Who we are

Who we are

Founded in 1843 as the Sheffield School of Design, Sheffield Hallam has exercised a powerful impact on the city, region, nation and world. Today we are one of the UK’s largest and most diverse universities: a community of around 37,000 students, 4,500 staff and 295,000 alumni around the world.  

Our students

The strength of our student cohort is in its diversity - matched by our commitment as a university to providing opportunity:

  • Around 21,500 are undergraduate, 10,500 postgraduate
  • Over 50% come from within 30 miles of the university
  • Around 18% are international students
  • 53% of our students are the first in their family to attend university
  • 24.5% are from low participation neighbourhoods - (national average is 14%)
  • In 2020/21, 1,330 new students were enrolled from low participation neighbourhoods - the most of any higher education provider in the country.
  • In 2020/21, we enrolled more students in receipt of the Disabled Student Allowance than any other university.
  • 95% of our graduates are in work or further study fifteen months after graduating.  Overall, Hallam ranks 5th in the UK for the overall number of graduates going into highly skilled employment or further study fifteen months after graduating.

Our teaching

Our committed staff provide award-winning teaching and student support for our diverse population of students. We were awarded Gold in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognised our outstanding support for student success both during and after their studies.

We provide our students with a curriculum designed for collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning, courses which are designed with industry experts, embedded work experience opportunities, digital skills pathways, and placement years. This includes a guarantee that all of our students will gain a placement during their degree through our award-winning Highly Skilled Employability strategy.  

This commitment to applied learning and teaching means:

  • We are one of the biggest trainers of healthcare staff for the NHS in the country
  • We train around 1,000 teachers a year (across degree stages) - with around 600 entering the workforce each year (60% of which in South Yorkshire)
  • We are home to the largest modern business school in the country, with more than 7,000 students from 100 countries, studying at five locations around the globe.
  • Our National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships has the biggest portfolio of degree apprenticeships in the UK
  • 94% of students are in work or further study 15 months after graduating, this is more than any other post-1992 university in the country, and second amongst all UK universities. (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018-19)
  • Student satisfaction score of 70% (National Student Survey, 2021)
  • Gold award from the government's Teaching Excellence Framework
  • In top 10 European universities for both student engagement and environment by the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2018
  • Five stars in the QS Star rating, achieving top marks in the categories of teaching, employability, facilities, innovation and inclusiveness
  • We were named Outstanding Entrepreneurial University at the THE Awards 2021 

Our research

Our research and innovation work is characterised by a focus on real-world impact. Working across disciplines in world-class facilities, our academics tackle challenges facing society today.

Our research focuses on three key themes: driving future economies, enabling healthier lives and building stronger communities. We have an international reputation in areas such as materials science, art and design, sports science and engineering, biomedicine, and economic and social research – all delivered through our research institutes. This contributes to our standing in the Research Excellence Framework (REF):

  • In REF 2021, 72% of our research submitted was rated world-class or internationally excellent (REF)

Our place

We are proudly a university of place - locally, nationally and internationally. 

This commitment to place - and with it, opportunity - means we are a leader in widening access to higher education to students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds.

  • We have admitted more students from neighbourhoods with historically low numbers going to university than any other provider in the UK for years in a row
  • Our widening participation team works with more than 1,100 educational settings and engages with more than 60,000 young people in our region every year
  • Alongside the University of Sheffield, we run the Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire (HeppSY), to support young people most at risk of missing out on higher education 

Whilst the university is grounded in its city and region, we are also proud of our global reach. 

  • Our global community of international students, staff and partnerships spans 120 countries
  • We have partnerships with more than 100 universities in countries around the world
  • In 2019, we announced our first formal strategic international partnership with La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. This provides international learning experiences, collaborative research opportunities and sharing of good practice and approaches to higher education across borders.


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