Sheffield, University of


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Overall ranking: Came 26th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Developed from three local institutions: the Sheffield School of Medicine, Firth College and the Sheffield Technical School. The latter was the product of local concern about the need for better technical training of the men responsible for running the great industries of Sheffield such as steel-making. The three institutions were amalgamated in 1905 by Royal Charter to form the University College of Sheffield.

Address: A mile and a half west of the city centre. Just seven miles from the Peak District National Park and two hours by train from London.

Ambience: Most buildings are red brick and easy on the eye. The campus extends over a large urban setting but Sheffield itself is one of the greenest cities with 150 woodlands and 50 parks. Sheffield is also one of the UK's safest cities according to the Home Office.

Who's the boss? Professor Sir Keith Burnett became vice-chancellor in 2007. He recently headed the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at Oxford and was awarded a CBE for services to physics in 2004.

Prospectus: 0114 222 1255 or order one here.

UCAS code: S18

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Not really, no. Requirements vary between courses and qualifications but many ask for high grades at A-level and a fair few want all As.

Vital statistics: Large civic university with over 26,000 students. Highly rated for research- as a member of the White Rose Consortium alongside Leeds and York, Sheffield has combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge. Academic departments are grouped into six faculties: Arts and Humanities; Engineering; Medicine, Dentistry and Health; Science; Social Sciences; and International Faculty, City College, Thessaloniki, Greece. One of 24 Russell Group universities dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence.

Added value: Brilliant sports facilities. The Crookesmoor Building has been completely redesigned to create a 21st century research and learning environment. The highly-rated faculty of engineering is being expanded with new teaching laboratories for 4,000 engineers and a £20m graduate school recently opened. A dramatic new campus landmark is the green copper-clad £23m Information Commons combining library, IT and study facilities which opened in April 2007. A new building in January 2009, Jessop West, is home to the school of English, department of history, the school of modern languages and linguistics and a brand new visitor centre. Sheffield is now a world leader in motor neurone disease research after a state-of-the-art £12m research institute opened in November 2010.

Teaching: Ranked 35th out of 123 in the most recent Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Came 36th with 71.4 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Sure thing- a choice of the vibrant and bustling Endcliffe Village, the relaxed and friendly Ranmoor Village, or the more independent City and Central. Self-catered standard rooms cost from £4,101.30 for a 42-week contract while catered accommodation at Endcliffe starts from £5685.96. See the website for more details.

Cheap to live there? Fairly- private rents average around £80 a week.

Transport links: Good for trains and coaches. For getting about Sheffield use Supertram and buses. Cycling is hard work due to the hilly terrain.

Fees: Sheffield has been charging the maximum tuition fee of £9,000 per year since 2012.

Bursaries: Cash support of up to £1,400 a year is available for full-time UK students with annual household incomes of £42,000 or under. Further fee waivers and excellence-based scholarships are also available. Peruse their website for more information.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Students' Union was crowned winner of the Club Mirror Students' Union of the Year award in 2004 and 2007 and has been consistently rated the best in the UK by the Times Higher Education's Student Experience Survey. Union club nights attract big crowds almost every night of the week. In the city there are the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. There are plenty of bars and restaurants with Leadmill and Embrace particularly hot nightclubs.

Price of a pint: Roughly £2.70 across the city.

Sporting reputation: Currently ranked 24th in the BUCS league.

Notable societies: Lemon Fresh is a society dedicated to running the most memorable events from murder mysterious to treasure hunts. Dobby's Soc sorts members into a Hogwarts house and organises Harry Potter-themed events all year from a triwizard tournament to a yule ball.

Glittering alumni: Jessica Ennis, Olympic heptathlon champion 2012; Sir Harry Kroto and Dr Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize-winning chemists; Amy Johnson, pioneering aviator; Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut; Jack Rosenthal, playwright; Stephen Daldry, theatre and film director; David Blunkett, politician; Linda Smith, comedian; Eddie Izzard, actor and comedian; novelists Nicci Gerard and Joanne Harris.

Alternative prospectus: Read what current students have to say about their universities- the upsides and the downsides- plus further facts on Which? University here.