Graduate School

A world-class department

I studied MA International Relations and enjoyed every bit of my time in Sheffield. Classes provided me with the space to engage in a scholarly debate. Staff in the department were always approachable and welcoming. I made best memories and friends with people from countries whom I would never have met of otherwise

Our department is one of the top politics departments in the country, and has an exceptional reputation for research. We have been ranked in the top three of every one of the UK’s national research assessments since 2001; and we are one of the top-ranked departments for the study of the politics worldwide. We are a research-intensive department, and research lies at the heart of everything we do. The courses and modules we offer to you 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.

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. When you join us, we will ensure that you have many opportunities to immerse yourself in all aspects of academic life of the department.

Research groups and areas of specialism

Our postgraduate degrees are distinct and reflect the Department of Politics’ core strengths. Our staff have a wide range of research interests and expertise, which are brought together around four research themes: international politics; political economy; governance and participation; and political theory. Each of these themes had its own research group, which provides an important forum for staff and postgraduate students with similar interests to collaborate and share expertise. Research groups organise activities throughout the year such as workshops and seminars, which are often attended by guest speakers from leading universities worldwide. All postgraduate students have the opportunity to become an active member of one or more of our research groups, and we welcome the insights that our students bring. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in the activities of several University research centres, including the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), the Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy, and the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics.

The Graduate School

Our community of postgraduates is comprised of around 140 masters and research students. Ours is a cosmopolitan community, and we welcome many international students each year from across all continents. We understand that our postgraduates have many goals, such as furthering their subject expertise and advancing their career, and this diversity is reflected in the Graduate School's range of activities. In addition to your course-specific teaching and learning, the Graduate School offers you a variety of ways in which to participate in the department's intellectual community. We hold regular masterclasses, which give you the opportunity to explore important theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches in greater depth. There are regular ‘teach-ins’, which address topics of major contemporary interest such as national elections and security crises. Finally, our research centres and groups host a number of activities throughout the academic year, which are open to all members of the Graduate School. We also offer support for student-led activities, such as those of the Politics Society or of research-led groups organised by our students, such as the Postgraduate Global Development Group.

Our commitment

Our Commitment is a partnership document struck between teachers and students as members of the University.

It sets out what we all commit to do to ensure the best learning experience. It has been written by staff and students and is collectively owned by the University and the Students’ Union.

Our commitment is best understood as a statement of collective ethos, setting out the qualities and responsibilities underpinning the education on University of Sheffield degree programmes. It has been endorsed by the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University and the President of the Students' Union, on behalf of all staff and students.

We welcome disabled students. We are committed to responding effectively and appropriately to individual support needs. More information on this link.

Read more on our commitment