Giving STEM students the opportunity and resources to succeed

Engineering students

Colleagues involved in our Science and Engineering Foundation Year programme (SEFY) are celebrating after seeing 88 per cent of their graduates receive a First or 2.1 degree.

Our Foundation Year offers students from a range of different educational backgrounds a springboard onto a degree in Science or Engineering here at Sheffield.

Interdisciplinary Engineering, which manages SEFY provision, found that 29 per cent were awarded a First. These statistics are a huge reminder of how SEFY gives students the opportunity and resources to succeed in their chosen degree programmes.

SEFY applications for 2019-20 are up by 30 per cent which shows the huge appetite for STEM but also the desire among prospective students to study at Sheffield.

The success of SEFY is testament to the quality of expert teaching by our academic staff, pastoral support provided by Student Services and study skills expertise from 301 Academic Skills Centre and the Library Services. Together, these enable SEFY students to develop their learning skills and resilience and to carry these skills into their full-time degree programmes.

Foundation Year Course Director Peta Kirk said: “Our Foundation Year is a prime example of how the University is fully committed towards developing and nurturing new talent in STEM subjects. It’s a sound career choice with excellent employability prospects and higher-than-average salaries.”

Our Foundation Year is a prime example of how the University is fully committed towards developing and nurturing new talent in STEM subjects.

Peta Kirk, foundation year course director

Previous SEFY graduates have gone on to work in both industry or academia and in world-renowned companies in STEM-related roles.

Diego Cimadom, who graduated this year with a First Class BSc in Physics and was awarded the Milner Prize in Theoretical Physics, commented:

"I left Italy and came to Sheffield in 2015. Due to my background I was lacking some Maths and Physics knowledge. Foundation Year provided me with that and even more.”

“It gave me a nice introduction to the whole university lifestyle. For example, it taught me, in a supervised environment, how lab reports were expected to be written and how exams at University worked. It gave me the opportunity to practice a wide range of problems and learn the best tactics to approach each. In general, I believe Foundation Year gave me a solid foundation on which to build the rest of my degree.”

“Now that I’ve graduated, I want to pursue a Masters course and keep studying what I love.”

Dounia Bakira, who achieved a First Class BEng in Chemical Engineering, said: “Being a mature student and single mother, and due to financial issues, I was unable to proceed to A2. Foundation Year was the bridge to achieve my dream of becoming a Chemical Engineer. It helped me to be among the high-achieving students throughout my degree.”

“Now, I have secured a role with AESSEAL as an Applications Engineer. This is just the start of my career and I am looking forward to take my skills to a professional level and working towards chartership.”

Physics graduate Diego Cimadom

Chemical Engineering graduate Dounia Bakira