Blog post

Why I chose the University of Derby

Choosing the University of Derby is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and it was all down to a simple change of heart.

By Thomas Berrington - 30 September 2020

I was planning on studying Computer Science in London but at the last minute, I reconsidered. I thought - do I really want to spend the next three years studying a subject I am not completely passionate about or do I want to do something I am truly inspired by and will find considerably more fulfilling?

I decided to change my focus and applied through Clearing to the University of Derby. My A-level grades had not gone well, B, C, E is not great to any extent but I knew I had to try, and I had my mind set on my new goal.

The people I spoke to couldn’t have been any more understanding about my situation and although I am not suggesting that my experience is representative of everyone who has gone through Clearing, mine was particularly smooth sailing.

The University of Derby website is a lot more eye-catching than most, I had spent time browsing and noticed how the information on the site was presented neatly and accurately.

The most useful information that popped up was that Derby has a reputation for excellent teaching and is top 10 in the world for international student learning experiences too. I went on to apply for Marketing & Media, knowing that Marketing at the University of Derby was ranked in the top 10 in the Guardian University Guide.

The application process through Clearing felt really reassuring and supportive. My A-level grades were considered as a whole, despite the E grading I received for Computer Science, my grades for other subjects were considered along with my capability.

You may have to attend an interview, either in person or over the phone. Of course, it’s important to have the grades for whatever you are applying for but I’d also recommend scrubbing up on your communication skills.

The interviewers will ask questions to find out why you picked the course, what stood out to you, why you want to study at Derby and what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Being really clear on these points and your overall goals, noting them down and being able to articulate them to the best of your ability is invaluable when applying to university.

Grades are important but if you are also passionate, expressive and act as a good role model for other students they are bound to be intrigued and may offer you a place even if you don’t get the exact grades you were hoping for. I personally chose Derby because of its student satisfaction rate, as well as the well designed and attractive campus layout.

I achieved an overall 2:2 in my first year and then in my second year I reached an upper 2:1 (I have my eyes set on a first when completing my third year – fingers crossed for me, everyone)

I plan to perhaps continue on to a masters and then maybe even a doctorate someday. These prospects only exist because I was honest with myself before applying and chose Clearing as the route in.

The University of Derby has supported my growth through all of my internships, provided amazing experiences through societies, and is truly committed to each individual student.

About the author

Thomas Berrington
Marketing and Media student at the University of Derby

I am a Marketing and Media student at the University of Derby. I enjoy writing about issues which aim to publicise key topics and stories affecting students, popular culture and local events.