Claire Tilley - Undergraduate - University of Derby


Derby Business School Student Profiles Claire Tilley

“Marketing is rewarding in many ways; not only through the grade you receive at the end of the semester but also the skills you develop through the year through working with other students and independent study - you learn so much more than you could possibly get out of just reading a textbook”
– Claire Tilley

Claire studied BA (Hons) Marketing (which has now changed to BA (Hons) Marketing and Brand Management.

Why I chose to study at Derby

I felt a degree would give me the invaluable knowledge that I would need to work in the marketing area and the degree offered at the University of Derby had the option of a placement year which I thought would give me the chance to also put the theory I had learnt into practice.

I chose to study a degree in Marketing as I felt the course would give me a wide understanding of a career in either management or marketing.

The course

The work that I have done during the course has been interesting and good experience for me. All the modules on my course have helped me understand the subject of marketing very well, and aspects of management have been covered which I have experienced further first hand in my placement year.

I've found the course to be very interesting because the modules I've studied to date have allowed me to research a variety of subjects; economics, marketing fundamentals, public relations, trends in the market, advertising and creativity just to mention a few... I found the second year module of marketing communications the most interesting as it involved researching a chosen subject and scheduling a campaign on that, which brought together everything that had been learnt through lectures and tutorials. I found that when you can imagine the scenario set in real life you're able to understand the concept more and therefore able to remember the content you have been taught. Throughout my degree, group work has been encouraged to help with team building which is a valuable skill to be practised in any career.

Help and support

The lecturers are very supportive on the course and always have an open door for you if you ever need to go talk to them regarding a problem with your work. They're very approachable and always there to help, whether it by email or over the phone.

When I first came to Derby I knew no one, but through my course and staying in halls of residence you soon make new friends and it's nice to have the comfort of friends in halls as well as different ones on your course... you soon make huge social circles in all different areas of the university... you just need to get the balance of partying and work right. The halls of residence along with the Student's Union put on nights out to help people get to know one another; this happens in fresher's fortnight so don't miss that!

The facilities at the university are great and have been recently upgraded; with new sport facilities and a revamped library - it's a great place to study and get involved in clubs. The transport from halls to the campus is very reliable - the university runs a unibus from all the halls every 10 minutes for a small charge and a free shuttle bus to the Markeaton and Britannia mill sites every 20 minutes - so there's no excuse for missing lectures! The unibus even goes to the train station so you can go home for the weekend and not have to worry how to get from the train station to halls - there's a direct bus. The student support centre is also a good facility, where you hand in your assignments; they're all friendly staff who will help you whatever your query.

My placement experience

In between my second and third year of my degree I took advantage of taking a placement year as I felt this would increase my employability skills for future jobs; I didn't want to graduate and have the knowledge of my degree with no experience to back it up - so I thought the placement year would provide me with this.

It was taken from August 2009-July 2010 at the University of Derby based at the Buxton campus. Day to day tasks involved web editing; updating the university's website with current news and course information. Later in the year I got the opportunity to work in the Art, Design and Technology faculty where I was given the responsibility of my own project which was working with Derby theatre to profile their theatre by designing posters, flyers and pop up stands to promote the theatre.

I think the placement year has benefited my studies because it has allowed me to put all the theory I have learnt in the classroom into practice. From my placement I've also observed different approaches to management which have taught me how to manage which I will take on with me after a graduate.

My placement will allow me to draw the experience into my dissertation in my final year and the people skills I have learnt along the way have developed me as a person.

Highs and lows

Marketing is rewarding in many ways; not only through the grade you receive at the end of the semester but also the skills you develop through the year through working with other students and independent study - you learn so much more than you could possibly get out of just reading a textbook.

You get the chance to hold your own exhibition in your first year and display your work in the atrium in the second year which boosts your confidence no end.

However, like everything in life, there are some lows to the course; you may find it difficult to work as a group or find the module difficult to understand, but the lecturers and tutors are there to support you and will happily go over anything you don't understand, and group work is aimed to help everyone to work together and allocate job tasks efficiently so any issues that arise will help you prepare for work in the real world.

A friendly and supportive place to study

I would recommend anyone to do a degree at Derby as the location is ideal with transport links everywhere - it is the central city of England! It is also a safe city to live and the nightlife is fairly cheap compared to nearby cities. The teaching at derby is great also, with a number of lecturers having done some research in their area of specialism so you know you're learning from the best. The staff are friendly and supportive, if you have the ambition to do well you can be reassured that you will be supported by all.