Our teachers will give you the extra push you need to realise your full potential.
Teaching with passion
Our academics are genuine experts. You’ll be taught by leading researchers, writers, thinkers and technical innovators. Their work examines human activity – driving positive change, empowering people and making communities stronger.
They want to pass on their knowledge, their enthusiasm and their professional standards, to you.
How we prepare you for life after university
Our teachers and support staff work hard, bringing your subject to vivid life in lectures, seminars and practicals.
Our job is to prepare you for life after university. That’s why there are also usually opportunities to get out of the classroom and explore the world beyond your subject and apply what you learn.
At Sheffield you’ll have the chance to work with students from different subjects, as well as external organisations and local communities where you could really make a difference.
The brightest and best students choose Sheffield because they want to be challenged. They don't expect to be given all the answers. The Sheffield experience is about learning how to find the answers yourself.
We want you to leave Sheffield with the knowledge, skills, values and attributes needed to work and live in a way that will bring about solutions to the urgent environmental challenges we face.
We’re working with students and academics to make Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) part of every course within the next few years. So whatever your subject, whatever your chosen career, you’ll be equipped to work in ways that address the environmental challenges we face.
Landscape flood challenge – saving a coastal city from climate change
On Tuesday 12 November 2019, 89 students from our Department of Landscape Architecture left Sheffield for Spurn Point, a tidal island on the northeast coast that’s a flashpoint for climate emergency events including rising sea levels and storm surge. Working with award-winning architects LDA, our students faced a race against time to produce a design in response to a sustainability-themed brief.
Prepare for professional life
Whatever you do, you’ll do it under the supervision of world class researchers who are also passionate and skilled teachers. They teach this way because it makes you a more active citizen. And because it’s the best preparation for a truly rewarding career.
The most employable graduates understand their subject from every perspective. The most effective professionals know how to work with people from other fields.
Our approach to teaching reflects the real world. We’ll show you how to manage your own work. There are opportunities to work in teams, often alongside people from other disciplines. And we’ll help you develop the leadership qualities you need to take on big challenges.
You’ll learn about new and emerging fields of study, technology and practices. Most importantly – and this is what really gives our graduates an edge – you’ll come to understand the complex ethical debates surrounding developments in your specialist field.
We work closely with business, industry, the arts, government and NGOs to make sure you develop the skills you need. Our departments have strong links with external organisations that benefit from their research.
All kinds of professionals contribute to the teaching – actors, architects, entrepreneurs, solicitors and surgeons. Some of them are guest lecturers, others are co-supervisors and mentors.
As a research-led institution we are well placed to deliver an excellent student experience. Programmes and modules of study are delivered by academic staff who both teach and undertake world-leading research and/or scholarship in their disciplines, supporting our students on their journey to discover and understand. Almost all of our staff hold a doctorate degree.
During your course you can expect a range of different staff to deliver teaching in a variety of different ways, and these staff may include Professors, Readers, Senior University Teachers, Senior Lecturers, University Teachers, Lecturers, Teaching Associates, and Tutors/ Graduate Teaching Assistants (sometimes called demonstrators).
The Sheffield Academic statement describes the qualities that distinguish a Sheffield Academic, recognising the collective responsibility of teaching staff, for ensuring that our culture fosters the distinctive development of the Sheffield Graduate:
"The pursuit of teaching excellence in relation to a broad field of study, supporting students to engage as partners with the University and seeking to develop their knowledge, attributes and skills at all stages of their development in ways that are consistently effective and inspiring.”
Over a third of our staff hold professional qualifications in teaching and/ or have professional recognition from the Higher Education Academy. We also have a high number of staff who hold professional qualifications such as doctors, dentists, engineers, architects, nurses, etc. This is essential for our programmes of study to gain professional body accreditation and also equips our staff to be excellent teachers in their discipline.
The University employs Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) who deliver predetermined activities to support teaching staff by undertaking the lab supervisions, delivery of seminars, tutorials and other small group work, under the supervision and in liaison with senior colleagues. A comprehensive training programme is provided for all GTAs.
We pride ourselves in providing a high quality learning experience for all of our students. To ensure our approaches to teaching stay up-to-date our staff regularly participate in Continuing Professional Development, and we recognise particularly innovative approaches through our Senate Awards Scheme for teaching excellence, supporting winners to share their good practice throughout the University. Further details of staff who teach are included on department websites.
I believe it's important to enhance the learning experience with technology – there are lots of options at Sheffield for doing that. My lectures are recorded so that students can listen to them afterwards. They find that really helpful. I also use online communities to set up discussion groups – there’s a great interaction between staff and students.