Freshers survival guide: Everything you need to know about studying at Sheffield Hallam University
September is the month when Sheffield traditionally comes back to life as thousands of university students arrive to begin or resume their courses.
While undergraduates and postgraduates are still heading to the city for the 2020/21 academic year, things will be a little different this autumn as the pandemic means changes have had to be made to life on campus. Here’s everything freshers at Sheffield Hallam University need to know about where they are studying.
What is Sheffield Hallam University's track record for teaching and research?
Sheffield Hallam University – headquartered at the large Owen Building on the hill that leads up to the city centre from Sheffield railway station – has its roots in the Sheffield School of Design, founded in 1843. Various mergers and name changes followed over the years until Sheffield City Polytechnic was formed in 1976 – this became Hallam University in 1992. Led by vice-chancellor Sir Chris Husbands, it had more than 30,000 students in 2018/19. The university has a vocational focus and has an ambition to become the foremost specialist in ‘applied learning’, teaching the skills employers want. Nursing and midwifery, teacher training, social work and computing are just some of the many subject areas offered. The academic buildings are on the City campus, in the city centre, and at the Collegiate campus in Broomhall. An Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre opened in January at Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park too.
Where will I be staying?
The university has two types of accommodation to choose from – halls of residence, which are most popular with first years, or private sector housing. Students can walk from halls to the City and Collegiate campuses in 20 to 25 minutes. All university halls are furnished with standard bedroom furniture, unless otherwise stated - this includes a bed, wardrobe, a desk or workstation and a chair. Some bedrooms have a wash basin. Not all rooms have an en suite – these facilities can cost extra. Because of Covid-19, Hallam's halls are offering flexible tenancy start dates, deferred contracts, or have amended booking policies for those who aren’t able to start their course due to coronavirus travel restrictions. “Student residences have a more communal way of living,” the Hallam website says. “It’s great fun, but you need a degree of tolerance and adjustment to live in a community of individuals with varying cultural outlooks, social lives and backgrounds.”
How will my course work?
Sheffield Hallam University has reopened its campus to new and returning students for the 2020/21 academic year. It is providing a mixture of face-to-face campus-based and online teaching. Some lectures and assessments will be delivered online, alongside socially-distanced small-group teaching, laboratory work, access to arts studios and specialist teaching facilities, libraries and social spaces.
When is freshers’ week and what is happening?
Hallam’s Welcome Week 2020 runs from September 21. The university has acknowledged that changes have had to be made, but there will still be ‘loads of social events, quizzes, games and meets-ups going on’. The Students' Union – based at the Hubs building on Paternoster Row – will be holding an online party. The Leadmill, very close to the Hallam students’ union, has reopened for some socially-distanced real-life events, including a table service version of its popular Sonic indie night. Importantly there are also opportunities to get acquainted with how the university works and the requirements of academic life, such as the chance to learn about the library, the Skills Centre, and the support and resources available.