School of Arts

Study in our creative community, where you’ll work with students from across our arts courses, broadening your artistic horizons. Dynamic, energetic and contributing to a flourishing creative economy, we are a place where talent thrives and ambitions are realised. We encourage collaboration, reflecting a professional real-world experience where these subjects feed off each other, share facilities and combine resources.

We offer a diverse and distinctive range of art and design programmes at the University of Derby. We have a longstanding reputation for excellence in all our Arts subjects at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels and a proud history of innovation.

You’ll benefit from the expertise of our staff, who are professional designers, artists, and visual communicators. They work professionally, on commissioned research, and have been rated as researchers of national and international significance.

Degree Show

The Degree Show is a series of live events and exhibitions across the city of Derby. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very best of emerging contemporary art and design practice from our final year students. Their work explores the issues and subjects of today's world also looks ahead predicting and setting the trends of tomorrow.

Our research

Research in the School of Arts has a wide base of exploration with artists, practitioners, theoretical historical and contemporary practices explored. All of our research has at its heart investigations that can promote new ways of working, influence on the student experience, indeed all of the Arts develops from an inherent understanding that to research is to undertake Arts practice. For REF2014 our research was judged to be predominantly internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Projects publications and wider engagements for communities are where we make the most impact.  Our underlying focus for our research cluster are:  Creative Technologies, Health and Wellbeing, Public and Social Engagement.  We are promoters of the STEAM agenda working across specialised areas of design and applications of materials, sonic, film and photographic environments and supporting the creative economy. We work by using a number of contexts and methodologies such as activities in relation to landscape and wellbeing, evaluating wellbeing through interdisciplinary practices in arts and sciences, social entrepreneurship and wellbeing for health and social care agendas, creativity and making for wellbeing, whilst emboldening the philosophies of research in digital and materials arts and design practices, alongside research into sustainable technologies for the visual arts, design, music and performing arts practices.  We expect and have evidence that our research is key to cultural institutions and the creative industries which have further impact o the economic and social and cultural life of the city and the region.

Find out more about our research