Staff in computing, engineering, environment and law will be laid off in what union leaders have called 'a brutal attack on academic staff'.
The redundancies will be confirmed by the end of July, while a significant number of professors in other areas of study have been told they are at risk of demotion.
The move comes despite last year's UK Research Excellence Framework review, which rated the university's research at its highest ever level.
But despite the positive results university bosses were critical of the work produced by professors in some areas of study.
They say they are 'reducing and refocusing' staff numbers in some areas to enable the university to grow in other areas. The university says up to 19 positions will go.
Catherine Lamond, chair of the University College Union's negotiating committee, said the news had been 'a complete shock' to staff throughout the university, with many left 'deeply concerned' about their own future.
"This has been pushed through in a very short space of time and came completely out of the blue," she said.
"A great deal of distress has been caused to staff from all departments. The view here is that no one is safe and the question many people are asking is 'who will be next?'"
Professor Geoff Layer, vice-chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said the redundancies would not result in an overall drop in academic staff numbers.
"We are looking forward to how we can further develop our academic capacity over the next five years and continually improve the quality of our research activities," he said.
"As part of this we are reshaping our approach by, reducing investment in some areas as well as creating new areas of academic growth and research.
"Whilst this will involve a small number of staff leaving the university, we are not reducing the numbers of academic staff we employ.
"Instead we are refocusing and reducing staff numbers in some areas of activity whilst growing in other areas and the overall outcome will be that we have more academic staff to teach, research and innovate.
"We recognise the difficulty this will cause to some colleagues but we are clear that we need to diversify and refocus some of our investment in order to realise our ambitious strategy 'Our Vision Your Opportunity' which will generate some £250m investment in the University."