What can I study?

Student sat studying in library

Your options vary depending on whether or not you are applying from a partner university and the location of the partner university.

  • Subject partners: If you are currently enrolled at one of our partner universities which has an agreement with a specific department at the University of Sheffield, you must choose all of your modules from the academic department into which you have been nominated, except those coming through a link hosted by the School of Languages and Cultures. 
  • University-wide partners: You may choose modules across as many departments as you wish, subject to prerequisites and timetabling.
  • Direct enrolment: You may choose modules across as many departments as you wish, subject to prerequisites and timetabling.

Timetables are published in September, so if you choose modules from different departments and/or levels, this is subject to change when you arrive. 

Subject areas open to inbound students

Subject Areas Subject partners University-wide partners Direct enrolment Notes
Aerospace Engineering No Yes Yes  
Architecture Yes Yes Yes  
Automatic Control and Systems Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
Biochemistry No Yes Yes  
Bioengineering No Yes Yes  
Biosciences (including Biology, Ecology, Plant Sciences, Zoology and Biomedical Science)* Yes Yes Yes Third-year modules in Biosciences are only offered on a case-by-case basis to advanced students following discussion with the department.
Chemical and Biological Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
Chemistry Yes Yes Yes  
Civil and Structural Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
Computer Science No Yes Yes  
East Asian Studies No Yes Yes  
Economics Yes Yes Yes  
Electronic and Electrical Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
English Language Teaching Centre Yes Yes Yes It is not possible to study a full year of 120 ELTC credits. Full-year visiting students who join this department will likely be required to study a reduced credit load (100 credits) or study an extra 20 credits in another department.  
English (Literature, Language and Linguistics) Yes Yes Yes  
Geography Yes Yes Yes  
History  Yes Yes Yes  
Information School No No No  
Journalism, Media and Communication Yes Yes Yes  
Landscape Architecture Yes Yes Yes  
Law Yes  No  Yes  The School of Law runs their own exchange programme. If you are unsure if your university is a Law or Criminology exchange partner, please see the School of Law website
Management School (including Business) Yes Yes Yes  
Materials Science and Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
Mathematics: Applied, Pure and Statistics Yes Yes Yes  
Mechanical Engineering Yes Yes Yes  
Modern Language Teaching Centre Yes Yes Yes  
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology No Yes Yes  
Music Yes Yes Yes  
Nursing and midwifery Yes No   No    
Philosophy Yes Yes Yes  
Physics Yes Yes Yes  
Politics and International Relations  Yes Yes Yes Third-year and beyond Politics modules are closed to all exchange students.
Population Health No No No  
Psychology   No Yes Yes A limited number of level one Psychology modules are available to students on full-year exchanges only. 
School of Languages and Culture Yes No   No    
Sociological Studies  Yes Yes Yes Third-year and beyond Sociology modules are closed to all exchange students.
Urban Studies and Planning Yes Yes Yes  

Some departments have module restrictions and if you are not academically qualified for a module, you will need to choose again. This especially applies to any advanced-level modules for which there are prerequisites. Modules which are not available to exchange students cannot be chosen in the application.

Understanding the module system at Sheffield

Courses at Sheffield are known as modules. Modules are made up of regularly scheduled class sessions of one or more hours per week during the semester. Depending on the subject area, these may include lectures, seminars, tutorials and labs.

Each module is assigned a credit value. You will need to study 60 Sheffield credits per semester to gain full-time status at the University of Sheffield. Most modules are worth 10 or 20 Sheffield credits. You can expect a 10-credit module to involve 100 hours of work and a 20-credit module to involve 200. This can include lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs and self-study time.

The maximum number of credits for which you can register is 120 for an academic year or 60 for a semester. With written approval of your home institution, it may be possible to register for fewer credits. The minimum allowed is 100 Sheffield credits over a full academic year or 40 Sheffield credits for one semester.

Before completing an application form, you and your academic advisers should look at the modules on offer at Sheffield. You need to be sure the level of study here is right for you, and that the modules you choose will meet the requirements of your home institution. 

Directory of Modules

Module details can be found listed under each department in the Directory of Modules. If the module description does not provide enough information for your home university to approve them, you can email globalopps@sheffield.ac.uk, quoting the module code and title, and we will liaise with the academic department concerned to obtain this information. Please note that not all the modules listed in the Directory will be available to Study Abroad/Exchange students and the list of modules available to you will be accessible during the application process.

Remember to:

  • Check you meet the English language requirement for each department you want to study in
  • Choose the right semester – check the calendar type in the Directory of Modules (modules only run in the indicated semester: Autumn, Spring or Academic year). It is not possible to take a full academic year module if you are only attending for one semester.
  • Have backup options just in case. It is possible to change modules when you arrive during the Add/Drop period.
  • Levels 300 and 400 are advanced-level modules. You must have an appropriate academic background to be allowed to take these modules. Level 400 modules have a pass mark of 50, rather than 40. If you do not meet the prerequisites of a module you have requested, you may be asked to consider a level 100 or level 200 module on a similar topic. If you are new to a subject, look at level 100. The directory of modules contains information on prerequisites (see link above). Modules which start with a '6' (e.g. POL6001) are postgraduate level modules, and are restricted.

Closed subject areas

It is not possible to study modules in the following subject areas: 

  • Department of Medical Physics (Codes beginning with: MPY)
  • Majority of departments within the Faculty of Health 
  • School of Education (Codes beginning with: EDU)
  • Postgraduate departments such as the Information School (Codes beginning with: INF)
  • Archeology - You may be able to join History (HST) modules instead, subject to availability. 

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.