Discover Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences covers a wide range of exciting and inspirational subjects that can help us make sense of our past, present and future; examine our histories, culture and society; and explore the nature of how the world around us works.


Participants will get a feel for what studying these subjects at the University is really like, gain an insight into future career and study options, and learn about university life from our current undergraduates.

If you are a creative thinker, interested in what makes us tick and fascinated by people and society, then Discover Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences is definitely for you.

Subjects and departments included in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Applied and Quantitative Social Science
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Journalism Studies
  • Landscape
  • Languages
  • Management
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Sociological Studies
  • Urban Studies & Planning

Pathway structure

Year 12
  • Join us for a welcome event where we’ll tell you all about the pathway
  • Explore Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences subjects and the problems and issues they study through workshop events
  • Get information on all the degree courses on offer to see which suits you best
  • Experience a three day residential summer school giving you a taste of life as a Sheffield student
  • Participate in revision and academic study skills workshops to help with the transition to university
  • Visit major cultural destinations such as museums, art galleries and theatres
Year 13
  • Get expert guidance on applying to university and student finance at our UCAS workshop
  • Discover 'A day in the life of a student' in your preferred subjects
  • Continue developing revision and academic study skills
  • Visit major cultural destinations with us such as museums, art galleries and theatres
  • Join us for a celebration event to recognise your success

Programme outcomes

Adjusted offers

Students who successfully complete the pathway will be eligible for a conditional offer for degrees at The University of Sheffield, subject to meeting prerequisits, with the exception of degrees in Medicine, Dentistry and Health.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for Medicine you must have completed the Discover Medicine pathway and to qualify for an adjusted offer in Dental Surgery you must have completed Discover Dental Professions.

If you wanted to take a 1 x year gap break before applying to The University of Sheffield, or need to resit A Levels to achieve a higher grade, the adjusted offer would be made available in the following year only.

Support with exam revision

To be successful on the degree course you eventually choose, you will be required to meet certain entry requirements, which are set to reflect the academic level of course content and to ensure that you can be comfortable in achieving a good standard in your degree.

As a participant in Discover you will have free access to an online tutoring platform, where you will be able to work through challenging revision questions, seek support on a particular aspect of a subject, or submit written pieces of work for feedback, working with tutors who have already received qualifications in a range of subjects.

You will receive guidance on how to use the secure platform, which can be accessed from your mobile phone or computer and you’ll be able to book sessions with the tutors at times which are convenient for you, including evening and weekends.

Engaging with the tutoring opportunity is a compulsory part of the Discover programme, designed to support you in achieving the highest grades possible.

How to apply

If you have the potential to achieve good grades at A Level or equivalent and would either be in the first generation of your family to go into higher education, or you are a Looked after Child, look after someone in your family or have a declared disability, you may qualify to apply for the programme.

Talk to the head of your sixth form or your course leader to find out. They will tell you if you are eligible based upon the criteria and information we have provided for them. You and your parents or carers will then need to complete the online application form, via your registered school/college coordinator.

Taking part in the Discover programme shows commitment and could enhance your university application. However, it does not guarantee you a place at university. Places are subject to availability and you can only be registered on one sustained Outreach pathway at the University of Sheffield at any one time.

Eligibility requirements

This pathway is for students who meet specific academic and widening participation criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region.

Academic criteria

A Level (or equivalent) requirements:

  • No specific subject requirements but should be studying a minimum of 3 A Levels or relevant equivalent and at least 2 should be on the University’s acceptable subject list.
  • Please note: Psychology is not included on this pathway as it is included in Discover STEM.

GCSE requirements:

  • Min. 5 A*-B (or 9-6), plus a minimum of C (4) in English and Maths if not already included

Widening participation criteria

  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter Higher Education (HE) (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)

Additional widening participation criteria

  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability
  • Have individual circumstances that mean they will need to overcome other barriers to learning/progression. (We will assess this element on an individual basis, based on the information provided by the school)

Contact us


We are currently working remotely so our usual landline phone lines are not in use. To arrange a call back please email us as listed above. 

    Follow us on Instagram for an insight into our Post-16 Discover Programmes, our campus, and what it is like to be a Sheffield student.

    Access Sheffield

    Depending on circumstances, we may be able to give undergraduate applications additional consideration when we receive them.