Entry requirements

What you need to get into university

You can come to study at the University of Derby straight from school or college – or you could have little or no recent academic experience. We’ll help you get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

Show us your strengths

You will be asked to show evidence that you have the motivation and knowledge to benefit from your studies.

Each course has its own entry requirements – it’s a certain number of UCAS points. You can find the number of UCAS points that you will need for your chosen course on the appropriate course page.

The UCAS point requirements will be made up primarily from your core A2s (full A-levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc. We will accept a certain value of points from Level 3 qualifications such as AS-levels (where those AS-levels are not taken on to A2-level), the extended project, or music qualifications. We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. 

At Derby we accept these qualifications:

  • A-levels
  • AVCEs
  • BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diploma
  • BTEC QCF
  • Progression Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • NVQ Level 3 and upwards
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Art and Design Foundation Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma
  • International, European or Welsh Baccalaureate
  • Apprenticeship Scheme qualifications
  • equivalent qualifications (go to our section on international qualifications to find out what we accept for entry on to an undergraduate course)

And we also ask for five GCSE subjects including maths and English Language at grade C or above (we’ll normally accept Higher Diploma qualifications as an equivalent to GCSEs). Your qualifications may need to be in a related subject for some courses - please check the course details using our course search

We'll also take the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness and the Extended Project into account when making you an offer, although you may not need to have tariff points from them. We think that studying for these qualifications, enhances your application and should make you more prepared for study at university.

If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team by email askadmissions@derby.ac.uk or by phone +44 (0)1332 591167.

When you apply for university, you have to include a personal statement as part of your UCAS application. It’s your opportunity to stand out from other applicants, so you’ll need to say:

  • Why you want to study your chosen course
  • What extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in
  • Skills and qualities you’ve developed
  • Work experience you’ve done
  • Details of any other of your achievements

The UCAS tariff points are a guide – we’ll also consider all of the information you’ve included in your application and personal statement. We’ll want to see that you’re enthusiastic and motivated to take the course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.

International Qualifications

Our International qualifications we accept for entry on to an undergraduate course can be found here. You can find the English language requirements that you will need for your chosen course on the course page.

International entry requirements

Undergraduate courses*

  • IELTS: 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all areas).
  • Pearson Test of Academic English: 56
  • Cambridge English Scale: B2 
  • London Tests of English: we accept level 4 for undergraduate courses
  • International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
  • International GCSE English or English as a Second Language: Grade C.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all areas (speaking, listening, reading, writing) or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0, we recommend you consider our Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

*Some courses have higher English language entry requirements, please check the specific course details for more information.

Please note that if you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre. More information

If you've studied in a country where English is the first language (such as the UK, the USA, Canada or Australia) you may not need a formal English language qualification: we will look at everyone's application individually.

Please note that if you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study any of the following courses, then you must have an IELTS for UKVI Academic Test Report Form. Without this we will not be able to issue you a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) for a visa application.

More information on the Cambridge English Scale

If you don't think you have the correct requirements, let us check by contacting us.

International Foundation Programme

To start the International Foundation Programme in September, and in order to meet new visa requirements, you will need to have completed your secondary school education and have a UKVI IELTS (UK Visas and Immigration International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 4.5 overall with no less than 4.0 in all areas (speaking, listening, reading, writing). In order to meet new visa requirements, your IELTS must be the UKVI IELTS taken at a UKVI-approved test centre.

If you are considering the fast-track option, we strongly recommend an IELTS equivalent of 5.0 or above.

Even if you have few or no formal qualifications, you may be able to gain entry to the course if you have the required communication and learning skills as well as the knowledge, experience and motivation to succeed.

You may need to take an Access course or Foundation course first.

If you've been away from academic study for a while, these courses are a great way to get you back into studying. Or if you've never studied before, they help you learn new study skills, essential for success in higher education.

If you require advice on Access or Foundation courses please contact the Guidance Team at the Access and Further Education Centre on +44 (0)1332 591080 or email access@derby.ac.uk

We seek to promote flexible entry routes into our courses and may be able to recognise higher education learning you have already achieved to give you entry to a course after its normal starting point.

Therefore if you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another higher education institution, you may be able to enter the course at level 5 or level 6.

Other qualifications and relevant work experience may also count for academic credit. To see if this is possible for the particular course you are interested in, and for further information, please contact our Admissions Team.