5 reasons to study in Sheffield

four students sitting in a park

Sheffield is an exciting city that offers excellent qualifications, esteemed and highly ranked universities and colleges, and a great student lifestyle.  

Want to know why you should study in Sheffield? Let’s take a look at five reasons to study in Sheffield. 

1. Rankings

The University of Sheffield is one of the best universities in the UK, ranked 13th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024. It is also part of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and has 17 subjects ranking in the world top 100 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023). 

Established in 1905, the University of Sheffield is one of the six original and highly-regarded ‘redbrick’ universities in the UK. These redbrick universities were founded in the major industrial cities of England, all gaining university status before World War I. 

As Sheffield’s leading university, it has given six Nobel laureates in its over 110-year history, including Howard Florey, the co-developer of penicillin. 

2. Academic excellence: International community at the University of Sheffield  

With more than 30,000 students, the University of Sheffield is one of the most popular universities in the UK. This includes around 7,000 international students from over 150 countries. Students in this vibrant city come from a diverse range of countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nigeria and more. It also attracts the best teaching staff from all over the world, which adds to the University’s multicultural feel. 

With the University of Sheffield International College set up specifically to help international students gain their qualifications successfully and have the best experience possible, it’s a truly internationally oriented place to be – and the international student body have their own representative on the student council in charge of international student affairs.

3. Student life 

One of the best reasons to study in Sheffield is that it’s a city geared around student life. Voted as the UK's 3rd best student city (StudentCrowd 2023), Sheffield is a popular destination for UK students themselves, as well as those from overseas. 

Its universities and colleges are positioned within the city centre, not miles by bus or train to out-of-town campuses. It puts students right in the heart of Sheffield city life and makes getting to and from classes so much easier. 

The University of Sheffield Students' Union has been voted the UK's number one for six years in a row by the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (2017-2023), and it works hand-in hand with the International College to ensure that international students have the best student experience possible. 

The city has a thriving cultural scene, with a big emphasis on music and theatre. Check out its diverse annual festivals including Tramlines music festival, Out of This World festival of magic, sci-fi and horror, the Sheffield Film Festival and International 5-day DocFest, and the Off The Shelf festival of literature. 

As the foodie capital of the UK (Time Out 2023), Sheffield is home to many interesting restaurants, including a large number of international cuisines. In the city, you will have no trouble finding somewhere good to eat, even on a student budget. 

Sheffield boasts many parks and gardens, which make up 60% of the city; these contribute to its status as one of the greenest cities in the UK. The presence of the Peak District National Park on its doorstep further adds to the city's appeal, offering residents and visitors opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Students share their experience of studying in Sheffield

4. Welcoming 

Because Sheffield is such a student-friendly city, with campuses dotted around the city centre, it has a welcoming feel. People are used to the large student population, local businesses thrive as a result, and many local businesses are tailored to student needs. You’ll find a lot of businesses – from cinemas and music venues to theatres and cafés – offering special discounts for students. 

And, of course, the University of Sheffield International College makes the city an even more welcoming place for students travelling here from overseas. The College understands exactly the precise worries and challenges new international students face and is here waiting to help you in every way possible. 

5. Future prospects 

Because the University of Sheffield and the International College possess a strong academic reputation, earning your degree or qualification here means strengthening your career prospects. As a recognised original redbrick university, and a Russell Group member, its teaching standards and qualifications are highly regarded by employers and other learning institutions around the world. 

Studying in Sheffield means you’ll have enhanced your English language skills, and had the chance to form friendships with students and teachers from across the globe, opening up future opportunities on an international level. 

The International College also gives you the opportunity to work with the Students’ Union and to teach younger students, all helping you add valuable skills to your CV and broaden your range of experience for the future. 

Harald from Hong Kong

Born in Hong Kong. Made in Sheffield.

Sheffield is a really nice city compared to other big cities, like London and Manchester. It's less congested, and it's got more green space. So it's a good place to live, because you get to enjoy the fresh air and also enjoy the rural experience.

International Foundation Year in Science & Engineering
BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
Now working as an Assistant Satellite Operation Engineer


What is the University of Sheffield good for? 

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, the University of Sheffield is an excellent place to study. Offering a diverse range of courses with incredible graduation rates, the campus offers hi-spec and hi-tech facilities that will give you the best education possible.  

The University of Sheffield International College also offers excellent guidance and support for those choosing to study abroad. The pathway programmes will develop your English language skills as well as your academic knowledge, giving you everything you need for success in your degree study at the University of Sheffield. 

What is special about living in Sheffield? 

Even though it is known as the Steel City, Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with over 60% of the city being green spaces. There are many parks and gardens to be enjoyed for both relaxation and recreation.  

Sheffield is also known as the foodie capital of the UK (Time Out 2023). There are many affordable restaurants near campus, serving food from around the world. 

How safe is Sheffield for students? 

Sheffield has a friendly community that sees its university students as residents. Most student accommodation in the city is integrated into residential neighbourhoods and the University campus being a fundamental part of the city centre.