Our vision

Students at Markeaton Street site

Celebrating the past, focusing on the future

The University of Derby has its origins in various educational institutions across Derbyshire, dating back to 1851. We gained university status in 1992 and celebrated 20 years in 2012

We pride ourselves on offering a more supportive learning environment, with greater personal attention given to students than in other UK universities. Delivering a rewarding learning experience with the personal touch forms the core of what we do at Derby. That’s why over 85% of our classes have fewer than 30 students in them, and you have access to your personal tutor whenever you need it. We also believe in listening to our students so they are represented on all of the senior management committees.

Teaching and learning  

We are dedicated to providing teaching that is informed by our research, and focused on delivering real world, experiential learning. This is why Derby moved up 29 places in The Guardian University Guide 2015 published by The Guardian newspaper. Our teaching is outstanding in several areas, and our ambition is to continue on this upward trend.

Graduate success

Our graduates are contributing at the highest levels in their chosen professions. You will find Derby graduates everywhere: from the BBC’s Frozen Planet to the Natural History Museum; from Clothes Show Live to MIG bank; from re-inventing the wheelchair to leading corporate sustainability at the London Olympics.

Engaging with employers

We are nationally recognised for excellence in engaging with employers and business and continue our work to make sure we are integrated fully with the vision of the city and the county so that we can play our part in maintaining and growing their prosperity.

Building community relations

We have strong relations with the non-business community and are national award winners for our work, particularly with the Congolese community which has grown from very small beginnings to an international profile.

Investing in our facilities and our region

Our focus on the future improves the student experience through continual investment in the University’s facilities.  Just one example of this is the £1.4 million refurbishment of the Harpur Hill sports facility at our Buxton Campus in 2012. We also create jobs and support the local economy, spending an average of £15 million locally and our direct employment of around 1,600 people creates an additional 1,642 jobs.

In August 2012 Leek College became part of the University of Derby. Only 13 miles from our Buxton College, Leek is also a rural college and has a curriculum that complements Buxton’s, so we are excited about the synergies that we can achieve during 2012 and beyond.


In terms of both financial and environmental sustainability we are in our best position ever, but we will not be complacent. We will continue to refine our performance in both areas.


We are, and will continue to be, a key partner in the cultural life of Derby and the region through our sponsorship of the Format photography festival, BBC Big Screen and the Buxton Festival, among many others. Having also secured the future of Derby Theatre, we are well placed to add new dynamic elements to the cultural calendar in the years ahead.


We are a major force in developing sport and fitness across our region; through our work with Derby County, Stockport County and Buxton Town football clubs as well as our scholarships for talented athletes, county cricket players and the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team. This year, Team Derby has made a huge leap forward with the opening of a brand new gym, massive expansion of its community activities and the support of three times Olympian Donna Kellogg. We plan to do even more in 2014 of course.