About our Research School

You will be joining one of the UK’s largest and most successful research schools in the fields of Urban Studies and Planning.

Student writes notes on map in front of canal

The value of a Sheffield PhD can be seen in the rapidity with which graduates have obtained employment in a range of contexts including not just academia, but also local and central government and the charitable sector.

A dynamic academic community

The Research School is brought together as a community through a range of activities that continue throughout the academic year. This includes bespoke weekly training sessions in both semesters, presentations of research in progress, an enhanced support programme, and other events such as masterclasses from visiting academics, reading groups, and co-writing sessions.

Everyone’s involvement in these activities is encouraged:  this enhances your own professional development, and maintains the strong ethos of mutual support that has underpinned the School’s success.

An international learning environment

Students come from all over the world to pursue postgraduate research in this department.

International students currently comprise just over half of the over fifty doctoral students in the department, joining us from countries such as India, China, Korea, Syria, Mexico, Nigeria and Turkey and across the EU. This international diversity provides a rich learning experience for all students.

Many of our doctoral students undertake research in international contexts and make visits overseas to conduct research, participate in PhD workshops and attend conferences.

The department also has close links with a number of universities internationally, and the exchange of ideas within the Research School has long been enriched by the presence of visiting scholars from throughout the world.

These contacts are important as they enable students to challenge their ideas against the circumstances found in environments outside their own focus of study.

A well supported PhD

Support starts at the very beginning of your contact with us. You can expect a dialogue with the Director of the Research School, who will provide you with advice in preparing your research proposal, in conjunction with your possible future supervisors.

As a PhD student you will have two academic supervisors, and you can expect to meet with your primary supervisor frequently to discuss your work in detail, as well as advice and support from a broader community of researchers through our training programme.

The Research School has a dedicated working space within the Geography and Planning building, and provides each student with desk space and access to networked computing facilities.

The department is situated close to the central services of the University including the Information Commons, the Western Bank Library and to the Students' Union building.

PhD training in the Faculty of Social Sciences

As part of the Faculty of Social Sciences you will have access to world class training alongside your doctoral study.

Research and professional skills training is designed and delivered through the Doctoral Development Programme, including courses run by the Sheffield Methods Institute, which has world class research expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods.

All our students also have access to further training in interdisciplinary study and innovative methodology and research design via events run by the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.