Getting to know your University

We're a friendly University and look forward to getting to know you when you arrive

The University of... transformational experiences

"Going to University is a once in a lifetime adventure that provides you with the most opportunities to develop your knowledge, to make friends, to enhance your employability and to get involved." - Jessica Gordon-Calvert, BSc (Hons) Psychology.

One of our core principles is 'creating the right experience for our students'. We recognise that the university experience will mean different things to different people but it's really important to us that all of our students enjoy their time with us and are supported to achieve their best. To support our drive to make the University of Derby experience the best it can be, we created the Student Experience Framework 2017-2020 in consultation with our students and staff, which articulates our commitment to the student experience. This Framework offers a range of opportunities that you can access whilst you study with us, all offering the chance to learn, develop new skills, or meet new people.

"Ask what goes on behind a door, take every opportunity." - Claire Storer, BSc (Hons) Human Biology.

Celebrate your experience

We're thrilled that you're joining our University of Derby community and we can't wait to hear about all of the exciting things you do whilst you're studying with us. We strongly believe in celebrating the successes of our brilliant University community, however big or small, so do stay in touch and let us know about the opportunities you take and what you've achieved. Have a look at #DerbyUniSuccess on social media to see what our students and staff have been up to.

Finding your way around and travelling to University

If you want to experience University before you arrive, why not check out our Virtual Tour? This tour lets you explore our sites across Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield and shows you the town or city you'll be studying in.

We're committed to reducing our impact on the local environment and our local community. We're continuing to work hard to make travelling to Uni via public transport, cycling and walking as easy and as cheap as possible, without using a car. 

Words you need to know

Over your first few weeks you may hear some words that you haven't heard before or aren't quite sure what they mean. Have a look at some of the most common ones along with explanations to help you.

We have three campuses located across Derbyshire: Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield. The University of Derby Group also includes Buxton & Leek College.

Our Buxton and Derby Campuses are built up of multiple buildings and sites. We encourage you to explore them and use the facilities available to you as part of the University of Derby community even if you're predominantly based at a particular campus, building or site.

A College is a collection of courses, led by a Pro-Vice Chancellor Dean. At Derby we have five Colleges, the Centre of Excellence for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism, and Joint Honours:

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Education (AHE)
  • College of Business, Law and Social Sciences (BLSS)
  • College of Engineering and Technology (ET)
  • College of Health and Social Care (HSC)
  • College of Life and Natural Sciences (CLaNS)

A course (sometimes called a programme), is the name given to the group of modules that make up the qualification you’re studying for. Each course is led by a Course Leader.

Modules are the name for the individual subject areas that you’re studying each year, they divide the content of a course into manageable chunks. Each module is led by a Module Leader.

A lecture is where a lecturer introduces ideas or delivers facts to a group of students. Lectures can also be interactive, involve a variety of contributions, make use of a range of media and technologies, and can take place virtually as well as in person. Lectures generally involve larger groups of students than seminars and tutorials but size will vary.

Seminars provide the opportunity for students to discuss a topic and/or to explore it in more detail than might be covered in a lecture. This may involve group discussions and student-led sessions. As with lectures, use of technology means seminars may take place virtually. Seminars tend to involve smaller groups of students than lectures, but again the size will vary.

Tutorials may be distinguished from seminars for the stronger emphasis that they place on the role of the tutor in giving direction or feedback. Tutorials can happen virtually as well as face-to-face.

Your lecturer, sometimes called a tutor or an academic, is the person who enables your learning through lectures, seminars, tutorials and more.

A PAT is a member of your course’s academic team that will give you time to discuss your academic and professional development.

There are lots of different types of assessments depending on your course. For example, written assignments, exams, presentations, computer tests, performances, exhibitions, work placements etc. There may also be other types dependent on your course. Your lecturers will talk to you about the assessments you’ll have for each module.

These are the regulations, policies and procedures in place for all University of Derby students and staff, including (but not limited to) your rights and responsibilities. View our regulations, policies and procedures