Frequently Asked Questions

Funding your studies

Eligibility for undergraduate and postgraduate loans is dependent upon where you live. For further information, please visit our fees and finance section for more information. The Student Finance website is also a useful source of information.

The University of Derby Online Learning courses are unfortunately not eligible for Advanced Learner Loans or for US Federal loans.

Yes, we have a number of payment plans. These are designed to be simple and straightforward, allowing you to spread the cost of your course. For further information, see our payment plan information.

Our ELCAS number is 1276.

Entry requirements

Please refer to the individual entry requirements for your chosen online course. If you are still unsure whether you are eligible, we strongly advise you to submit an application with all of your supporting documents and a detailed CV so that we can make a full review of your eligibility.

We teach all courses in English. If English is not your first language, you will need a good level of both written and spoken English. Search for your course and check the 'entry requirements' section on the course page for more details.

If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes, which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at GCSE level thus meeting the English language requirements for our programmes.

Making an application

There is no fee to apply for any of our online courses.

The personal statement should be no more than 4000 characters (approximately 500 words). You may want to include your reasons for applying for the course, your experience in the field, how you feel you would benefit from studying and relevant information about your previous studies. You could also tell us about your non-academic experiences in the field, how you feel you would benefit from studying and relevant information about your previous studies. You could also tell us about your non-academic experiences relevant to you course such as hobbies, interests, participation in any clubs, societies or voluntary work.

If you have all the documentation you need to upload to the application, it should take no more than an hour to complete.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you will immediately receive an email confirming that we have received it. You will typically receive a decision in approximately 5 working days. The decision process may take longer if we request further information from you or your application is referred to the academic for a decision.

If you don’t hear from us in 5 days, contact us at onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk or phone us on +44 (0)1332 594000.

Before you begin your application make sure you have:

Your qualification details including grades and dates taken. You will have the opportunity to upload scanned copies of your qualification certificates/transcripts in the application. If these were not issued in English, you will need to provide certified translated copies as part of your application. If you have no formal qualifications, you can also state this in your application to us.  
A scanned copy of your passport or other official photographic ID, e.g. photo driving licence. This will help us verify your application to study with us. If you do not have any photo ID, we will accept a scanned copy of your birth certificate. 
Your work experience – this is required if you wish to gain entry to the course based on your work experience, or if this is part of the entry requirements for your chosen programme. This could be in the form of a CV which you can upload into your application and/or in the form of employer references. 
A personal statement showing your interest in the course/subject. This is a mandatory requirement and you will be able to upload it into your application. You may want to include your reasons for applying for the course, your experience in the field, how you feel you would benefit from studying and relevant information about your previous studies. You could also tell us about your non-academic experiences relevant to your course such as hobbies, interests, participation in any clubs, societies or voluntary work. 
You may need to supply an employer reference if the course that you are applying for requires you to be in employment, or to have relevant work experience. The reference should be in written on company headed paper, signed and dated from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher within the last three months.

You can apply for exemptions from modules based on study you've completed at other institutions or relevant work experience that you have in the field. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Some courses have automatic exemptions based on specific qualifications, for example: MBA Global, Accounting and Finance BA (Hons) Top-Up degree. You should check your individual online course page for details of automatic exemptions.

If you wish to apply for RPL, you will need to indicate this in your application. You will be asked if you want to be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning during your application, at which point you will need to select ‘Yes’. If you are then made an offer to study the programme, you will be required to complete an RPL form and return this with evidence of your credits and/or experience. 

For more information about RPL and how to apply please visit our credits for prior learning webpage. 

If you wish to apply for RPL you will be required to complete an RPL form and return this with evidence of your experience.

For more information about RPL and how to apply please visit our credits for prior learning webpage.

No. You can study our online courses from any location around the world so there is no need for you to attend the University campus in the UK for any extensive period of time. That means you won’t need a visa to achieve your British degree and our online courses do not constitute rightful cause for visa entitlement, or visa extension.

Studying online

Our online programmes are designed to enable you to easily interact with your fellow students.

During your studies you will make use of a number of online communities (discussion boards and forums) along with a Social Hub for all of our online students which will help you share experiences and socialise with students across the world.

