Our SU 2020

Sheffield Students’ Union. Powered by students, making life better.

Sheffield Students’ Union is an independent charity, powered by students. Working closely with the University of Sheffield to deliver a world-class student experience, Sheffield SU is the place to find support, discover something new, or make a change in the world.

We have over 350 societies or 'student interest groups', over 50 sports clubs, a diverse events and entertainment programme, volunteering and fundraising opportunities, bars, cafes, and shops. We have committees to support specific student groups including LGBT+, BME, disabled and international students. There’s support for students who want to campaign on issues important to them, as well as an award-winning Student Advice Centre, which offers information and advice to students about their courses, money, housing and immigration issues.

Sheffield Students’ Union is owned and led by our community of 30,000 students. It’s committed to environmental sustainability, for the long term gain of its members and for the world. It’s a place for everyone, where equal value and opportunities are offered to all. It's no wonder students continue to vote it as the UK’s number one.

We are ambitious, and even in these challenging times we continue our work representing, supporting, and enhancing your student life. Find out more about how we intend to improve five key areas of your student experience in 2020/21:

The SU building
  1. Your academic life
  2. My social life
  3. My place in the world
  4. My everyday life
  5. The rest of my life

We will enhance five key aspects of your student life:

People taking a picture at a party

Your academic life

Your academic life

We will empower you to:

Shape your own learning experience

Have a say in how your course is delivered, and contribute to improving your learning experience.

‘The one aspect of university life that every student shares is that they are here to learn. This shouldn’t just be a one way relationship, students should be able to engage with their learning and have a say in the content being delivered. We believe the best experience is a collaborative one between student and university. That’s why we support the Acadmic Rep scheme which gives you the opportunity to feedback and influence your course. Regardless of whether or not you choose to get involved, Sheffield Students’ Union will always support you in making your voice heard.’

Ellie, SU Education Officer 2020/21

Become An Academic Rep

Access to the required resources and support to be successful in your study.

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic will impact many areas of University life, and one of those will be your learning and teaching experience. However, one area that we want to ensure isn’t impacted is its quality. The Students’ Union will provide you with guidance and expertise to ensure you have access to the resources you need to be successful in your academic field.

Our Education Officer Ellie and over 1,000 Academic Reps, will be representing you on any educational issues you face this year.

Our Student Advice Centre has self-help guidance written by experts on academic matters such as exams, complaints, and extenuating circumstances. When you’re in need of additional help, their team of professional advisers can support via email, phone, and video conferencing.

Academic Reps
Student Advice Centre

Throughout your academic study our diverse student body is represented and celebrated.

We live a global society, but often the curriculum we are taught doesn’t reflect that. Over the past year Sheffield Students’ Union has been working in partnership with the University of Sheffield to decolonise the curriculum. This is work which aims to challenge Western based curricula, ensure the inclusion of perspectives of people of different races and nationalities, and increase the number of BAME academics and staff working here.

There is still much work to be done but we know our curricula will be fairer, richer, and better for it.

Become An Academic Rep
Contact Ellie, Education Officer
People taking a picture at a party

My social life

My social life

We will provide opportunities for you to:

Meet new people

From those who share your interests to those with new perspectives, make new friends and connections for life.

‘With over 400 student groups to choose from, your social life is about to get a lot more interesting. Whether you already pursue an interest or are looking for a new hobby, our student groups bring like-minded people together to share their passions. They are a great way to meet new people and have fun. My Uni experience wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good without the groups I joined. Creative, sports, cultural, political, media, fundraising, representative. Choose a group and find out more! All are welcoming and many are free to join.’

Joel, Activities Officer 2020/21

Give It a Go Activity Tasters

Attend any of the Virtual Sports and Activities Fairs we’ll be hosting online in the first few weeks of term to find out more about our student groups, speak to members, and sign up.

We bring people together, virtually and in person, to enjoy things you love. Be it music, food and drink, performance, film and more, we’re here to enrich your social life.

A key part of our Students’ Union experience is enhancing your social life. This year we’re adapting and innovating our programmes so that we can continue bringing students together both remotely and in person (wherever safe to do so). Our nights out entertainment programme is poised to return as soon as national guidelines allow but in the meantime we’re working to bring our entertainment to you. Our bars and cafes’ will be open with new safety measures, ready to serve you and your friends. Our Give it a Go activities taster sessions have moved online so you can join them wherever you are.

Welcome 2020

We provide physical and digital spaces where you can meet others and share interests. From our modern expansive Students’ Union building to our ever evolving website and social media, this is where communities come together to share ideas and passions.

Although our fantastic Students’ Union building will be open again this year, we are more than a building. Our website, sheffieldsu.com, acts as a hub of information and support, ready to be accessed whenever you need it. Our social media channels will keep you updated with the latest Students’ Union events, activities, and opportunities. Our many hundreds of communities span the city and beyond, connecting online and in person to share interests, ideas, and information. Dive in - our worlds are at your fingertips.

SU Community Facebook Page
People taking a picture at a party

My place in the world

My place in the world

We will encourage you to:

Become a proud Sheffielder

Get to know and love this city, taking part in activity and voicing your opinion as a valued member of the wider community.

We love Sheffield and we know you will too. If you’re not yet familiar with this green and pleasant city, we’re sure that it won’t take long for it to feel like your second home. A great way to feel a bigger part of Sheffield is to use some of your time and skills to support the local community. ‘Sheffield Volunteering’ and ‘Raising and Giving’ have programmes to fit with your free time and interests and in these challenging times, your help is gratefully received.

Sheffield Volunteering
Raising and Giving

We bring communities together, to celebrate different cultures and debate global issues that expand your understanding and appreciation of our world.

