Postgraduate pre-arrival information

Everything you need to know before starting your postgraduate materials science and engineering experience with us.

Engineering Heartspace

Your welcome week timetable

Tuesday 19th September 11:00 – 2:30 Sir Robert Hadfield Building Lecture Theatre 22

  • 11.00 – 11.45 Welcome to the Department by the Head of Department and Taught Programmes Director
  • 11.45 – 12.15 Introduction to the English Language Teaching Centre and to the English language support services available to students
  • 12.15 – 1.00 Lunch with course directors
  • 1.00 – 1.30 Health & Safety Briefing
  • 1.30 – 2.30 Race and Consent Session 1

Thursday 21st September 11.30 – 3.15 Sir Robert Hadfield Building Lecture Theatre 22

  • 11.45 – 12.00 Staff Student Committee / MATSOC
  • 12.00 – 12.30 Introduction to Library Services
  • 12.30 – 1.15 Lunch
  • 1.15 – 2.15 Race and Consent Session 2
  • 2.15 – 3.15 Quiz

Before you arrive

Here you can find all the information you'll need before you arrive - as well as some extra information you might find useful on the best spots in the city, how to find your way around and how to access support if you need it.

Your guide to Sheffield

Whether you already live in Sheffield, or you're coming to us from elsewhere, there's plenty to see. From the stunning Peak District right on our doorstep to the trendiest cafes and bars, all the way to Tramlines music festival - we've got it all.

We have a full guide to Sheffield here, including food and drink, sportsarts and culture and how to get around.

Another guide can be found here, which includes information on our festivals, augmented reality art trail 'Look Up' and an alternative LGBTQ+ guide to the city. 

There are also maps of Sheffield and information on local public transport to help you traverse Sheffield once you arrive. In fact, we have a range of different maps to help you find your way around:

Accessing your university email

Google Mail (also known as Gmail) is the University’s email service, provided by Google. As part of your University IT account, it's integrated with the full suite of Google Apps.

Google Mail can also be added to mobile devices and used on the go, either through the dedicated Gmail app, or through a native email client app.

Both University and departmental staff will email you with important messages and announcements, so it is essential that you check your account regularly. Please note that once you've started with us, staff will only use and respond to your university email address.

Email etiquette
  • Choose a brief and specific subject line, that clearly tells the reader about the content of the email
  • Use an appropriate greeting, with correct titles, for example ‘Dear Professor Cordiner’.
  • See Academic Staff webpages for academic titles. If a member of staff introduces themselves using their first name, then it is okay to also refer to them using their first name. 
  • Introduce yourself including your full name & programme of study.
  • Be clear about which module/assessment/lecture you are referring to, and always be polite.
  • Sign off with a courteous phrase, such as ‘Best wishes’ or ‘Kind regards’
  • Be realistic about your expectations. When you email a member of staff or support inbox you can normally expect a reply within 3 days, but this may vary. If this time has passed, it is acceptable to send a polite reminder.


The University Health Service (UHS)

The University Health Service (UHS) is a National Health Service (NHS) GP practice for students and their families. You can register with UHS during your course registration or anytime on their website and view their full range of services including Mental Health Support.

UHS staff won’t share your information with other University departments, including our department, without your consent.

​​​​​​Contact details:

Tel: 0114 222 2100

Location: 53 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QP


Disability and academic support

As a university we offer plenty of support throughout your time with us. Below you can find resources on our Disability and Dyslexia Support Service and the academic support available.

  • Liaising with academic staff and central services about disabled students’ support needs
  • Helping students to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances
  • Referring students who think that they might have a condition for free diagnostic assessments
Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS)

If you have a disability, medical condition, or specific learning difficulty, we strongly encourage you to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS).  

The DDSS is a confidential and friendly service which offers a range of support.

Academic support

A range of academic support is available from the 301 Academic Skills Centre, including the Maths and Statistics Help (MASH) service.

Suggested reading

We often get asked about reading lists and if you should be doing any preparation work before starting your course. It isn’t a prerequisite to do any reading or learning before starting but we have selected a few books which may be of interest to you.

This reading isn’t essential and you aren’t required to purchase these books. It’s also possible that some of these books might be available from the university library as free ebooks once you have registered for your course.

We do not necessarily directly teach from these books. However, they are all good books and will provide useful background reading for anyone wishing to start their learning early.

