College of Social Sciences and Arts

The largest of the three colleges at Sheffield Hallam University, we are home to around 9,000 students and 700 staff. Our academic and research focus is on the arts and humanities, ‘space and place’, the applied social sciences and education. We are the fourth biggest provider of teacher training in the UK.

We are proud of our established links with the public, voluntary and private sectors. Our work with clients, professional bodies and collaborating organisations is varied and individualised, from schools, colleges and theatres to large multinational companies. We value the opportunity these offer us to inform and improve our approach to teaching and research, as well as how they positively boost the profile of the University and our students and staff.

Law and Criminology


The Department of Law & Criminology is recognised as a leading department with award winning expertise in professional skills and innovative teaching. The department is home to the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, a centre for the promotion of human rights and social justice work. Our focus on applied learning, preparing students for success in the world of work, is grounded in the best academic knowledge and contemporary theory.

Our areas of particular expertise include Law, Criminology, Policing, Human Rights as well as Community Justice Learning (probation training).

We have developed local, national and international partnerships with the criminal justice and legal sectors. Our partners range from local solicitors firms and third sector organisations to London chambers, international law firms and other leading universities across the world. These partnerships enable us to further knowledge within our disciplines, influence changes across areas of practice, and provide students with career-enhancing experiences.

We have an external DLC Advisory Committee made up of eminent academics, lawyers and experts in human rights and the criminal justice sector, who contribute to the department's work providing an external viewpoint and consultancy expertise.

The department is based in the innovative Heart of the Campus building, with a range of technology enhanced learning opportunities and flexible working spaces. We have a Moot Court and offer our students the opportunity to gain real casework experience in SHU Law, our on-campus law firm as well as our Refugee Rights Hub which is part of the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice.

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.

Natural and Built Environment

The Department of Natural and Built Environment provides a home for academics who want to understand, design and shape our world. We bring together a range of disciplines in Architecture, Planning, Construction, Real Estate, Surveying, Geography and Environmental Management.

High quality facilities have helped us to establish an excellent reputation for our research and teaching. Our architecture studios and laboratories in the centre of Sheffield are equipped for drawing, model making, and computer aided design and our nearby construction workshops have wood and metal working tools, laser cutters and environmental testing equipment. We have specialist laboratories for researchers and students to analyse environmental, soil, water and construction materials.

Many of our academic staff have worked and continue to work in practice and offer consultancy, while others are represented on national and regional boards. Our staff are active members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA), the Royal Geographical Society, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management.

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.

Dr Robert Storrar“In 2020 I became Head of Research and have worked with colleagues to develop a new research centre: the Centre for Sustainability and Climate (CSC). To me, being an Associate Professor provides an opportunity to share my passion about my subject, and more importantly the wider implications of how humans are affecting natural systems on Earth, and what we need to do to counter this as a matter of priority.” Dr Robert Storrar

Psychology, Sociology and Politics

The Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics is an exciting place to work. We work to address contemporary issues in areas like health and wellbeing, social policy and inequality, as well as international relations. We offer an exciting catalogue of courses and are housed in the award winning Heart of the Campus building which provides an excellent vibrant teaching and research environment for our staff. We have a long-standing record of academic excellence and success, and we are committed to building on this record. 

Graphical user interfaceResearch in the department has expanded rapidly in recent years. We have a strong research leads team who have developed a departmental research strategy that ensures that staff across the department have the best opportunities to develop as researchers. Our staff are expected to contribute to research and other forms of scholarly activity as a member of the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology.  

We have excellent links with businesses and organisations across Sheffield and beyond. By sharing our expertise and carrying out consultancy for businesses we have a real impact in our local community. Our staff contribute to international conferences and are often invited to comment on current affairs in the media, including BBC Radio and Television, and media from outside the UK.

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles

Professor Madelynne Arden“I’ve been at Sheffield Hallam since 2000. I joined as a lecturer after completing my PhD and worked my way through to senior lecturer, principal lecturer, reader and now professor since 2015. At a national level I work with the British Psychological Society to link public health with behavioural science, which has been especially relevant during Covid-19. I’ve been interviewed on Radio 4 and appeared on Newsnight.”  Professor Madelynne Arden

Art and Design 

The Department of Art and Design is an internationally connected creative community of diverse disciplines housed under one roof, we’re members of Creative UK, Cumulus, CHEAD and GLAD. Our art and design courses promote alternative ways of thinking, making and communicating; they provide space, tools and inspiration to develop creative practice and a clear career path.