‘I’m Iuri your International Students’ Officer. I not only represent our International students, but also work to grow UK students’ global connections. I believe that our university is a small scale of what the world should be: a place where people from all nationalities can live together and help each other. On campus we have students from 140 nationalities - imagine how rich this environment can be if all of us interact! As well as supporting over 60 national and cultural societies, and hosting international celebrations throughout the year, we’re also not afraid to tackle difficult issues impacting our global communities. We stand against all forms of prejudice. We hope you to see you joining us on making our community welcoming and exciting for everyone.’

Iuri, International Students’ Officer 2020/21


Our students have been at the forefront of championing sustainability for many years; now it’s your turn!

‘Last year Sheffield Students’ Union led three Climate Strikes, drove the adoption of reusables with campaigns and loyalty schemes, and worked with the University to develop an ambitious new Sustainability Strategy. But we know there is so much more to do. This year we have our sights set on reducing single use plastics and fast fashion consumerism, but we want to hear your ideas too. We want you to feel proud to be a member of this Students’ Union, so tell us how we can work together to lead in sustainable living.’

Jordan, SU Development Officer 2020/21

People taking a picture at a party

My everyday life

My everyday life

We will help you:

Find support when you need it

We can help you navigate the everyday obstacles of university life. If you need advice on housing, finances, your course or visas, we can support you either as an individual or a group.

The student journey can sometimes be difficult. We know that this year more than ever, you may find yourself facing challenges you’re uncertain how to overcome. The Student’s Union has a wealth of online advice and support resources that you can access any time. This includes information on housing, finance, your academic life, and immigration provided by our Student Advice Centre. If you need extra support you can arrange to speak with an advisor via email, phone, or video call.

For student carers, the Students’ Union also runs its own nursery to improve your access to study.

The University has many services to assist you with specific elements of your student life, from finding part time employment or private accommodation, to building skills or supporting students with disabilities.

Advice and Support
University's Support
University Support Services and Contacts

We provide opportunities for students, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to share experiences and represent the needs of their student community to demand positive change.

‘We don’t keep quiet. Sheffield Students’ Union has seven representative committees, over a hundred departmental and campaigning societies, and over a thousand academic representatives all working to make your voice heard. We’ll challenge injustices, and lobby for a better student experience, as we have done since our inception in 1906. Over a hundred years on, our students still battle prejudices and inequalities, but we will continue to fight them. Our aim is to make Sheffield Students’ Union an accessible, welcoming and safe space for all. We eight SU Officers are here to listen: your support and feedback is vital, so please tell us where our help is needed.’

Lily, Women’s Officer 2020/21

SU Officer Team
Representative Committees

We can support you in maintaining good mental and physical health, and help you to navigate issues you may come up against in your student life.

‘Your welfare as a student is so important. Joining student groups, taking part in sports, or giving back through volunteering or fundraising not only helps maintain your own mental and physical fitness, but also builds your support network.

When things aren’t going right we have people and places you can turn to. Our student run listening service, ‘Nightline’, is available 8pm-8am during term time. Our Health and Wellbeing webpages offer practical advice, and other services which can help. If you’re feeling down, overwhelmed or struggling to adjust to student life the University’s Wellbeing Service offers short-term tailored one to one support. Students can book an appointment themselves through the link above, and any students are welcome. You can also explore a range psychological support with a triage appointment through Student Access to Mental Health Support.

Welfare Committee and I, along with many other student groups, will be here throughout your year to help in whatever way we can to ensure you have a fantastic student experience.’

Holly, Welfare Officer 2020/21

Health and Wellbeing
People taking a picture at a party

The rest of my life

The rest of my life

We want you to:

Challenge yourself

We provide opportunities for you to get out of your comfort zone, helping you grow as an individual.

‘There are so many ways you can boost your personal development here, and many will come from just pursuing your interests. My chosen route was through Sport. I joined the water polo team in my first year and never looked back. It played a major part in me making friends, staying healthy, and being happy. But beyond that it helped me grow as an individual. It gave me the confidence to put myself out there. I’ve represented the University of Sheffield in Varsity, at national level and now I’ve taken on the role of Sports Officer for 2020/21. Get involved, take the leap and who knows where your interests will take you.’

Matt, Sports Officer 2020/21

Volunteering Opportunities
Give It a Go Activity Tasters

Attend any of the Virtual Sports and Activities Fairs we’ll be hosting online in the first few weeks of term to find out more about our student groups, speak to members, and sign up.

We train and support our student leaders and student staff, so that they gain transferable skills they can use beyond University.

Throughout your journey as a student , there will be many roles, positions, and jobs available to you at this Students’ Union. Wherever you get involved, we’ll provide the support and training you need to ensure you feel confident and competent in delivering that role. Be it through online training sessions, workshops, mentoring, or coaching, we’ll work to bring the best out of you.

You can also gain official recognition for some activities you take part in at the Students’ Union, through the University’s Higher Education Achievement Report.

'This community is yours- the SU is run for students by students. You can participate as much or as little as you like, but the more you put in the more you get out. Here you are empowered to shape all of our decision making, and maybe tomorrow become a student leader!

"Sheffield Students’ Union. Powered by students, making lives better." That sums up what we do as an organisation. The driving force behind all we do is you. Every University of Sheffield student is automatically our member and our purpose is to make your student experience even better. Your academic life and social life, your wellbeing, and personal development.

The saying is true - the more you put in the more you get out. So join that society, try that sport, use our spaces, support that campaign. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and tell us how we can support you.

Sheffield Students’ Union has been rated No.1 in the UK for over a decade, but it’s the involvement of our students that make us the best.

Welcome to your new community!’

Beth, SU President 2020/21