Student voice

Our students are invaluable to us and continuously help us to identify what works well across the University and where improvements could be made. #DerbyUniPower showcases some of the improvements we've made as a result of student feedback.

Social and study spaces

The environment that our students study in matters, so we've worked hard to ensure these follow the government guidelines and are "Covid-safe", comfortable and functional.

We have also introduced the Covid-19 UDo tile to ensure that you have the most up to date information to support you.  

Our students have given us some brilliant feedback and because of this, the University has been able to introduce improvements:

  • We have introduced an auto-renew service, which removes remedial fines for late return of items, improving the overall experience of borrowing materials
  • An online live chat service has been introduced, to provide real-time support and information, quickly and efficiently
  • An FAQ's help page has been added to the library website, to provide access to a breadth of useful information
  • The amount of online skills content has been increased in response to the move to online delivery
  • We have provided access to an extra 180,000 eBooks
  • We’ve increased our collection of books by University of Derby academics, so you can see what your lecturers have been working on
  • The library website has been refreshed with a brand-new look and feel
  • Our expert library team have hosts who live stream sessions, along with additional drop-in sessions
  • An online Skills Fest event has been developed, with the aim of supporting students to develop key skills
  • We have developed more subject-specific workshops, delivered through the European Young Leaders (EYL) programme, and provided the opportunity to book specialist time with a librarian
  • We have developed sessions as part of the University Researcher Development Programme and workshops about scholarly communications to support research staff and students
  • We’ve provided new self-service equipment and refreshed the Kedleston Road library space with new study desks and improved seating
  • We have introduced a ‘scan and deliver’ digital service for our staff and postgraduate students
  • We increased our range of food available on campus and our menu offering changes daily so there’s always a variety of cuisines on offer. We also cater to all dietary requirements
  • Our catering partners have changed their consumables from single-use plastics to more environmentally friendly products (including Vegware)
  • The refectory opening times at St Helena’s site in Chesterfield have been extended
  • We introduced an email feedback mechanism (you can contact us at to tell us what you think of our catering facilities and menus. We evaluate this monthly to ensure we’re taking your comments into account
  • Microwaves have been made available at all sites and a new heat and eat room with facilities has been established at the Kedleston Road site
  • We have introduced a new digital car permit process
  • Student parking spaces have been made available at our St Helena site in Chesterfield
  • Our security team continue to provide mobile and foot patrolling of all sites to deter crime and provide a reassuring presence
A student chatting to an advisor at the University.
Students attending careers fair and chatting to a careers expert.

Supporting students

We’re always listening to student feedback and reflecting to ensure that our offer to students is the best it can be.

Throughout the student journey, we are there to support our students at every step. Don't forget about the three-year promise! We're committed to providing lots of support and guidance during the three years after graduation including:

  • Employer takeovers on our social media accounts
  • Increased skills webinars
  • Online learning materials

Some of our student improvements this year include:

  • Our Student Wellbeing Team have recruited four new therapists to help improve wait times
  • We increased the self-help information available on our safety and wellbeing tile on UDo with advice, tips, resources, webinars, recommended apps and so forth, with specific information relating to the pandemic and remote learning
  • During the pandemic, we created an out of hours web page with sources of help for differing needs and requirements when students may need support outside of normal working hours
  • We created an online student wellbeing form that students could submit at any time, requesting a member of the team to contact them or to arrange an appointment
  • We provided telephone and video call appointments during the pandemic; in some areas, we were also able to offer email appointments to support confidentiality if this was difficult to achieve due to their living environments, during lockdown
  • We introduced College Student Centres. Each College now has a dedicated, bespoke and streamlined facility with longer opening hours. Each of our College Student Centres is staffed with skilled advisors, there to help and support with any course-related query
  • In response to Covid-19 and noting the number of student queries we were receiving we introduced Personal College Advisors to help you every step of the way

We’ve made improvements for your digital learning platform by:  

  • Upgrading the Blackboard (Course Resources) with a fresh and modern environment to learn and make your modules and programmes easier to navigate to
  • Ensuring that Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate work in the current versions of the four main browsers: Chrome, Edge Chromium, Safari and Firefox
  • Adding forms/polls, transcripts and live auto-captions to Microsoft Teams Meetings
  • Refreshing student guidance on Blackboard, accessibility tools and other digital learning systems in our student guide located in Blackboard
  • Retaining and developing the University virtual induction for all students to help them feel prepared for their journey with us
  • Introducing the online Skills@Derby programme to support students' knowledge and skills to succeed 
Students socialising
Students socialising informally

The University and your Union of Students

The University and your Union of Students work collaboratively to keep student voice and feedback at the heart of the conversations and driver of actions.

Student Reps are voted in by their cohort and help to improve the learning experience by inputting views into the Feedback Portal. This is then picked up by the programme leaders and acted upon.

Previous improvements have included:

  • Increased clarity on which assignments need to be handed in throughout the year.
  • The addition of MSc modules that are more relevant to cohort academic backgrounds
  • Additional workshops/support sessions added to teaching provision
  • Allocation of additional laboratory time
  • Changes to assessment deadlines due to clashes with exams or where the module hadn’t completed

Student Officers and Officers Trustees are voted in by the student population and they work hard to improve and enhance your overall university experience. Results have included:

  • The launch of a new volunteering platform to help students gain experience and skills
  • 24 hour opening times for the library at certain points in the year
  • Free sanitary products provided at all sites
  • Timings of lectures changed to help accommodate commuting students
  • Improved alignment of tuition fee due dates with postgraduate student finance payments

Find out more about student representation

Your Union of Students also manages our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme. PAL is a scheme where recruited students from year two onwards support other students within their discipline. The support offered could be to help with the transition to university and exploring academic studies.

The scheme runs via Microsoft Teams where we have developed a learning community for each school.

  • The sites are for students only and are run by students (your PAL Leader)
  • Students can post questions on the Teams site or can directly message their PAL Leader
  • All first-year students are automatically added to their PAL Teams site so that they can access this support from day one of their studies

Find out more about PAL

Student having a conversation

Student Panel

We work hard to ensure our students are at the heart of what we do. Thank you to all students that have given their feedback to help improvements and developments.

Find out more about our Student PanelFind out more about our Student Panel