Humanities Degree Suspended in University with 600 Programmes

While the future of the humanities in higher education remains uncertain, Sheffield Hallam University has announced that it will be suspending its degree in English literature.


A university spokesperson confirmed that English literature is among a few courses that are either suspended or closed but said the changes would not involve job losses.


This decision comes amid a wider government crackdown on what is deemed ‘low value’ courses, with ministers demanding that universities offer more degrees that lead to jobs.


There are fears that this could lead to further job losses and course closures in arts and humanities departments across the country.


In addition to suspending the English literature degree, Sheffield Hallam University is closing its music technology course and suspending several other humanities courses.


The UCU has condemned the decision to suspend the English literature degree, calling it ‘short-sighted’.


Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union has said it is ‘disappointed’ by the announcement and is working to support affected students.

A Sheffield Hallam spokesperson said: “As a large comprehensive university offering more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, we keep our courses under constant review to ensure that they align to the latest demands from students and employers.


“Whatever students choose to study at Sheffield Hallam, they will graduate with the confidence and skills to tackle real-world problems, having had the chance to complete work experience in every year of their chosen programme of study.”


The suspension of the English literature degree at Sheffield Hallam University is a blow to the humanities, which are already facing an uncertain future. This decision could have far-reaching consequences for jobs and courses across the country.


In addition, Dr Mary Peace, a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam who specialises in 18th-century literature, expressed dismay at the decision on social media.


“English lit degree at Sheffield Hallam is being ‘suspended’,” she tweeted. “University is responding to the government who will no longer fund degrees where 60% of students don’t end up in “highly skilled” jobs within six months.


This decision by Sheffield Hallam University will likely fuel the debate about the value of humanities degrees. It could lead to more course closures and job losses in the arts and humanities.

We will monitor this situation closely and bring you any further updates as they arise. Follow us on IPGCE.