- Do you love creative arts?
- Can you develop creative work that startles or surprises?
- Are you open to new ideas and creative challenges?
- Do you have qualifications at A level/BTEC but not in Arts subjects?
Then Year Zero is for you.
You’ll gain the fundamental knowledge, critical awareness and practical skills which are essential for all Arts students. Our emphasis is on building your confidence and fostering your creative potential. Supported by a dedicated team of professional staff, you’ll learn in a stimulating studio environment where you can explore and experiment with materials, processes and ideas.
The Year Zero route provides a smooth transition to degree courses in the Arts disciplines at the University (see list in 'about this course'). Ours is the most comprehensive programme of its kind in the Midlands.
Whilst employment in the UK creative industries is growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole, there are fewer opportunities for young people to study arts subjects at school. However this doesn’t mean that you can’t follow your passion for the arts at university.
Derby’s Year Zero route is for students who have an interest in the arts but have never had the opportunity to study Arts at A-level/BTEC or for those who have changed their mind about a career after choosing their A-levels/BTECs.
Year Zero provides a smooth transition to degree courses in the Arts disciplines. You’ll gain the fundamental knowledge, critical awareness and practical skills which are essential for all Arts students. Our emphasis is on building your confidence and developing your creative potential. Supported by a dedicated team of professional staff, you’ll learn in a stimulating studio environment where you can explore and experiment with materials, processes and ideas.
The University of Derby Year Zero is one of the largest and most comprehensive programme of its kind in the Midlands.
You will have an individual space in the studio and have access to the following resources in our fully equipped workshops: woodwork, metalwork, glasswork, laser cutting, vacuum forming, printmaking, ceramics, plaster casting, photography and Photoshop.
This course is the first stage of a Bachelors Degree – it is not a standalone course. Following the successful completion of the year you'll then progress on to the first year of your chosen degree:
Our Year Zero framework covers disciplines within art and design, creative and performing arts, 3D creative skills and digital studio practice – giving you a broad choice of subjects. All the modules mix practice and theory, enabling you to analyse and reflect on your own creative practice. At the end of Year Zero, you’ll showcase your work at a public exhibition.
You’ll study a total of 120 credits, through modules such as:
- Visual Studies
- Visual Approaches
- Visual Technologies
- Negotiated Project
And depending on your choice of degree, you will study modules such as:
- Creative Skills in 2D and 3D Making
- Creative Arts Skills
- 3D Creative Skills
- History and Theory of Art and Design
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Workshops, demonstrations and inductions will introduce you to core practical skills, including issues relating to health and safety. Seminars and critiques will focus on developing your critical skills and providing the context for your practice.
Throughout the year, you’ll have individual and group tutorials where your progress will be monitored and feedback given.
While we provide full supervision and guidance, you will also gain confidence as an independent learner through self-directed study. In the first semester, you’ll be equipped with basic making and thinking abilities through a series of directed projects and briefs. The second semester places greater emphasis on the development of your individual work and personal voice as an artist and designer.
How you will be assessed
You’ll be assessed at the end of each module, gaining feedback to help you enhance your creative profile.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level
|Specific requirements at GCSE
||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
|Interview / Audition
Yes - see portfolio information
Alternative entry qualifications
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Selection is based on a portfolio interview:
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per 20 credit module
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
Once you’ve successfully completed Year Zero, you can progress to the first year of your chosen degree at Derby. For most students, Year Zero reaffirms and strengthens their subject choice. There is, however, the flexibility to transfer specialism with the support and agreement of our teaching team.
The course is the ideal introduction to degree level studies as you’ll gain subject-specific knowledge coupled with an awareness of general art and design themes, issues and debates. Thanks to our excellent track record for nurturing talent, Year Zero students often go on to graduate with first class honours and to pursue successful careers within a wide range of art and design disciplines.
Employable graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Starter packs for introductory workshops (e.g. Cartridge Paper, charcoal, plaster, clay, printmaking consumables, industry speakers, specialist equipment
- Here at Derby, we provide excellent learning resources, libraries and specialist laboratories and studios
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Additional materials (printing, stationary, portfolio sleeves, folders, USBs/hard drives etc (Approx. costs - Year 1= £250)
- Drawing equipment general 'toolbox' (marker pens, pencils, etc.) approx. £50
Optional costs not included in your fees
- We provide full details of all course fees, but extra costs may include field trips (approx. cost £200-£400), and end of year project costs (costs determined by student £50-£200)
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.