Plans for new world-class social science facility unveiled

image of buildingThe University of Sheffield’s plans for a new, world-class social sciences facility to enhance the student experience and encourage interdisciplinary research have been unanimously approved by Sheffield City Council.

The proposed state-of-the-art home for the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences will improve learning for students through its new collaborative teaching and social spaces and offer a wide range of disciplines under the same roof for the first time.

It will also include a research hub, bringing together cross-cutting research centres in an innovative working environment to encourage truly interdisciplinary research that will lead the way in addressing key societal and global challenges.

The Faculty comprises 13 departments, several cross-cutting research institutes, and the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. The Faculty is unique among its peers in the Russell Group in having both classical social sciences disciplines such as Politics and Economics, but also practitioner-based disciplines such as Architecture and the Information School.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "As a scientist all my career, I have been astonished at how much of my energy as a leader has in fact fallen into the area of social science, engaging with government, understanding an economy and how we live together. For our work as medics, engineers and scientists to really bite, we need social sciences to be the gear that connects us to the way the world works.

"Our new flagship venture for social sciences will allow us to partner with global organisations in ways which will also benefit our city, creating opportunities for the next generation along the way."

Green space, which will be open to the public as well as students and staff, will be part of the development, providing an improved local environment.

New sports facilities

A linked planning application for two new 3g sports pitches at the University’s Norton site, was approved by planning committee recently.

The new social sciences building will be built on an existing 3g pitch on Northumberland Road, and the Norton proposal not only replaces that pitch with a state-of-the-art 3g rugby and football pitch, but also allows the University to develop a new 3g hockey pitch there, along with associated changing and shower facilities.

The new sports pitches at Norton will be completed first, to ensure that there will be no net loss of sports provision.
Construction work on the social sciences building will start on site in early 2018, with an expected completion date of spring 2020. Work on the proposed new sports centre would begin once the social sciences building is complete.