Update on the new social sciences facility

Social sciences

Construction work is set to start on our world-leading social science facility in early 2019, subject to final approval through University governance.

Social sciences 3The building will enhance learning for students through its new collaborative teaching and social spaces and will house a wide range of social science disciplines under the same roof for the first time. It will also include an inter-disciplinary research hub, bringing together cross-cutting research centres to tackle global societal challenges.

Design of the learning and teaching spaces has been informed by student ambassadors from the Faculty who conducted a piece of research on the future of these spaces, and have worked closely with experts from academic departments.

The building has been designed with sustainability at its core and we are aiming for a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) outstanding rating. Ground source heat pumps will be installed to maximise the opportunity created by thermal warmth, and provide cooling in the summer. Green space, accessible to the public as well as students and staff, will be part of the development, providing an improved local environment.

Social sciences 2

Prof Craig Watkins, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “This Estates project is critical to the delivery of our ambitious research and learning & teaching strategies. It will allow much of the Faculty to be co-located within the new building or close by in the Northumberland area, and will support an excellent student experience as well as facilitating the interdisciplinary education and research which is so vital to our University's future success.”

The Faculty of Social Sciences is the University’s largest faculty, with almost 11,000 students - making up more than one third of the University’s total student population. 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 and practice-based disciplines such as Architecture, Education and Journalism.

The proposed new building will provide departmental bases for the Departments of Economics, Politics, Sociological Studies, the Sheffield Methods Institute and the Faculty of Social Sciences office. The adjacent Elmfield Building, which currently houses the Departments of Politics and Sociological Studies, will provide the departmental homes for the remaining Faculty of Social Sciences Departments currently located on the east side of the campus. This project will create a Social Sciences hub around Northumberland Road, with improved linkages to the Sheffield University Management School on nearby Conduit Road.

Site preparations are due to start from autumn 2018 and we expect the building to be fully up and running for the start of the 2021 academic session.

Visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/efm/estatesdevelopment/projects/social-sciences-building for more information.

Drop-in sessions for staff and students

Laura Armitage, Faculty Estates Development Manager for Social Sciences, is running a series of drop-in sessions for staff and students. Find out more about the plans and ask any questions at these events:

  • 19 June, 09:30-12noon - G07 Elmfield Building
  • 17 July, 09:30-12noon - G07 Elmfield Building
  • 31 July, 09:30-12noon - ICOSS Foyer