Top Tips

There are some simple steps that you can take to make sure that the process of going to university is as smooth as possible. This section outlines some of these preparatory steps with links for further information and advice, including things that you can do to help with the transition to university once you get here.

We know it's not the most fun having to live on a budget but it really will make things easier for you. Students often run out of money towards the end of term and then have to really cut back at Christmas. If you budget in advance you will have better control of your finances and you'll have enough money to enjoy the whole of the term.

  • One of the best bits about being a student are the discounts loads of retailers offer you. You can ask in shops if student discounts are available as many do not advertise them
  • Share costs with friends. Divide up the expenses, you don't need four of everything
  • You can also get together with friends to cook meals - cooking in bulk often helps to save the pennies. Check out the recipe section for some cheap and tasty ideas
  • Printing costs add up so help your wallet and the environment by printing double sided
  • Allow yourself "good time money"- if you know there is a concert you want to go to or a new CD out next week work it in to your budget
  • Pay bills by direct debit or on-line, often there is a discount for doing so
  • If you travel a lot invest in a student travel card and where possible book up your trips in advance, you often get the cheapest tickets by doing so
  • Look out for supermarket own brands and special offers at the supermarket. Make use of the loyalty schemes most supermarkets offer. It sounds really obvious but make a list and stick to it, this will help prevent you buying things you really don't need
  • If you want to save money by giving up or cutting down on smoking, you can find advice and support at
  • You can save yourself a lot of money by applying for help with health costs. You can get a HC1 form from the common rooms at halls of residence in Derby, or the Student Wellbeing Centre, Ground floor T Block at Kedleston Road or in Clarendon House at Buxton
  • If you can, transfer your student loan into a separate savings account to earn interest, and feed it into your student account as you need it
  • Choose cash machines that don't charge you
  • Finally if things are really difficult look into getting a part time job to help you out

If you have not cooked much before you should practice at home before coming to university. A parent, carer, sibling or friend may be willing to teach you some tried and trusted simple recipes.

There are also several websites with great recipes for students to try including BBC Good Food and Student Recipes.

If you use medication on a regular basis it is advisable to bring 4 weeks supply with you on starting university. It can take up to 4 weeks for your notes to be transferred from your usual GP so this may delay your prescription being processed.

If you are unable to get 4 weeks supply, for whatever reason, please contact us in Student Wellbeing so we can discuss other options with you.

You can access information regarding medication and pescriptions via the NHS website.

If you have concerns that the side effects of medication may be impacting on your academic performance please discuss this with your GP or the Wellbeing Team.

Don't forget to keep in touch with friends and family!

Even though you may have moved away, if there are people at home that you've been able to rely on in the past, it is important to keep in touch with them now.

It is easy in the excitement of the first few weeks to lose contact with your family and friends but if you encounter difficulties later in the year you may still need their support. Keeping in touch every now and then will keep those lines of communication open, will reassure them that you are doing well and you will know about any changes that are happening at home.

You may want to agree before you leave home how often you will speak to family and friends by phone, email or via social media etc. then try to stick to this during the term.