Frequently Asked Questions

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General questions

What does 'HEAR' stand for?

HEAR stands for 'Higher Education Achievement Report'.

What does a HEAR look like?

Go to the What a HEAR Looks Like page to view some exemplars.

How do I access my HEAR?

See the How can I access it? page for more information.

Do I need to sign up for a HEAR?

No. As a matter of course, HEARs will be issued to all undergraduate students who are working towards a higher education qualification at Sheffield.

However, you are encouraged to consider how you can make the most of your HEAR, e.g. by doing extra-curricular activities that the University or its Students' Union can verify, to help you demonstrate wider experience and skills that may be useful/relevant to the sorts of activities you are interested in doing after university.

Do I need to pay a fee to receive a HEAR?


Which undergraduate students are eligible to receive HEARs?

The vast majority of undergraduate students will receive a HEAR.

Students who are not eligible include:

  • those who are not working towards a specific higher education qualification (e.g. students registered for a single Foundation year);
  • Certificate of Higher Education students.

Unfortunately, we are also not able to produce HEARs for City College students at this time.

When do I get a HEAR?

Your HEAR grows with you from day 1 of your studies. You can view what's in your HEAR so far at any time via MUSE:

  • Click on My services -> View all services -> HEAR

This internal HEAR is a live preview of what your official HEAR will contain, and new achievements will appear as soon as they have been loaded on your record.

Your official HEAR will be issued to you via a secure online system called ShARe (Sheffield Authorised Records), in the form of an embedded PDF.

From March in your first year, you will be issued with official 'snapshots' of your HEAR-so-far via ShARe. These will allow you to share results and achievements that have already been verified, as you begin to apply for internships, jobs, or further study. Your HEAR will be updated 3 times each year following each of the main examination periods:

  • March (the week after Autumn results release)
  • Graduation week (July)
    Week before Intro Week (September)
What is 'Section 6.1'?

'Section 6.1' is the section in the HEAR that contains information about extra-curricular student achievements. The University of Sheffield is committed to verifying a wide range of extra-curricular activities, to allow as many students as possible to showcase and evidence the breadth of their skills, experience and knowledge.

Can I have a paper copy of my HEAR?

We do not expect that you will need an official paper version of your HEAR. However, should you require one for exceptional circumstances (e.g. regulatory purposes), you can order one via SSiD.

Will the HEAR replace the degree certificate?

No, it will accompany it.

Are other universities giving HEARs to their students?

Yes. For more information visit the National HEAR Project page on our staff HEAR website, and the National HEAR Website.

What's the difference between a HEAR and a CV?

The HEAR is not a replacement for a CV or job application statement; these are still the most important documents as far as employers are concerned. Instead it will sit alongside these as a complementary document, providing official evidence of the range of knowledge, skills and experience you have developed at university.

Can students who started at Sheffield before September 2012 get a HEAR?

No, unfortunately not. This is because the HEAR requires us to collect additional student information that was not recorded prior to September 2012, the point at which we first started to issue HEARs to our students. Sections of the document would therefore be blank for students who commenced study prior to this.

Will postgraduate students receive a HEAR?

No, the HEAR is currently only available for undergraduate students.

Will HEARs be issued for integrated Masters programmes?


Academic content

I have changed my course, but my HEAR still shows modules from my old course. Can these be removed?

No. The University's ruling is that transcripts should record all results of all periods of time at the University, so that they accurately reflect the student record. It is therefore not possible to remove any of the modules from your previous course - but don't worry about this. It is not uncommon for students to change course, and you will have had good reasons for wanting to change, which you can explain to anyone who asks. It may also be an advantage to be able to demonstrate that you have some knowledge/experience of areas relevant to these previous modules.

Extra-curricular recognition

How does the University decide what extra-curricular activities and awards can be included?

In order to be included, an activity must meet a number of general criteria (defined in the Institutional Protocol for Section 6.1) and be approved by the HEAR Advisory Board. One of these criteria requires an activity to be verifiable. Not every activity can be verified, but where it is feasible to do so, the University is committed to giving you the opportunity to gain recognition for your wider learning and achievements.

The University cannot generally verify activities that take place outside the University, e.g. part-time work.

