SDG4: Quality Education

Education is imperative to equip everyone in society with the vital knowledge and skills needed to build a sustainable future. We are committed to delivering quality education to all regardless of socioeconomic factors to develop both our educators and students through teaching and partnerships.

school children with sdg4 logo overlaid

Key facts for how we are achieving SDG4

  • A top 100 world University, a reputation for excellence and a Russell Group university
  • World-class in teaching and research with 92% of Sheffield’s research internationally excellent or world-leading (Research Excellence Framework, 2021)
  • 1172 students starting a degree at the university in 2021 who are first generation in their family to go to university
  • Five time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour recognising outstanding contributions universities and colleges make nationally to intellectual, economic, cultural and social life
  • 91% of UoS graduates are in employment/ further study 15 months after graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-20, based on a sample of 5,601 graduates) 
  • Most degrees at Sheffield are accredited by institutional or professional bodies


With 92% of Sheffield’s research internationally excellent or world-leading (Research Excellence Framework, 2021), research is a fundamental part of our reputation at Sheffield. We are addressing local, national and global social and cultural challenges, transforming health and social care, assessing food, energy and energy impacts, and advancing in technologies, underpinned by working towards a more sustainable, equitable future for everyone.


Women in Engineering

The University of Sheffield Women in Engineering Society is a student-led group focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers. They achieve this through a range of engineering- and STEM-related community outreach activities including one-off visits to schools, hosting local community group activities, and longer-term volunteering projects such as school STEM clubs. The Women in Engineering Society have also worked to create outreach resources, including two childrens’ books about engineering and a Virtual Reality game for use at events.

Arts and Humanities outreach

In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, most outreach activity is tailored towards secondary school students. Activities offered include taster events at the University of Sheffield, visits to schools, study days, teacher conferences, classroom resources, mentoring from students, and competitions school pupils can take part in. Individual departments run their own subject-specific projects and events tailored to different year groups, but all aim to inspire secondary age students to engage in arts and humanities activities.

Lessons From Zebrafish

The Bateson Centre Zebrafish Facility is always looking for opportunities to get involved in outreach and broadening learning opportunities. They frequently take part in events where members of the public can learn about their work, including the role of zebrafish in genetic engineering. The Bateson Centre has even organised a fish-themed art exhibition as part of Festival of the Mind. In addition to public outreach, they offer work experience placements and training opportunities for students to gain key genetics research skills alongside their studies.

Exploring Chemistry

The Chemistry department at the University of Sheffield are engaged in a wide range of outreach activities, targeted at several different audiences. A level chemistry students can sign up for lab taster events; local colleges can bring students to the Kroto Schools Laboratory to develop practical skills linked to the A-level syllabus in a state-of-the-art lab environment. Resources centred around Sheffield alumnus Sir Harry Kroto, including videos and practical kits, can be delivered by schools to help secondary age students learn about atoms and molecules, and Buckminsterfullerene. The Edible Experiments video series helps members of the public to engage with chemistry using items from their own kitchen.

Discovering Sheffield

Organised by the Widening Participation team, DiscoverUS is a programme for Year 10 and 11 students aimed at students who’ve shown academic aptitude,  but are considered to be from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and tend to be the first generation in their family to attend university. More information about this can be found in SDG 1. [link].

The Discover Programme offers a similar opportunity for Year 12 and 13 students, who are also given the opportunity to specialise onto a specific pathway. The Medicine, Dentistry and Law pathways offer students specific preparation for studying those subjects at university, whereas the Discover Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences and Discover STEM pathways help students to explore their options a little more widely. Students on post-16 Discover pathways get to participate in campus visits, subject tasters and residentials focused on their selected subject area. They also have access to subject-specific study help and can benefit from adjusted grade offers when applying to study at the University of Sheffield.

Lifelong Learning

Sheffield’s Department for Lifelong Learning works to support adults of all ages in discovering their options for and accessing higher education. They offer support for prospective mature students struggling to work out what courses they might want to do, offer foundation year options and a 2 year part-time HECert access course, and help applicants determine what courses they are eligible for regardless of whether they have relevant typical formal qualifications. The Department for Lifelong Learning also offer free monthly online information sessions, and frequent part-time short Discover courses where participants can find out about different courses, explore what it’s like to study at university, and get individual career guidance.

Graduate prospects

Extra opportunities

Built within every degree we offer at Sheffield, are more educational enrichment opportunities to develop the individual further giving opportunity for once in a lifetime experiences, acquiring new skills, deepening knowledge and expertise which will ultimately boost the employability of our students. This is done through accreditation of our degrees, industrial placements, study abroad, field trips and volunteering work.


The majority of our degrees at Sheffield are accredited by official institutional bodies or societies, equipping our students with valuable, transferable and employable skills for after university.

Careers service

Alumni of the University have life-long careers support; with access to for example career advisors and mentors providing tips on writing applications, CV’s and even mock-up interviews. There are networking events and careers fairs available to current and graduated students.

Our sustainability strategy

We have set the principles and direction for our sustainability strategy