Student stories

Our students and graduates are people just like you. And they are making an impact in our region and around the world by using their knowledge and skills to drive innovation and change.

The University of Derby is a place where you can live your dream, where you can realise your vision for your future. It's a place where you can truly be yourself and where you can take your passion and talent and use them to create a better world. You can be part of that story. Let our students and graduates tell you theirs.

Jack Hanson outside next to our #derbyuni sign

Jack Hanson: playing to strengths

A-level results day didn't go exactly as Jack Hanson had planned. Then he found his way to Derby through Clearing and he hasn't looked back since.

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Law graduate Maya Neama

Maya Neama: determined to help

Maya had big ambitions, and coming to Derby helped her renew her confidence and get her career goal to be a lawyer back on track.

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Lewis Allsopp in our journalism suite

Lewis Allsopp: producing a career

Lewis' interest in the media has taken him from home in Langley Mill, to studying at the University of Derby and now working at BBC Radio in London.

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Business Management student Lauren Sowter

Lauren Sowter: embracing change

Lauren Sowter couldn’t see where her future lay. Then she discovered Derby and reset her route entirely. Now she's on track for a first-class degree and has the next stage of her career lined up.

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Adult Nursing graduate, Claire Brown

Claire Brown: starting over

Deciding when the time is right to study as a mature student is a hugely personal decision. Having raised and supported a family, Clearing provided Claire Brown with the most immediate path towards a career in Adult Nursing.

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Tamzin Burch smiling

Tamzin Burch: becoming me

Tamzin believes everything happens for a reason. She likes to stay open to opportunities. But what she really likes is pursuing her career, and making a difference in people’s lives along the way. 

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Graduate Sile Sibanda

Sile Sibanda: finding a voice

Sile Sibanda didn’t want to miss out on the uni experience. During her time at Derby, she embraced every opportunity. Now as a graduate, she uses her voice hosting BBC radio, and in performing poetry.

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Rachel Powell and Dariusz Szwedo each holding a camera, smiling

Rachel Powell and Dariusz Szwedo: being brave

Photography graduates Rachel Powell and Dariusz Szwedo quit their cosy, full-time jobs to strike out on their own. Together. And now they are putting all the skills they have learned into practice with their thriving company, Studio No 74.

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Charley Webster-Clarke

Charley Webster-Clarke: switching lanes

Charley realised she was on a path her heart wasn't and changed direction to pursue her passion for motorsport. Now she's embracing both the theory and practical side of her course and loving it.

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Jessica Lucas

Jessica Lucas: finding self-belief

Jessica Lucas's friends have always believed in her ability. Jessica wasn't so sure. Particularly when her A-level grades were lower than she had hoped for. But her friends encouraged her to go to university – and now she has found the self-belief she was missing.

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Omar Soomro

Omar Soomro: living the dream

There is no question. Omar Soomro is living the dream. He graduated from our Film Production course last year and he has already spent six months working as a camera trainee on Netflix’s acclaimed series Sex Education.

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Dan Jellicoe

Dan Jellicoe: making connections

Dan Jellicoe is thriving through all the connections he is making. He’s recently spent the weekend at Brands Hatch racing circuit working on a live stream for an outside broadcast company. And he’s done so much more.

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Charlotte Evans

Charlotte Evans: falling in love

Charlotte Evans came to university with a completely pragmatic approach to learning. Then she found a gap in her knowledge. And she started exploring it. And now she is completely and utterly in love. With finance.

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Mohika Shankar

Mohika Shankar: getting to know me

Mohika Shankar came to Derby from India to turn her passion into her career. And she found more than good grades: she got to know herself.

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Chloe Twigg

Chloe Twigg: taking it step by step

Coming to university was a big step for Chloe Twigg. She’d spent the first 18 years of her life in a little farmhouse in the middle of a field in Oxfordshire. Moving to a city, any city, seemed a daunting prospect. Now, she’s a Fashion Design graduate working with global names in motorcycle racing.

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Kate Henry

Kate Henry: being inspired

A moment of inspiration changed Kate Henry's life. Now, as a newly qualified nurse, she is on the front line. And she's using her creativity to inspire the next generation of nurses.

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The Goldbox team: Odhran Taylor, James Heaney, Josh Spaticchia, and Ben Collison

Goldbox: building a business

Getting together on a project in their second year changed the lives of Film Production students Josh, Ben, Odhran and James. Just a year after they finished their degree, they are running their own production company full-time – with a growing reputation for their work.

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Jessica Boateng

Jessica Boateng: designing a future

A dream of one day running her own interiors business is what motivates Jessica Boateng. Discovering her African heritage through textiles and a bursary to support diversity in the industry are helping her build the skills to take her there.

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Tom Berrington

Tom Berrington: igniting a passion

For Tom Berrington, university has been about the opportunities. The link between education and real-world experience has allowed him to develop his skills – and his employability.

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Jack Holcombe

Jack Holcombe: spreading positivity

Every day, Jack Holcombe sets himself a target. And it’s always the same: to bring a sense of energy, excitement and joy to the people around him. They could be his friends or the people he meets through his course or on work experience.

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Oscar Quick

Oscar Quick: becoming Oscar

Oscar Quick is an artist, a creator, a musician, a songwriter, a journalist. He has become the person he was always meant to be. But it has not been an easy journey.

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Barbora Horackova

Barbora Horackova: taking the leap

Sometimes you’ve got to take that leap. Barbora took one - to come from the Czech Republic to Derby. It was her dream to study in the UK and she found the courage and belief in herself to do it.

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Toby Arnold

Toby Arnold: being a role model

Respect for others, kindness and helping those around him are the ideals that drive Toby Arnold. They are values he carries with him in his determination to become a police officer.

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Arvin Johal

Arvin Johal: perfectly balanced

University has been a personal journey for Arvin Johal. And he's got the balance right. He is taking every opportunity that comes his way and achieving firsts in his academic studies.

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Sam smiling

Sam Chikowore: finding space to grow

Moving away from home for the first time can be a challenge. That first day at university can be a bit overwhelming. You’re in new surroundings, you don’t know anybody. Now imagine home is 7,000 miles away. Meet Sam Chikowore.

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Mark Faghy

Mark Faghy: managing excellence

When Mark Faghy first arrived in Derby as a teenage undergraduate, his goal was to become England football manager. Now he is a respected research academic leading an international collaboration in the fight against Covid. And his students are helping.

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Jamie Thrasivoulou

Jamie Thrasivoulou: a sense of purpose

Jamie Thrasivoulou is an inspiration. Anyone who has seen him perform We Are Derby from the centre circle in front of a packed Pride Park Stadium will agree. Jamie is a poet. And a writer and a storyteller. And he’s passionate about taking poetry and creativity to places it might not normally go.

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undergraduate prospectus 2025

Undergraduate prospectus 2025 - the future is you

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