Celebrating 65 Years of Social Studies at the University of Sheffield

2014 marked 65 years since the School of Social Studies was founded at the University of Sheffield and to celebrate, the Department of Sociological Studies hosted a series of events throughout the year.

The School of Social Studies was founded in 1949 when Miss Ellinor I. Black was appointed as the School’s Director. Before joining the University of Sheffield, Miss Black worked with the Social Science Department at the University of Liverpool and with a particular interest in the welfare of the aged, she had been a member of the Old Age Survey Committee of the Nuffield Foundation, carrying out detailed investigations of the problem in the Merseyside area. Ellinor Black was also closely connected with the Social Welfare Committee of the League of Nations and the International Committee of Schools of Social Work. Nature, the international weekly journal of science said of Miss Black’s appointment as Director of the School of Social Studies:

“Sheffield will gain in her one who will devote herself wholeheartedly to the creation of the new institution, which will thus possess a very special human quality.”

The School of Social Studies offered a two-year Undergraduate Certificate in Social Studies and a two-year Postgraduate Diploma in Social Studies when it was founded, both of which prepared students at varying levels for a career in basic social work or further specialised social work training, and the School continued to go from strength to strength over the years.

In 1959, the School was renamed the Department of Sociological Studies and became regarded as one of the best sociological departments in the country, combining social policy with social work and pure sociology.

Take a look at our timeline below:

Our Anniversary Events

We were proud to celebrate 65 years of Social Studies throughout 2014 with a series of anniversary events.

Share Your Story!

From its launch as the School of Social Studies in 1949, the Department has grown to become one of the larger and longer established social science departments in the country and has provided thousands of graduates with the key skills and attributes to enable progression into a variety of exciting career paths.

We are always keen to hear stories from our alumni about their time in the Department. What was it like when you were studying in the Department? What did it mean to you to be here?

Some of these stories may be used on the Department’s web pages and in our anniversary publicity materials. Please share your story with us here. If you have any pictures of your time in the Department that you would be happy to share with us, please send these to jenny.smith@sheffield.ac.uk.