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 with an interest in the arts but who don’t meet degree level entry requirements. It’s a great option for students who 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.
- 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.
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
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.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification.
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma 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.
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.
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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.
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.