Making the right choice

Parents and guardians play a vital role in advising, encouraging and supporting their son or daughter to choose the right course and university.

This might seem overwhelming, especially if you didn’t go to university yourself or are not aware of the application process. We are here to help you with the key questions to ask and what to think about when supporting your son or daughter in making this important decision.

Key reasons to go to university

Some areas to discuss with your son or daughter when choosing a university and course to study

What subject would they like to study? Is there one subject in particular that interests them or might they want to combine subjects? Derby has a fantastic Joint Honours programme if they don’t want to select just one.

Is there a specific profession they would like to do? Some professions will require professional registration, but only some degree courses will carry these. It’s important to check if a degree carries the registration they need.

Where would they like to study? They may want to be far away from home or close by, and may want to study in a city or rural location. Derby has the best of both worlds; being a friendly city with the Peak District National Park on our doorstep along with campuses in Buxton and Chesterfield.

Are they an international student looking to study in the UK? There are lots of benefits to studying in the UK – developing skills sets, confidence, improving English language skills.  The University of Derby is an affordable university for international students who are studying in the UK.  The cost of living for students and international students in Derby is very reasonable, and much cheaper than in many larger cities. The University of Derby is one of the cheapest universities in the UK for international students. 

What support do international students receive? Our International Student Centre (ISC) aims to work with all our international students to provide a broad range of services from providing letters for visas and banks as well as helping them to settle in the UK and make new friends whilst they're here.  There is a clear link between wellbeing and academic success. To give your child the best chance of succeeding, we provide a wide range of face to face, telephone and online support.

Do they meet the entry requirements? Entry requirements vary from course to course. Check the new UCAS tariff points system here. As an international student you can check entry onto an undergraduate course here or our International Admissions Team can help you through specific details.  They are available to speak to on email ( or by telephone on +44 (0) 1332 591698.

Do they meet English speaking requirements? We offer support to students to determine their current English speaking requirements for their chosen subject levels.  We also offer English language courses where students learn a full range of English language skills, including speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation while studying at the University of Derby.

Are there any special features of a course which might interest them? Would they like the option of studying abroad or taking a placement year? A course with the same title can vary hugely from university to university so make sure they like the sound of the course content.

How would they like to structure their studies? Does the course have optional units that your son or daughter finds appealing? Would they prefer a course with a range of assessment methods e.g. coursework, group work and exams?

Could they study abroad as part of their programme? We have opportunities to study abroad, to work abroad, to learn new things, meet new people, experience new cultures and enjoy the university experience internationally through our Go Places, Go Further programme. All these things are about giving students the edge in the employment market and helping them start a great career – a better degree outcome, bigger and better employment opportunities.

Jargon buster

Take a look at our jargon buster to help decipher all those acronyms universities love to use.

Open Days

We hold Open Days throughout the year where you and your son or daughter can view our facilities, find out more about the course they’re interested in and get a feel for what studying at Derby would be like.

Events Overseas

We attend a number of overseas education exhibitions and visit many countries throughout the year. At these events, we can give you and you son and/or daughter advice on our courses, and studying and living in Derby.

Find information about our attendance at events overseas or find details of our overseas agents and in-country representatives.