Many have worked on The State of Sheffield before and all are there to support you and your group. You will meet with them each day to discuss your project and review progress. They are there to help you get the most out of the module and are your friendly ‘go-to’ person for the duration of the week. Facilitators will supply advice, guidance and support, deliver some of the skills sessions, and help to resolve any problems that may arise.


Assessment for the module is based on individual attendance, engagement and contribution to the group. Attendance on each of the four days of the module and engagement with the project and your group will be monitored by your facilitator. On the final day of the module, Thursday 2nd February 2017, each group explains their artefact and reflects on its development in a short spoken presentation to project leads, facilitators, other students on the project and sometimes community members who have been involved. Students will receive both verbal and written feedback with observations on how the group has engaged with the issues raised by the project, and on their approach to the artefact and presentation.

What we want you to get out of it

As well as experiencing the benefits of approaching real-world problems from a multidisciplinary perspective, you will have the opportunity to pick up some really valuable skills that will help you to make the most of your studies at the University of Sheffield. These include training in core skills such as research methods, group work and accessing data. There will also be opportunities throughout the week to pick up more specialist skills in areas such as poster-making, basic GIS and media production. These enhance your ability to carry out and communicate your work, and are the types of skills that will contribute to your future employability prospects. You will also meet people from right across the Faculty and have the opportunity to hear from staff, external speakers and alumni whom you might not otherwise encounter. The State of Sheffield is a distinctive and innovative experience which you can build on in the rest of your course and beyond.

a group of students sat in an outwards facing circle doing a group task