School of Science

Science has never been more important. It covers an array of powerful topics that not only help people, but communities, businesses, society and the world.

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

Become a change maker

The landscapes and societies we live in have a profound impact on us. They supply us with the essentials and influence our access to work and education, whilst also affecting our safety, and physical and mental health. Safeguarding our communities with fair justice, clinical intervention and early diagnosis of illnesses, whilst aiming to restore natural environments, will build better places to live and work. This is crucial if we want not only our planet to survive and thrive, but also societies and individuals within them to prosper.

The 2020s will be a pivotal moment in history as we attempt to tackle multiple global environmental crises including climate change, overpopulation, increasing crime rates and a devastating pandemic. Through expertise and technology, we can overcome these challenges, and help you develop the skills and knowledge so you can play your part.

What are you most passionate about? Perhaps it's living more sustainably, ensuring safe communities for people to live and supports social justice, or healthy living supported by improved health care.

By studying or collaborating with us, you can be one of the changemakers and thought leaders by asking the questions which help us get to the root of the issue that matter most within society.  Let’s work together to make a positive contribution to a healthy and sustainable global economy, environment and society.

Our programmes reflect an outside-in approach, embedding issues around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including good health and wellbeing, affordable and clean energy, climate action, and peace, justice and strong institution.  

To find out more about our courses, explore the following undergraduate and postgraduate sections. Or if your interest is research, find out how you can help to reshape our world.

A student looking through binoculars by a waterfall in Costa Rica
MSc Conservation Biology student carrying out research on the Costa Rica fieldtrip.

Working together

Through local and national partnerships, we influence and support numerous projects for example, the Derby’s Urban Sustainable Transition (DUST) project. DUST is a co-creation project working with multiple agencies from across Derby to produce visualisations of a more connected, accessible, sustainable and prosperous city for future generations of Derby.

We facilitate impactful research including exploring the link between HPV and head and neck cancers, which is supported by local charities and the NHS, and investigating dementia through community-based activities, as well as different angles of climate change. We also aid industry’s forensic investigations via our crime scene facilities such as sniffer dog training with Derby Constabulary and staff training for the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU).

These partnerships offer students applied learning opportunities, where they can gain hand-on experience in real-world settings in a wide range of organisations including the NHS, Derbyshire Constabulary, EMSOU, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Woven Earth, Nestle, Toyota and Down to Earth Derby. 

“The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) we have with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are an exciting opportunity for academics and students at the University. The biodiversity net gain work is cutting-edge, in a highly technical area and will draw on the skills of our academic team in remote sensing, biodiversity analysis and ecological modelling to support Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in this innovative endeavour. It also offers a great learning opportunity for hundreds of our undergraduate and postgraduate students, from across business management, operations and supply chain, environmental management and sustainability courses. They will all learn a lot from the case studies, projects and guest lectures generated by this project.” Dr Anne Danby, Head of Discipline for Environmental Sciences

We encourage our students to get involved with projects in the UK and further afield for example, previous students have taken part in the Turing Scheme and have visited Brazil and Romania to gain experience in crime scene investigations and forensic archaeology. Others who are starting this scheme in the future will be visiting exciting places such as the Owl Monkey Project in Argentina. 

We are also proud to offer NHS based HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) training for our biomedical science students to help them through their career journey.

A student carrying out a blood swab at a mock crime scene
Forensic Science student undertaking a crime scene analysis in our Forensic Training Facility.

World-class Facilities

Whether you are carrying out research, studying with us or entering a partnership, we have a diverse range of facilities that can inspire and promote innovative thinking. From our Aquatic Research Facility, and forensic training facility, to our modern laboratories including our new OMICS laboratory, tissue culture and microbiology suites, and glasshouse, you’ll have everything you need to ensure you achieve your goals.

If you are involved with Environmental Sciences, you’ll also have access to Cuckoos Tor, a site on the edge of the Peak District National Park and owned by the University of Derby that is dedicated to long-term research and ecological experiments. Current projects include restoration ecology, natural flood risk management, community engagement with biodiversity and sustainable land management.

We are also in the process of building a Super Lab, which is anticipated to open by September 2025, and will be a cutting-edge facility for our Biomedical Science students. It will aid student collaboration, enhance education performances, and revolutionise the practical based learning to create scientists who can work more effectively in interdisciplinary teams.

A technicians supporting a student using a machine

New Biomedical Science Super Lab

The University of Derby has been awarded £5.8 million from the Office for Students (OfS) to develop a new technology enhanced Biomedical Science Super Lab with an opening date in 2025.

Find out more about the Super LabFind out more about the Super Lab

Our research

As an applied University, we use research to make positive changes to public services, industry and the wider society. Being a force for positive impact is one of the key pillars in our strategic framework.

Our Biomedical and Clinical Science, Public Services and Zero Carbon research is influencing international, national, and regional policy, as well as providing solutions to real-world problems.

Using a multi-disciplinary approach, our expert scientists carry out ground-breaking research into a broad range of topics including:

Find out more about our research