Universities in Sheffield - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Sheffield

By Niamh O

Updated June 30, 2022 Updated June 30, 2022

From grand sporting activities and activities, to finding out about the culture in the north of England, there are lots of reasons to choose Sheffield.

Known as the ‘Steel City’ for its strong industrial heritage, Sheffield is located in South Yorkshire in England.

Sheffield is known for the numerous technological innovations and inventions brought on during the Industrial Revolution, and is still considered a city of innovation today.

The city's economy went through a decline in the latter half of the 20th century, but has gone through a strong revival over the past few years - in fact, Sheffield was crowned the best UK city for startups in 2019 by Paymentsense.

Sheffield gets its best score in the Student Mix indicator of the Best Student Cities index (24th), with 14,300 hailing from outside the UK.

It’s a hugely student-friendly city, with a welcoming atmosphere and a cost of living that’s well below the national average, particularly in terms of rent.

Students also love Sheffield for the vibrant mix of entertainment and nightlife options, from club nights to gigs, theater and sport events,  and festivals such as the annual Tramlines music festival.

Fans of the great outdoors will be pleased to learn that Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with the Peak District making up more than a third of the city’s boundaries – only one other UK city can claim to have a national park within its borders.

Best universities in Sheffield: QS Best Student Cities ranking: =60th

University of Sheffield (96th); Sheffield Hallam University (1001-1200)

More about Sheffield

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Sheffield (96th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Mix rank


Student Voice rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Sheffield?

Lots of green spaces

Sheffield is known as the ‘Green City’. With two million trees and 250 parks and green spaces, it’s one of the greenest cities in Europe.

From Weston Park’s prime picnic spots to the green lawns of Endcliffe Park, Sheffield offers plenty of space to stroll, cycle, run or just relax. Seek secluded spots among the tropical plants at the Botanical Gardens or – if cycling’s your thing – take to the trails at Lady Canning’s Plantation or the wild corridors of the River Valley routes.

Better still, the nearby Peak District has plenty to offer when it comes to outdoor pursuits. From trails and routes for hiking to mountain biking, caving and rock climbing, it’s the perfect place for all the adrenaline junkies out there. 

The only question: where to explore first?

Vibrant city centre and social scene

Sheffield is the fifth biggest city in England, so there's always something to do no matter where you live in the city.

There are theatres, cinemas and art galleries galore in Sheffield's cultural district. Students can enjoy discounted tickets and a lot of the museums and galleries are free to enter too!

If you're a fan of vintage clothing and quirky shops - or want to find a vibrant mix of pubs, restaurants, and bars, West Street and Division Street are the place to go. But if you fancy experiencing something really special, there's the award-winning industrial quarter on the city's edge which is home to some of the city’s best bars, bakeries, night markets and food halls, plus traditional pubs and the amazing industrial museum.

Student neighbourhoods, Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale offer an eclectic mix of thrift shops and independent bars and restaurants, while nearby London Road provides a diversity of affordable world food.

If shopping’s your thing, Sheffield has you covered too. Jump on the tram and discover the latest designer fashions at Meadowhall Shopping Centre – plus bowling and an IMAX Cineworld at the nearby Centertainment.

All the sport

Home to the oldest football club in the world and the World Snooker Championship, Sheffield is known for its love of sport. In fact, Sheffield was named the UK's first National City of Sport in the UK because of its range of high-quality facilities and rich sporting history.

Whether you choose to study at Sheffield Hallam or the University of Sheffield, there are lots of sporting activities to get involved with.

Sheffield Hallam boasts the Hallam Active Gyms which include a cardio fitness suite, gymnasium, Dojo and sports hall – suitable for badminton, basketball, five-a-side football and more.

And the University of Sheffield’s Goodwin Sports Centre also offers a variety of sports pitches, fitness classes, high-tech gym, a multi-purpose sports hall, swimming pool, bouldering wall and squash courts.

But if you love a good competition, every year the two universities compete in over 80 sporting events during Sheffield Varsity from golf and boxing to water polo and lacrosse. It’s one of the biggest events in the university social calendar and is the one competition that all students can get involved in.

Cost of studying in Sheffield

Although not the most affordable student city in the world, it's certainly not one of the more expensive ones - ranking at 96th globally this year.

Numbeo estimates a single person's monthly living costs without rent to be US$858.68, and the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will set you back about the same at US$860.53.

Careers in Sheffield

There are a number of career opportunities for graduates in Sheffield.

Graduates could land a job at a number of big companies, including ARM Holdings; BT Group; Capita; DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary; HSBC; IBM; McLaren Automotive; Nabarro LLP, and so much more.

This article was originally published in July 2021 . It was last updated in June 2022

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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