We challenge our students to achieve high level impact through their work, pushing social, cultural, environmental and economical boundaries. We encourage and support experimentation and adopt a risk-based approach where 'anything is possible'. 

In 2016 the Art & Design Department moved to the Head Post Office in Fitzalan Square, City Campus. This Grade 2 listed building which was built in 1910 was fully refurbished and is now home to our specialist studios, workshops and digital facilities.

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.

Media Arts and Communication

A group of people outside filmingThe Department of Media Arts and Communication is one of the leading centres of production-based media education in the UK. We provide courses which complement our creative work with a strong critical dimension and significant production-based media skills. Our academic teams are comprised of practitioners and theorists and with national and international reputations for their professional practice and research. We have a growing research culture which reflects our full range of creative, critical and theoretical work as part of the Culture and Creativity Research Institute

For 40 years our staff and students have been exploring how people communicate. The department's current portfolio spans Animation, Game Design, Digital Media, Film and TV Production, Immersive Arts, Photography, Sports Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations, Arts & Cultural Management and Digital Media Management.

We have industry-standard studio facilities with software, sound and visual recording equipment along with broadcast and editing suites which allow students to emulate communication and creative production in the working world. 

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.

Professor Anandi Ramamurthy“I came to Sheffield Hallam in 2015 as a senior lecturer, and I got my readership in 2016, followed by my professorship in 2020. I’ve been involved in the direction of the Culture and Creativity Research Institute as well as helping to reconfigure the new Centre for Culture, Media and Society. It’s great to be involved in that kind of thing and work with people from different parts of the University.” Professor Anandi Ramamurthy


The Department of Humanities is well established and enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and research in the areas of English, History, as well as Stage and Screen (Performance). We pride ourselves on our social engagement, creativity, high academic standards and working successfully with students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Library bookshelfOur MA in Creative Writing has an international reputation, based in part on the experience of our staff in the world of professional writing and we also offer degrees in English Literature and English Language. Other degree courses we offer are Acting & Performance, Screenwriting and Film Studies.  

The department houses the highly regarded Humanities Research Centre, which undertakes research across all our disciplines; shared areas of interest include cultural history, gender, imperialism and film adaptation. In the most recent Research Exercise (2014), 94% of our English research and 97% of our history research was judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading. Our film research was part of the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies unit, in which 83% of research was rated in these categories.

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.  

Sheffield Institute of Education (SIOE) 

Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) is a national centre of excellence recognised for innovation in teaching and learning and outstanding partnership working. From early years through to higher education, we’re a hub for excellence, innovation and knowledge advancement in childhood and young people’s development and learning.

Charles Street at NightSIoE is the home to over 3000 students and 120 academic staff. It is led by its Director Professor Sam Twiselton OBE. The SIOE contains two groupings of staff: the SIoE‘s research informed teaching provision for professionals at all ages and stages of education is led by Professor David Owen, and the SIoE Centre for Research and Knowledge Exchange (SIRKE), which is the strategic hub for our research, innovation and knowledge exchange work, providing leadership and support for researchers. SIRKE is led by two Co- Heads of Centre: Professor Bronwen Maxwell and Professor Emily Perry. In addition, Emily and Professor Mark Boylan share overall responsibility for Research and Innovation across the SIOE. Research and innovation activity is led collegially by Professors and Readers/Associate Professors, with all having specific research leadership responsibilities. 

SIOE staff are typically based in either the teaching department or the Centre for Research and Knowledge Exchange, with many working across teaching, research and knowledge exchange. Academic staff work closely with expert professional services staff.

SIOE is part of Sheffield Hallam’s Social and Economic Research Institute, which builds opportunities for inter-disciplinary working across fields with a shared commitment to cutting edge, high quality and impactful research and innovation which addresses key social, economic and environmental challenges SIoE 

Find out more about what our academics get up to in our Staff Profiles.