Farmer, Nicola, History Review
Sheffield: a city famous for steel, cutlery and snooker, and infamous for its starring role in `The Full Monty' and for being one of the poorest cities in the EEC. OK, so on the surface Sheffield is not the most alluring of places to visit, let alone live in for three years while at University. However, Sheffield has far more to offer than might initially be apparent.
Naturally, there is far more to University life than work, as every well-seasoned student will inform you. Sheffield has an abundance of non-academic distractions. As the fifth largest city in England, whatever you want to do ... you can do it in Sheffield!
Sheffield is justifiably famed for its lively club scene, which caters for every conceivable dance-floor taste. From Reggae to Jazz; from Rave to Soul; from Hard Rock to Grunge, Sheffield has it all! In addition, live music comes in all shapes and sizes. The `state-of-the-art' Sheffield Arena has been voted the UK's premier indoor concert venue for five years running. Only Wembley and Birmingham are able to rival Sheffield in the bid to stage the really big and impressive concerts.
The city also enjoys a thriving cultural life. The Crucible Theatre is well-known for the World Professional Snooker Championship, yet also offers a varied programme of drama, dance, music and shows. The Crucible, combined with the beautifully restored Lyceum Theatre, provides Britain's largest theatre company complex outside London.
For those of you with a sporting bent, the sports facilities in Sheffield are among the finest in Europe. Sport first came to Sheffield in a big way in 1991 when the World Student Games were the catalyst for three major new sports venues: the Don Valley International Athletics Stadium, the Sheffield Arena and Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, with its magnificent swimming, diving and leisure pools. Skiing continues all the year round at Sheffield Ski Village and the city is also the home of two indoor climbing centres and two famous football clubs -- United and Wednesday. The Sheffield Eagles (rugby league), Sheffield Steelers (ice hockey) and Sheffield Sharks (basketball) also operate at the highest level in their own particular sports.
In my opinion, however, regardless of the sporting activities, the cultural dimension, or the night-life of which Sheffield might boast, the city deserves most extensive acclaim for its retail activities! The Meadowhall Shopping Centre is one of the largest in Europe, drawing tourist shoppers from many countries. Sheffield has also retained and enhanced a vibrant city centre. For the more extravagant student, Sheffield might offer more temptation than is sensible.
So, there is nowhere more rewarding than Sheffield if you want to drink, get into the music scene, shop and fulfil the role of being a typical idle and bankrupt student. However, this is not to undermine Sheffield University, which is an academic institution enjoying a distinguished reputation. Recent assessments of both research and teaching quality confirm its status as one of the foremost universities in the United Kingdom. The History Department is one of the finest: this is reflected in its high typical A-level offer, of AAB; in its top rating for research; and in the fact that the Higher Education Funding Council rated its teaching as `excellent'. …