Ranking, reputation and history

The University of Sheffield has a global reputation for its exceptional teaching, impactful research, international outlook and outstanding student experience.

Firth Court Rotunda

We're a member of the Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

When you study here you get one of the best student experiences in the UK – and that's according to the people who matter most, our students.


Our rankings

Our outstanding performance for excellent teaching and research, as part of a genuinely global community, is consistently confirmed by international independent assessments.

A Top 100 university
2020 QS World University Rankings

Top 50 most international universities
Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Top 10 in the Russell Group for research output
Research Excellence Framework 2014

Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

99% of research submitted to REF is internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
Research Excellence Framework 2014

Second in the Russell Group for student satisfaction
National Student Survey 2019

No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

No 1 in the North for graduate employment
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

6 Nobel prize winners
Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, Sir Harry Kroto, FRS, Sir Richard Roberts, FRS, Lord Porter of Luddenham, OM, FRS, Sir Hans Krebs, FRS and Howard Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide and Marston, FRS.

4 Queen's anniversary prizes
The most distinguished award that can be made to a UK institution for higher or further education

A world top 100 university: global rankings


Our reputation will set you apart

Sheffield is a leading research university with a global reputation for excellence.

We’re socially responsible, environmentally aware, and committed to sustainability in everything we do. The knowledge we generate helps to make the world a better place.

We believe that true learning means getting out of the classroom and engaging with business, industry, governments and communities. That ethos drives both our research and our teaching.

Our way of doing things attracts the best minds in the world. Our staff advise governments and multinational companies. They write books and create new technologies. Their work influences policy and changes lives.

We want you to change things too. That’s why we get you to engage with the latest research and give you opportunities to contribute. We encourage you to volunteer in the community for the same reason. We want you to understand how knowledge is generated and how it helps people. Change, in a sense, is what we do.

This is a university with a strong sense of purpose. Take advantage of everything it has to offer and you won’t just graduate with honours – you’ll graduate with insight, skills and experience that set you apart.


Our history

University crest on Firth Court window showing Latin text

Our history stretches back to 1828, the founding date of the Sheffield School of Medicine. The joining of this school with other institutions eventually led to the founding of Firth College in 1879 and the University of Sheffield being granted its Royal Charter 31 May 1905.

History of the University

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.