The majority of our courses can be studied 100% online with no attendance at our Derby campus required. 
Due to professional accreditation regulations, a small number of our online courses require you to attend campus. Further details on residential requirements will be found on the relevant course pages. The residential weeks are a great way to meet academics and fellow students and have always proved to be very popular with our students. There will only ever be a maximum of two residential requirements for the duration of your course. If you are unable to attend the residential week/s, or do not wish to do so, please contact us on +44 (0)1332 594000 and we will be able to discuss this further with you. 

Most of our courses are assessed by online coursework. There are some exceptions; some modules from the Health and Social Care and the Business and Management portfolio have online timed assessments. Psychology BSc (Hons) and Environmental Health MSc have a residential week on campus, which you will need to attend if you require a professionally accredited qualification. The residential week will form part of your assessment. The Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing MSc course is assessed through coursework with a range of methods such as design work, writing technical reports and exams.

You must declare in your application if you are registered for an award with another academic institution. If so, your admission to the programme will be at the discretion of the Academic Lead for your chosen course. Please see section D2.2 and D2.3 of our Academic Regulations for more information.

Our online courses can be studied from anywhere in the world. You will just need to ensure you have access to suitable equipment.

All of our academic staff have studied to a high level in their area of expertise, and many also hold higher education teaching qualifications. Several have previously taught on-campus at the University of Derby, and some still teach at other institutions in addition to their duties as academics on our courses. Many also engage in research. Where appropriate, our academics hold membership of recognised professional bodies, such as the Institute of Hospitality, British Psychological Society and the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. The University of Derby has also been rated as Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in 2017.

You can find more information about our academics and their professional experience on each course page.

You can check the course length on the online course page.

Most of our online courses have a standard and maximum length. Our courses are flexible in terms of length of study. If you require more information please email us at onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk.

Once you have enrolled and paid for your course, we will send you a username and password to access your online learning resources and reading lists.

Learning materials will be uploaded by your Senior Online Tutor at the start of term.

You will need to have a PC, Mac or laptop/notebook, or mobile device with an internet connection. At the very least you will need one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari

You can also undertake a browser compatibility test with our virtual learning environment provider.

Our virtual learning environment is tested on a number of devices and operating systems. More about supported devices and operating systems.

Other software required:

  • PDF reader files (eg Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • Microsoft Word (at least Word 2003)
  • Microsoft Excel (at least Excel 2003)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (at least PowerPoint 2003)

We are aware that within some regions of the world the IT infrastructure will not allow access to certain types or sources of media. We make every effort to ensure all our programmes and their content are accessible to our students around the globe so no student is at a disadvantage. If you are unsure whether this may affect you then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The maximum registration period for our online courses is the standard course length plus two years, so you must complete your studies within this time. If you are still unsure, please email us at onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk.

Our students are able to take up to one Academic Year as a break from their studies (a total of three trimesters).

Each 20 credit module is studied over a 10 week period (one trimester).

The standard rate of study is one 20 credit module per trimester and the minimum recommended number of hours of study is 20 hours a week.

Many of our programmes do offer the flexibility of being studied at an accelerated rate of two 20 credit modules per trimester with the minimum recommended number of hours of study of 40 hours a week.

We recommend that in your first trimester of study with us that you study at a standard rate of one 20 credit module. This will enable you to get used to the online learning environment and study demands. We would also recommend that if you have a full-time job that you study at the standard rate of study.

Online learning involves a combination of tutor discussions, reading, research, online activities and critical thinking and reflection.

We have developed our online courses to be social and collaborative, with plenty of opportunities to network and connect. Module tutors will hold virtual classrooms and seminars for live discussion and open debate, and these will be recorded for you to revisit at a later date. We also encourage you to engage with fellow students through discussion boards, forums, wikis and blogs so you never feel like you’re studying in isolation.

Through your student portal, you can access your virtual learning environment including course resources and study materials, as well as your student email account, grades and more. You’ll also have full access to the university’s range of online services, including the library, student wellbeing and support services, careers advice and IT support.

All of your learning materials and resources are accessible via the web, be that with your PC, Mac or laptop/notebook, or your mobile device with an internet connection.

At the end of each module you will be expected to submit an assignment.

You will always have a point of contact to support you with both academic and non-academic issues. From enquiry to enrolment, you will have a dedicated admissions advisor to answer any queries you may have about your course choices or the application process.

From enrolment to graduation, the online learning advisor team can help you with any non-academic issues or queries that you may have.

