Sports scholarships

Attracting talent

The University of Derby is a sporting hub for talented athletes and coaches. We have a track record of improving the performance of our University sports clubs and we have created an infrastructure to provide support for talented athletes.

With a significant investment in high-class facilities, such as the Sports Centre and Human Performance Unit, sport science expertise and performance level coaches, we are attracting more and more talented performers. We are committed to supporting Clean Sport in the UK and we have published our Clean Sport commitment.

The Sports Scholarship programme aims to help our talented athletes realise their sporting potential and support them through their academic studies. Our athletes can access an impressive package of support tailored towards their needs, delivered by our experienced and qualified team. Two of the Universities most recent successful sports scholars are Charlie Tanfield (World Champion and Commonwealth Cycling gold medallist) and Jack Burnell (European Open Water silver medallist 2016 and Olympian 2016).

Team Derby has seven performance teams, men’s and women’s badminton, men’s basketball, men's football, track cycling and men’s and women’s volleyball, however, athletes competing in all BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) events are eligible to apply. Applications are now open.

The Sports Scholarships cater for student athletes competing at a high county level up to senior internationals and studying an undergraduate, postgraduate or online degree. For further information, please contact

The University has recently gained Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme Delivery Site status (TDS) and joins a community of institutions committed to providing student athletes with dual career opportunities.

Award levelSports profileAcademic course supportExpected athlete profile
Performance Team Sports Scholar Badminton, Cycling, Volleyball, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Football Up to £6,000 fee subsidy High-performing athlete: requires evidence of a high national/regional ranking, national league exposure or equivalent overseas
Individual and Team Sport Scholar All BUCS sports outside the performance team programme Up to £6,000 fee subsidy

Level 1: Senior International, representing GB at world championship level in the last 12 months.
Level 2: Senior National or Junior International level.
Level 3: Junior National level

Talented Athlete Award All BUCS sports outside the performance team programme Support Services Athlete selected onto a regional NGB programme or evidence of competing within a county first team or high senior county ranking or equivalent overseas

Performance sport at Derby

Gain an insight into Performance Sport life at the University of Derby and hear about the support that is available to student athletes on our performance sport and sport scholarship programmes.

students on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

Benefits include:

  • Strength and Conditioning and Physiotherapy support
  • Sports Centre gym membership, fitness suite membership and use of the performance suite
  • Discounted University accommodation
  • Lifestyle support services and sports science services
  • Sports scholarship kit
  • Dedicated athlete liaison officer
  • Psychology 1:1 and group sessions
  • Educational workshops to support lifestyle skills and sport performance
  • BUCS Individual sport entry fees
Philippa Taylor

Having a tailored programme to my own ability, health and specific sport has enabled me to be at my strongest. I have also obtained my biggest achievement in my career, becoming the British National Champion.

Philippa Taylor
Archery Scholar

Additional scholarships:

UoD Football Journalism 

The University of Derby has teamed up with Derby County Football Club Women to offer this amazing scholarship. Three full scholarships are available for women starting the BA (Hons) Football Journalism course in 2021. The scholars will also play for Derby County Women and the University of Derby Women's Football team. The scholarships will cover the full cost of the students’ tuition fees, currently £9,250 a year.

Find out more about the football journalism scholarship

What our scholars say

"My first year as a scholar for Team Derby has been amazing in terms of transforming myself into a new level of student-athlete. The scholarship has given the opportunity to study away from home and put me in contact with top quality facilities and equipment as well as unbeatable support and guidance from coaches, physiotherapist and mentors. I cannot wait for what is in-store for this season as I know it will be a successful one!” George Calvey, Basketball Scholar

"My time here at Derby has been special. My scholarship allowed me to affordably attend school abroad, along with maximizing my craft with the sports scholar workout facility, providing me with every type of equipment to get better and providing physiotherapy which allowed me to take care of my body like never before.” Kyren Watts, American Football Scholar and International Student 

In the video below, Jack Burnell, GB Swimmer and Olympian, talks about balancing his studies alongside his sports career and provides advice on how to succeed.

Jack Burnell

View Jack Burnell's sporting achievements video transcript

Clarence Clark from the USA

USA to UK: studying differences

Clarence Clark is not in Kansas anymore - he completed his bachelors degree in America, but has come to Derby to complete his masters as a sport scholar.

Read Clarence's story about moving to the UK from the USARead Clarence's story about moving to the UK from the USA
A foot with a football boot resting on top of a football.

Game-changer: Sarah Essam

Sarah’s already achieved a lot – an award-winning footballer with Stoke City Women, she’s been named Arab woman of the year and featured in the BBC’s top 100 women. All of this while studying for a degree in Civil Engineering as an international student.

Read Sarah's success storyRead Sarah's success story


Donna Kellogg, Performance Sports Officer:


  • 1 January 2022 - application process opens for September 2022 starters. Please apply as soon as possible including your sporting reference.  An email will be sent to confirm your application has been received
  • 31 July 2022 - undergraduate and postgraduate deadline for all scholarship applications
  • 1 August to 31 August 2022 - Clearing scholarship applications
  • Download and complete a Team Derby Sports Scholarship Application Form and return it together with your sporting reference by email to We cannot process your application without a supporting reference preferably on headed paper
  • You are advised to apply as soon as possible and only in exceptional circumstances will late applications be considered by the panel
  • All applications will be considered by the Team Derby Awards Panel and any offers made will be at the panel’s discretion 
  • Applications will be prioritised and ranked according to merit
  • The submission of an application, or prior inclusion in the programme, does not guarantee the offer of an award
  • A sport scholarship is only valid for one academic year. Scholars must reapply on time if they wish to continue to receive support
  • We do accept enquiries for applicants considering studying at the University of Derby in future years


Scholarship enquiries

If you're a potential student and would like to know more about our sports scholarship programme, please fill out our form and we'll be in touch with further information.

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