General Materials Science and Engineering (useful for all our masters courses)
Materials Science and Engineering – William Callister Jr & David Rethwisch (John Wiley & Sons ISBN-10: 1118319222, ISBN-13: 978-1118319222)

Nanostructures and Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications – Guozhong Cao & Ying Wang (World Scientific ISBN-10: 9814324558, ISBN-13: 978-9814324557)

Polymers & Composites
Principles of Polymer Engineering – N.G. McCrum, C.P. Buckley & C.B. Bucknall (Oxford University Press ISBN-10: 0198565267, ISBN-13: 978-0198565260)
An Introduction to Composite Materials – D. Hull & T.W. Clyne (Cambridge University Press ISBN-10: 0521381908, ISBN-13: 978-0521381901)

Physical Metallurgy Principles – Reza Abbaschian & Robert Reed-Hill (Wadsworth Publishing ISBN-10: 0495082546, ISBN-13: 978-0495082545)

Aerospace Materials
Introduction to Aerospace Materials – Adrian Mouritz (Woodhead Publishing ISBN-10: 160086919X, ISBN-13: 978-1600869198)

Materials Discovery Portal

We have prepared a new website especially for PGT students. It contains a variety of useful information, ranging from catch up mini-lectures on Materials, Chemistry, Physics and Maths to general information of use to you prior to (and during) your stay in Sheffield.

Visit the Materials Discovery Portal

Postgraduate checklist

For a full checklist including weekly tasks (from registering to celebrating your success on social media) take a look at our postgraduate checklist, designed to get you ready for Sheffield.

After registration

Here we've put together information you might find useful for after you've registered. Some of this you won't be able to access until after registration, so make sure to check back once you've done that. Information on registration can be found here.

Student Services Information Desk (SSiD)

SSiD is a 'one-stop shop' student information service that can answer the majority of your questions. They can offer guidance on issues such as exams, changing course and extenuating circumstances, and provide a range of administrative services including:

  • UCards
  • Transcripts 
  • Bank letters
  • Student status documents
  • Council tax exemption letters

If they can’t answer your question, they’ll refer you to the relevant service or department who can. 

You can also browse their web pages for information, support and guidance on all aspects of university life - including an A to Z of all University Services, the Contact Hub which will help you find the right service for you, the Support Hub which will signpost you to the best help for your situation, and advice on Money & Fees

Location: Level 3, Students' Union Building. 

Opening times: Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri: 9am-5pm. Thurs: 10am-5pm.

IT Services

If you need support with anything IT related, there are some resources here, including information on Google WorkspaceGmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive

Here are some other helpful guides and explanations:


You can view your timetables through either Google Calendar, MUSE or the iSheffield app. Information on how to read your timetable can be found here.

Alongside showing your timetable, the iSheffield app also has information on the libraries, campus maps, social events and support services etc.


Blackboard is an online learning environment designed to enable access to module information, previous exams, exam feedback, reading lists and an array of revision material. As long as you're fully registered for a module, you'll have automatic access to Blackboard. Please refer to the digital learning pages for additional information. 

Mental health support 

Starting university is a huge change, and there may be times when you need some extra support.

The Student Mental Health, Counselling and Therapies Service can help you navigate your support options and agree on a tailored plan of psychological support. Any University of Sheffield student can register online with the service. Further information on the service can be found on the Student Hub.

NHS support for mental health is also available via the University Health Service or at the Sheffield Walk-In Centre Wellbeing Hub. For the Walk-In Centre, no appointment is required. However, you can call to book a video consultation, phone consultation, or an appointment slot for you to attend.

The University Counselling Service (UCS) runs a number of mental wellbeing workshops, free of charge and operating on a drop-in basis. These require no registration and are free to all students.

Togetherall is an anonymous digital mental health support service available to all students, so you can have free access to support at home or while abroad. It provides immediate access to 24/7 online peer and professional support, with trained counsellors.

The Student Wellbeing Service offers short-term, tailored one-to-one support if you’re experiencing difficulties and challenges, to help you manage your wellbeing and succeed at University. If you’re feeling down, overwhelmed or struggling to adjust to student life, your Faculty Wellbeing Advisor can assist you in improving your wellbeing and help you get back on track.

Careers service

The University Careers Service offers comprehensive information on all your career and study options, advice on the careers open to you after your studies, and expert help with making applications. It hosts events where you can meet employers and advertises hundreds of part-time jobs, internships and graduate jobs every month.

Help available provided by the Careers Service includes:

  • Individual appointments with advisers to discuss personal career plans
  • CareerConnect- the latest graduate jobs and work experience 

The service supports all students, at all stages of study, for 5 years after graduation, and provides additional services for International Students, Taught Postgraduates and Postgraduate Researchers

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.