About the department

We are incredibly proud to be one of the UK's leading centres for research and teaching in Politics and International Relations.

The Department of Politics Elmfield building

We are one of the top-ranked departments for the study of politics worldwide, and have an exceptional reputation for research. We are a research-intensive department, and research lies at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to offer an inclusive research culture, in which everyone is encouraged to work together, hold lively debates and benefit from others’ best practice. Our community of researchers is diverse, and draws upon a wide range of methodologies and approaches to the discipline.

We see ourselves as promoting global citizenship and awareness, exploring politics in a variety of national contexts, from the local to the global. Our staff have international reputations for research excellence, publishing numerous books and articles every year. We attract excellent national and international researchers who all contribute to our thriving research environment, and have over fifty specialists in the key areas of politics and international relations.

  • British Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International relations
  • Security Studies
  • Development
  • Political Theory
  • Political Economy
  • Environment

Our teaching has been officially recognised, winning student-nominated awards as well as national accolades. The courses and modules we offer to students are closely aligned with staff members’ research expertise, and our academics network extensively with other researchers, forming strong relationships. There is also a very lively culture of 'engaged scholarship' in the sense of creating new ways of engaging with organisations, communities and individuals within and beyond the university.

Felicity Matthews teaching a postgraduate politics seminar


We have been ranked in the top three of every one of the UK’s national research assessments since 2001 - Research Excellence Framework 2014.

An outstanding department in a World Top 100 University - QS World University Rankings 2021.

96% of politics students who graduated in summer 2017 are in employment or further study - 2016/17 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

First department to pioneer the 'Parliamentary Studies' undergraduate module that’s accredited and co-taught by the House of Commons.

Our politics and international relations courses have been ranked 7th in the UK for 2021 - The Complete University Guide 

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 99 per cent of the university's research was assessed as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised. The University of Sheffield is top 10 in the Russell Group for research outputs.

A world top-100 university

We're a world top-100 university renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of our research-led learning and teaching.