Union of Students at the University of Derby

To get more out of your time at university, look to your Union of Students. They provide so many great services – from fun nights out to sports teams and societies, impartial advicecampaigns for change and more.

The Union is run completely by students and is independent from the University, though obviously, we work closely together. You automatically become a member of the Union when you enrol and start your course.

Student life

Wondering what student life will be like this year? We've got just the thing... hear from our Union of Students team on what you've got to look forward to as a University of Derby student.

Student life in 2023

View Student life in 2022/23 video transcript

What does the Union of Students do?

A video from the University of Derby explaining the role of their Union of Students

View What does the Union of Students do? video transcript

Provides over 150 sports clubs and societies

There’s a wide variety of sports on offer at the Union, from the more traditional like football, rugby, cricket and netball, to the more unusual like American football, dodgeball and cheerleading.

If sports aren’t your thing, you might like to join a society to meet like-minded people or try something new. Societies can be related to a course or subject area, a cause or campaign, a religion or culture, or just an interest ­– eg people who like films.

Clubs and societies

They put on entertainment and social activities

These range from cocktail masterclasses to trips to Alton Towers. 

However, the biggest and best event they organise is Freshers’ Fortnight in September. From club nights and parties to outdoor cinemas and open mic nights, Freshers’ Fortnight has something for everyone.

Latest Events

They organise fundraising and volunteering opportunities

The Union fundraises for different charities each year and is always looking for support with its Raise and Give (RAG) efforts.

There are also loads of opportunities to volunteer at the Union. You’ll gain valuable experience as well as recognition for your work in the form of a ‘Futures Award’.

Fundraising and volunteering

Your Union of Students

View Your Union of Students video transcript

They support a student paper, TV and radio station

Phantom Media is run by students and produces a student paper, TV and radio station. They need students to help produce content and run the media platforms, so get involved!

They offer free, impartial and confidential advice

University can be daunting, and sometimes you need support or just someone to chat to. The Union’s Advice Team is independent of the University so you can talk to them in confidence about any issue, large or small. It’s available to all students at any campus and for online learners too.

They represent all students and calls for change

The Union is the collective voice of students at the University. It’s therefore the most effective way to make change happen, whether it’s something big – an issue with your course for example – or something small, like what’s sold in the coffee shop.

The Union's Ideas Forum is a direct and effective way to get your voice heard and you can use it as many times as you like during your studies - they know that your needs and wants change year on year, so you can use the forum to reflect the current issues you are facing and let them know what it is you care about.

View, submit and vote on ideas

They run some great, affordable coffee shops, bars and shops

The Union has a shop or coffee shop at most sites but its main outlets are:

Blends at Kedleston Road, Derby

Basecamp Blends is a light and welcoming space where both staff and students can work, socialise, book meeting room spaces, and grab some delicious food and drink. The space is full of natural textures, comfortable seating, and sympathetic lighting to create a relaxed atmosphere – perfect for a mindful moment over a morning cup of coffee or a dedicated day of deadline busting.

Or if you’re in a hurry, we also have Blends On the Go where you can purchase everything from hot and cold drinks to breakfast snacks and sandwiches, as well as a selection of great-tasting cakes, muffins and biscuits to take away.

There are also Blends outlets at One Friar Gate Square and Markeaton Street.

Check out derbyunion.co.uk/outlets for updates.

Union shops

The Union has a shop at Kedleston Road and Markeaton Street sites. Selling a range of food, drinks, convenience items, and clothing; hopefully you'll have access to everything you need on site in between your lectures.