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Sheffield Hallam University
SHU crest.jpg
Former names
Sheffield Polytechnic
Sheffield City Polytechnic
Motto Learn and Serve
Type Public
Established 1843 – founded
1992 -university status
Endowment £0.52M (2015)
Chancellor Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws
Vice-Chancellor Chris Husbands
Academic staff
Students 31,485 (2015/16)
Undergraduates 24,455 (2015/16)
Postgraduates 6,365 (2015/16)
Location , ,

53°22′45″N 1°27′53″W / 53.379105°N 1.464706°W / 53.379105; -1.464706
Campus City Campus and Collegiate Crescent Campus
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities
Logo of Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield Hallam University. - - 505778
Owen Building

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is a public research university in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is based on two sites; the City Campus is located in the city centre near Sheffield railway station, while the Collegiate Crescent Campus is about two miles away in the Broomhall Estate off Ecclesall Road in south-west Sheffield.

The university is the eighth largest university in the UK (out of 166) with 31,485 students (of whom 4,400 are international students), 4,494 staff and 708 courses.


Foundation and growth

In 1843 as the industrial revolution gathered pace and Sheffield was on the verge of becoming the steel, tool and cutlery making capital of the world, the Sheffield School of Design was founded following lobbying by artist Benjamin Haydon. The day-to-day running was controlled by the local council, whilst the Board of Trade in London appointed the head. Tuition began in a 60x40ft rented room off Glossop Road. In 1850 the School of Design was renamed Sheffield School of Art.

In 1905 the City of Sheffield Training College (later renamed Sheffield City College of Education) on Collegiate Crescent admitted its first 90 students. During the First World War, the Collegiate Hall was requisitioned by the War Office to create the 3rd Northern General Hospital, a facility for the Royal Army Medical Corps to treat military casualties.

In 1967 the Owen Building was constructed. Built in a functional 1960s design, it has since been modernised and comprehensively renovated with an atrium linking it to four adjacent buildings. In 1969 the Sheffield School of Design merged with the city's College of Technology to form Sheffield Polytechnic. In 1976 Sheffield Polytechnic merged with the city's two teacher training colleges (Sheffield City College and Totley Hall College) and was renamed Sheffield City Polytechnic. In 1987 Sheffield City Polytechnic became a founding member of the Northern Consortium.

University status to present day

In 1992 Sheffield City Polytechnic became Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), with the right to award its own degrees.

In 2005 SHU was reorganised into four faculties. The new Faculty of Development and Society, with an emphasis on 'people, places and spaces', brought together education, geography, humanities, law, and social sciences. At the same time, with the intention of further developing research and teaching in the new Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, a new Clinical Academic Group was launched. The building that had been designed and constructed to house the National Centre for Popular Music became the university's students' union building (the HUBS). The Nelson Mandela Building, the former students' union building (when opened in 1978 was known as the Phoenix building), was sold and has since been demolished.

In 2007 SHU took over the teaching of nursing and midwifery from the University of Sheffield. These activities are now based at the Collegiate Crescent Campus. The following year the Psalter Lane campus (formerly the Sheffield College of Art) was closed, and the activities transferred to the City Campus. The £26 million energy-efficient Furnival Building opened in September (renamed Cantor Building in 2011 in recognition of a major donor to the university). The building, which includes teaching spaces and an art gallery has been described as "the impressive new entry point to the campus".

Organisation and governance


SHU buildings
SHU's Owen Building (left) and Stoddart Building (right), part of the City Campus on Arundel Gate
SHU Students Union 30 Oct 2017 2
Sheffield Hallam Students' Union
Welcoming poetry^ - - 768635
What If? Poem on the side of Owen Building

In 2020, the University relaunched its structure moving away from four faculties and re-organising academic departments into colleges.

College of Business, Technology and Engineering (BTE)
Formerly known as the Sheffield Business School and prior to that the Faculty of Organisation and Management (OM)

  • Sheffield Business School (SBS) consisting of Business & Management; Facilities Management; Finance, Accounting & Business Systems;
  • Food & Nutrition; Language & Culture; and Tourism, Hospitality & Events Management
  • Engineering & Technology; Mathematics & Statistics.

College of Social Sciences and Arts (SSA)
Formerly known as the Faculty of Science, Technology and incorporating parts of the old Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and prior to this as the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences (ACES)

  • Art & Design; Business Systems & IT; Communication & Media; Computers & Computing; and Multimedia & the Internet.
  • Architecture; Built Environment; Education; English; Geography & Environmental Science; Humanities; Law & Community Justice; Planning; Social Sciences; and Performing Arts.

