PhD study at the University of Sheffield

We're committed to supporting you throughout your entire research journey, to inspire and nurture you to do the research you want to do.


How we rank

  • A member of the Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities
  • 92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories (Research Excellence Framework 2021)
  • Top 50 most international universities in the world (2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings)

Ranking, reputation and history

What is a PhD?

A PhD is the highest academic degree that can be achieved through study, involving up to four years full-time (or up to eight years part-time) working towards a presentation of original research in the form of a thesis that offers a significant, original contribution to knowledge.

You'll manage your project with the support of an expert supervisory team, and undertake a tailored doctoral training programme to develop the advanced skills and expertise you will need.

Outside of the core PhD programme you will be encouraged to take advantage of broader opportunities such as teaching, publishing, communicating your research, developing professional networks, and interacting with industry partners or external organisations.

You'll be a key part of the academic community in your department and beyond, and be prepared for a wide range of career options both within and outside of academia. 

Research excellence

Our University has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a variety of disciplines. This scale of expertise offers researchers a variety of opportunities for collaboration and supervision.

Our research is world leading. We work closely with our partners to ensure that the work we do delivers economic and societal benefit to the UK and the wider world.

We believe that whatever your research interest might be, we have a broad base of expertise to help you realise your ambition.

Research with impact

Research support

Our brilliant PhD students make Sheffield what it is – a research powerhouse, a multidisciplinary community, a place where ideas matter. We want you to bring your ideas and your enthusiasm for your chosen discipline. 

Academic expertise

Your supervisor is here to get the best out of you. They will offer advice and work with you to identify the training and development you need to achieve your goals. You’ll be able to benefit from their research expertise and gain new perspectives from your innovative research.

World-class facilities

Our facilities accommodate varied working patterns, contributing to a great work-life balance for Sheffield PhD researchers. You will also have access to a first-class student support infrastructure.

We invest in our physical infrastructure of award-winning library and student facilities, laboratories and industry-ready research centres to ensure that we provide you with the world-class resources you expect.

Research collaboration 

Our talented postgraduate researchers are making a significant contribution to global issues, working on projects that are changing the world around us.

We are a member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a global higher education and research network made up of 23 universities, spanning 15 countries on five continents.

Research away from the University

Find a PhD

Search for PhD opportunities at Sheffield and be part of our world-leading research.