What extra-curricular activities will be verified at Sheffield?

A searchable database of all the activities that can be verified is available here.

How do I get an extra-curricular activity in my HEAR?
  1. Do the activity!
  2. Make sure you complete all the requirements for obtaining recognition. Your activity manager will confirm these with you, including any deadlines for completing required tasks. You can also look up the criteria for each activity using the online database of verifiable activities.

Once HEAR criteria have been met, activity managers will confirm to the University which students have fulfilled the requirements, and a statement about your activity will be added to your HEAR. These statements are standardised statements written by the University, to ensure that the recognition given to students is consistent and fair. They are based on HEAR criteria but also include general information about the activity and, where possible, an indication of the skills and experience you will have developed.

Why isn't my activity displaying in my HEAR?

Extra-curricular activities and awards are only added to the HEAR once they have been completed, i.e. once all the criteria for gaining HEAR recognition have been met. There may also be a slight delay between completion of criteria and HEAR updates, because of the administration required to verify who has earned HEAR recognition and update student records. For example, society committee roles will have been completed by May, but may not be added to students' HEAR until June.

If you are unsure when to expect your activity to be added to your HEAR, please speak to your activity organiser, as this is the person who will update your record once you have completed the activity.

If you are unsure what the criteria are for gaining HEAR recognition for an activity, please look up your activity in our online database of verifiable activities.

How do I remove an extra-curricular activity from my HEAR?

Certain extra-curricular activities and achievements can be verified directly by University or Union staff, and do not require students to apply for HEAR recognition.

If an activity has been added to your HEAR and you do not wish this to be publicly visible to others you can either:

  1. Tick the checkbox next to the activity in your Internal HEAR to make it private.
    This will prevent University staff from seeing it, and will also prevent it from being published in official versions of the HEAR. However, the activity will stay on your record, so you have the option to change your mind.
  2. Email to have the activity removed from your student record completely.
I'm working/have done an internship I organised myself alongside my degree. Can I get recognition for this?

No, not directly. There are a number of ways you can obtain work experience within the University, which can be included in the HEAR. For full details, go to the online database of verifiable activities and select 'Work Experience' as the Activity Theme.

Is there a deadline for applying for HEAR recognition?

It depends. There is a separate process for each activity that can be included in the HEAR. To gain recognition for some activities you may be asked to complete certain tasks/submit an application by a particular deadline; but for other activities this is not required. You can look up the criteria you have to meet for each activity by going to the online database of verifiable activities. If you are unsure about any HEAR deadlines relating to any of these activities you should contact the activity organiser.

What happens if I don't have any extra-curricular activities to include Section 6.1?

A standard text will be included at the top of Section 6.1, to explain that the list of activities and awards included in this section is not exhaustive, and that students may very well have other achievements that the University has not been in a position to verify. Students will be encouraged to include details of such additional achievements in other documentation such as their CV, Sheffield Graduate Development Programme portfolio, or job application statements.

What happens if I take Leave of Absence but continue to engage with a verifiable activity - will this activity be included in my HEAR when I complete it?

Yes, extra-curricular activities and achievements undertaken during Leave Of Absence will not be excluded from the HEAR, because students on Leave of Absence still retain full membership of the Students' Union, including full access to its facilities and services and full voting rights.

What do I need to do before graduation? If you have not already done so, please use your Internal HEAR on MUSE (My Services > View All Services > HEAR) to do the following before Graduation Week:
  • Confirm which extra-curricular content in Section 6.1 you wish to be published, using the ‘Private’ checkboxes alongside your activities. Once your final HEAR has been issued it will not be possible to change your 6.1 content.
  • Make sure you have a record of your HUSID (HESA Unique Student ID), which is the User ID you will need to log in to ShARe. You can find this number in the 'Personal Details' section of myRecord in MUSE (MUSE > myRecord > 'Personal Details') or from Section 1 of your Internal HEAR. If using your Internal HEAR, you can click on the 'Printable version' button save/print a copy of the document.
  • Log in to ShARe and change your password (initially your Registration Number) to something more personal.
  • Change your email in ShARe to a non-University email that you will continue to use after you have graduated.