For any queries regarding your academic studies, you will have a dedicated online tutor and programme lead. These are experts in their subject areas, who can answer any questions you may have regarding the content or assessment of your course.

Yes. Our online courses are just as high quality as our on-campus courses. They go through the same quality assurance process as all UK higher education courses so they are equally challenging and hold the same value. Read more about our quality standards

In some respects, it can be more difficult to study a programme online as you will need to be self-motivated, organised and committed to completing your studies.  Studying online gives you the flexibility to complete the course using your spare time, without the need to travel to campus or attend lectures at fixed times. 

When you take an online degree with us, you also get direct access to university-standard teaching, facilities and support. We don’t sell other people’s courses – we design and deliver our own online degrees, so you deal directly with us at all times. And because we’ve been an established educational institution since 1851, you can be confident in receiving the same high quality degree you would expect from any UK university.

From talking to online students, graduates and our online tutors, here’s what we think you need to succeed as an online student:

  • Self-discipline and motivation
  • Good organisational skills – so you can plan study timetables and get into a routine
  • A place where you can focus on your studies – whether it’s a spare room at home, your office at work, a coffee shop or the train – a place where you can concentrate is essential
  • A computer with internet connection
  • The ability to use a computer and the internet
  • Experience of online forums and chat rooms is also beneficial.

Enrolment

Enrolment is a compulsory registration process that will officially recognise you as a student of the University. You are required to enrol at the beginning of each academic year in order to sign up to the University’s Terms and Conditions and add modules in order to confirm your intention to study

Once enrolment opens for your chosen intake; you will be sent two emails. You will receive an email from our IT Department asking you to create a password. You will also receive an invitation to enrol email from our Admissions Team that will guide you through the enrolment process. You will need to have created your password before being able to log in and complete your enrolment.

If you are experiencing difficulties in creating a password, please contact our IT Department on +44 (0)1332 591234 or itservicecentre@derby.ac.uk, and they will be able to help you.

If you are unable to log into the enrolment portal, new students should email onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk and continuing students should email onlinelearning@derby.ac.uk.

Most programmes have two different rates of study:

  • Standard rate: This usually means that you study one module per trimester
  • Accelerated rate: This usually means that you study two modules per trimester.

We recommend that a 20 credit module is approximately 20 hours study time a week. Think carefully about your family, work and social commitments when deciding how quickly you think you can study. It is important that you plan your time carefully in order to keep up with the teaching and work submission schedules.

We have different payment methods and there are several ways to fund your studies. Please see our fees and finance page for more information.

Please visit our website for more information about our cancellation policy.

It is important that we hold the correct residency information for you as this could inform the amount of fees you will pay. If you believe that this information is incorrect, please request a Tuition Fee Assessment Form by emailing onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk. Please include your user ID (student number) and name in the email.

A Tuition Fee Assessment is used to determine what fees you will pay as you study with us.

If you do not wish to start/continue your studies at this time, you may have the opportunity to defer to a later intake point during this academic year. Please let us know if you want to defer or withdraw by emailing us:

New students

Please email onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk – Please include your user ID (Student number) and name in the email.

Continuing students

Please email onlinelearning@derby.ac.uk – Please include your user ID (Student number) and name in the email.

Once you have fully completed enrolment and made payment we will send you confirmation by email. This will include a link to the University’s student portal where you can access your learning resources online once teaching has begun.

The main purpose of our student ID cards is to provide access to campuses, libraries and facilities and online students will always be given access to our sites (and a student card for that purpose) should they require on campus access. Unfortunately, we have been advised that this cannot be sent by post and you will need to come to our main site to collect one.

Should you require a student ID card to make the most of student discounts, you are eligible to apply for a student card through the National Union of Students. These are available to all students in the UK or can be posted to a UK address. Unfortunately, these cards cannot be posted to addresses outside of the UK.

If you have any further questions about student cards, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing udolacademicadmin@derby.ac.uk 

New students, please email us at onlineadmissions@derby.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1332 594000.

Continuing students, please email us at onlinelearning@derby.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1332 594000.

Completing your studies

Any student who completes a Bachelors degree, Masters or Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony, so long as there are no outstanding fees.

Your award will be from The University of Derby and will state the name of the course that you studied, for example 'BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies'. There is no reference to the mode of study on your certificate or your transcript.