City campaign receives prestigious prize at Times Higher Education Awards 2023

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have been awarded Outstanding Marketing and Communications Team of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards, for their joint campaign to showcase Sheffield.

Three prospective students sit on a yellow sofa on a hill overlooking the picturesque Peak District
  • University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University awarded outstanding Marketing and Communications Team of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2023
  • Award recognised their joint campaign with Marketing Sheffield, part of Sheffield City Council, to highlight Sheffield’s unique offer as a place to live and study
  • The Sheffield: Your University City campaign has been promoted in cities across the country. The centrepiece is a film showing what people love most about Sheffield, which was aired on TV and in cinemas

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have been awarded Outstanding Marketing and Communications Team of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards, for their joint campaign to showcase what makes Sheffield a distinct destination to live and study.

The two universities worked alongside Marketing Sheffield, part of Sheffield City Council, to develop a sector-first campaign entitled ‘Sheffield: Your University City’, to celebrate Sheffield as a great student city, promoting it as a destination for prospective undergraduate students. 

The project exceeded targets and has paved the way for further collaboration around student marketing.

The Times Higher Education Awards celebrate the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.

Sheffield: Your University City, not only highlights the academic opportunities which the Steel City offers, but also profiles how prospective students can expect to live and work in one of the UK’s most affordable and economically vibrant cities.

Photograph of eight people stood on stage smiling - one of the people holds the THE Award for outstanding marketing and communications team
Image courtesy of Times Higher Education

Dan Barcroft, Director of Student Recruitment at the University of Sheffield, said: "We are incredibly proud that our innovative and collaborative campaign with our partners has been recognised by this award. Our marketing teams have shown that true partnership to raise the profile of the city amongst prospective students can be really effective.

"Sheffield is such a special and unique city compared to many others in the UK, which is why so many of our students choose to make it their permanent home after graduating. Being able to share what Sheffield has to offer with a wide audience through our campaign has been fantastic."

Sheffield: Your University City was promoted to prospective students up and down the country through a creative campaign, with a video sharing what people love most about the South Yorkshire city as its centrepiece.

With its unusual combination of industrial heritage and expansive green space, a vibrant city centre on the edge of the Peak District National Park, and a renowned music scene coupled with a historic theatre quarter, Sheffield has something for everyone – yet many people outside the Sheffield postcode are unaware of everything it has to offer.

Sheffield is the fourth-largest city in England but is regularly voted one of the friendliest cities in the country, offering new students from across the globe a sense of belonging. The campaign aimed to highlight the city’s thriving nightlife, popular independent scene, outdoor sporting activities and the fact it is home to one of the longest and largest city-based festivals, Tramlines.

The big city vibe that feels like home. Sheffield has lots to discover. Welcome to your university city.

Jacqui Robinson, Director of Communications and Marketing at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Anyone who has spent time in Sheffield knows how welcoming it is, and how important our universities are to the region. Thanks to this campaign, we have been able to highlight how Sheffield is a great place to study, live and ultimately to start a career – it has been a great success for us, and for our city.

“This project was built on trust, compromise, respect and openness, and that is why it was such a success for both universities.  Not only have we shown people around the country – and indeed around the world – the fantastic student experience we offer, we’ve also demonstrated how we collaborate with our partners locally to deliver impactful results for the region.”

Around 60,000 students from over 150 countries study in Sheffield each year and many choose to remain in the city after graduating - benefitting the city culturally and economically.

To find out more about the campaign, please visit Sheffield: Your University City.

Further information

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is a leading Russell Group university, with a world-class reputation. Over 30,000 students from 150 countries study at Sheffield. In a truly global community, they learn alongside over 1,500 of the world’s leading academics.

Sheffield’s world-shaping research feeds into its excellent education. Students learn at the leading edge of discovery from researchers who are tackling today’s biggest global challenges.

Driven by outstanding people, staff and students share a commitment to changing the world for the better, through the power and application of ideas and knowledge.

From the first documented use of penicillin as a therapy in 1930, to building Europe’s largest research-led manufacturing cluster, Sheffield’s inventive spirit and top quality research environment sets it apart.

Current research partners include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many government agencies and charitable foundations.

Sheffield’s Students’ Union has won the Whatuni Student Choice Award for Best Students’ Union for six consecutive years. Students can choose from 350 societies and clubs, or join over 2,000 volunteers.

Over 300,000 Sheffield alumni from 205 different countries make a significant influence across the world, with six Nobel Prize winners included amongst former staff and students.

To find out more, visit:

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.