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences (HWLS)
Formerly the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

  • Biosciences; Diagnostic Radiography; Nursing & Midwifery; Biosciences and Chemistry, Occupational Therapy; Operating Department Practitioners; Paramedic Studies; Physiotherapy; Radiotherapy & Oncology; Social Work; and Sport.


Research centres

  • Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC)
  • Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre (BMRC)
  • Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology (CBSCAP)
  • Centre for Development and Research in Education (CDARE)
  • Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR)
  • Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES)
  • Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER)
  • Design Futures Centre for Industrial Collaboration (Design Futures)
  • Humanities Research Centre (HRC)
  • National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE)
  • Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC)
  • Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre (SPARC)

Research institutes

  • Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI)
    • Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC)
    • Communication and Computing Research Centre (CCRC)
  • Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI)
    • Centre for Automation and Robotics Research (CARR)
    • National HIPIMS Technology Centre
    • Polymers, Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre
    • Structural Materials and Integrity Research Centre
    • Thin Films Research Centre
  • Sheffield Business School Research Institute (SBSRI)
  • Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS)
  • Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE)

Groups and networks

  • Voluntary Action Research Group
  • Film, Television, Theatre and Performance Research Network
  • Health and Social Care Research
  • Law Research Group
  • Natural and Built Environment Research Group
  • Outdoor Recreation Research Group
  • Physical Activity, Wellness and Public Health Research Group (PAWPH)
  • Sheffield Addiction Research Recovery Group
  • Sport and Human Performance Research Group
  • Sports Engineering Research Group
  • Sports Industry Research Group

Through the research centres a number of spin-off companies have been formed, including:

  • Sheaf Solutions – automotive and aerospace organisation
  • Hallam Biotech – biotech analysis and synthesis
  • Materials Analysis & Research Services (MARS) – materials analysis and solutions
  • Bodycote – materials coating
  • Design Futures – product design, packaging design, research & strategy


British barrister, broadcaster, and life peer of the House of Lords Helena Kennedy was installed as Chancellor in a ceremony at Cutlers' Hall on Thursday 26 July 2018.

  • Bryan Nicholson 1992–2001
  • Robert Winston 2001–2018
  • Helena Kennedy 2018–present

Academic profile

National rankings
Complete (2021) 67
Guardian (2021) 47
Times / Sunday Times (2021) 65
Global rankings
QS (2021)
THE (2021) 801-1000
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Silver

Lifelong Learning Network

SHU is the lead partner for Higher Futures, the Lifelong Learning Network (LLN) for South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire.

Rankings and reputation

In the National Student Survey, several subject areas at SHU have performed very well in terms of overall student satisfaction with their courses: for example, architecture and geography have both been placed first, and planning has been placed second.

In the university league tables, Sheffield Hallam University was placed 47th out of 121 UK universities by The Guardian University Guide 2021; 65th out of 131 by The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020; and 67th out of 130 by the Complete University Guide 2021. In 2019, it ranked 485th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings.

Hallam received a First Class award and was ranked 15th out of 151 universities in the People & Planet University League 2015 which assesses universities on their environmental credentials. In 2020, the University was awarded The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year award for teaching quality.

Adsetts Centre, Sheffield Hallam University - - 1622293
Adsetts Learning Centre

Notable staff

  • Alison Adam, professor of science, technology and society.
  • Geoff Cartwright, senior lecturer in Environmental Conservation 1995–2012: joint winner of the 2011 Individual award in the Environment Awards of the Sheffield Telegraph for his work on the development of a nature reserve at Blackburn Meadows on the site of the former Tinsley sewage farm.
  • I.M. Dharmadasa, applied physicist and researcher of low cost solar cells
  • Hywel Jones, materials scientist and inventor in advanced ceramics and metals, Principal Research Fellow
  • Marina Lewycka (1946– ), senior lecturer in Media Studies 1998–2012, author of several novels including A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (2005)
  • F.B. Pickering (1927–2017), metallurgist
  • Jane Rogers, winner of the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award for the 'best science fiction novel of the year' for The Testament of Jessie Lamb
  • Jawed Siddiqi, Professor of Software Engineering and Political Activist
  • Frances Spalding, art historian, former lecturer
  • Dave Wickett (1947–2012), lecturer in Economics, served on the industry and economics committee of the Campaign for Real Ale; in 1981 he established the Fat Cat (a real ale pub on Kelham Island) and in 1990 he launched Kelham Island Brewery; in 2004 his golden ale, Pale Rider, won Camra's Champion Beer of Britain award; in 2010 he set up a post-graduate course in brewing at Sheffield University, and in 2011 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the House of Commons all-party parliamentary beer group.
  • Mike Wild (1939– ), senior lecturer in Environmental Studies 1969–1997, founder of the Five Weirs Walk group; co-founder of the Sheffield Wildlife Trust; and 2010 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Sheffield Telegraph's Environment Awards

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