Good University Guide 2023

University of Derby

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Derby

Contact details


Kedleston Road, Derby , DE22 1GB,

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Derby has joined forces with local employers and higher education providers on a £13 million plan to create the East Midlands Institute of Technology (IoT). Its focus will be on the engineering, manufacturing and digital skills required by employers to drive eco-friendly business growth and a data-driven economy.

The IoT  — set up in partnership with Loughborough University, Loughborough College and the Derby College Group — will be based in Loughborough with linked sites across the region. It is one of 21 institutes being created across the country under the government’s levelling-up agenda, offering more high-quality, flexible education and training and supporting more people into higher-skilled, better-paid jobs. 

A new business school is scheduled for completion in 2024, built to net zero carbon standards and set to become the study base for 6,000 students by 2030. 

Kedleston Road is the biggest of Derby’s three sites in the city. It hosts most teaching subjects as well as the students’ union, a multi-faith centre and the main sports facilities. The Markeaton Street site is the base for arts, design, engineering and technology courses, while courses including fine art and social care are based at Britannia Mill, a ten-minute walk away (although students can opt to take a shuttle bus between sites, if they prefer). Nursing has a school of its own in the market town of Chesterfield to accommodate a growing demand for places and to keep teaching up to date. Engineering and IT are also taught in Chesterfield, where the university has an innovation centre. In the spa town of Buxton, the university’s Devonshire Dome, formerly the Devonshire Royal Hospital, hosts courses including hospitality management.

Derby got a gold rating in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), winning praise for its personalised learning and support.The university’s teaching scores well with its own students too: Derby is 16th for student satisfaction with teaching quality in our analysis of the results of the latest National Student Survey. The top-20 ranking represents a rise of five places year-on-year. For satisfaction with the wider undergraduate experience, Derby ranks 36th, climbing three places since 2021.

Students benefit from hands-on learning in “real world” simulation environments. Facilities include a crime scene house for forensic science students, a replica crown court, a Bloomberg financial markets lab and an NHS-standard hospital ward. Hospitality courses use industry-standard kitchens and a fine dining restaurant. The Devonshire spa is an award-winning commercial day spa that doubles as a classroom for spa management students.

A 6 per cent year-on-year dip in applications in 2021 brought them to their lowest level in nine years. Enrolments decreased twice as steeply. Numbers joining the university have fluctuated between 3,130 and 4,070 in the past decade.  

Links with local industry help to prepare students for the workplace, with internships available at Microsoft, IBM, Porsche, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and the locally-based Toyota, among others. Derby has fallen slightly — seven places — to 93rd in our analysis of graduate prospects, based on the proportion in highly skilled work or further study 15 months after graduation.

A new “omics” laboratory — covering a range of biological sciences — has been created to extend the university’s cutting-edge research. In an example of the collaborative work that the university nurtures with a range of regional partners, students at a Derby laboratory joined a drive to develop a ten-minute Covid-19 test that is now used worldwide.

Education and geology produced some of the best results for Derby in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) and have contributed to a six-place rise to 111= in our research quality index. More than two-thirds of the university’s submission in earth systems and environmental sciences was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. The equivalent figure for education research was 63 per cent, and for allied health subjects and art and design it was 60 per cent.

Derby is in the top 20 according to our analysis of measures of social inclusion overall (19th). More than half (53.7 per cent) of new students are the first in their family to go to university.

Derby bursaries of up to £1,000 are awarded according to a sliding scale of household income and paid as £100 e-cards for study resources plus up to £900 cash. Students who achieve or exceed their course’s published Ucas tariff point requirements qualify for £1,000 academic achievement scholarships. There are also scholarships for international students and sports scholarships for student athletes competing from high county level up to senior internationals.

The sports centre at Kedleston Road has a HiPAC (high-performance analysis centre), fitness suite, climbing wall and an eight-court sports hall among its facilities, along with two all-weather pitches and outdoor tennis courts adjacent to it. 

Students who are experiencing problems with their mental health can book wellbeing appointments with a mental health practitioner or adjust their study schedule. Those with a long-term physical or mental health condition are offered regular support meetings with a specialist mentor. 

Derby’s halls of residence earned shortlisting in six categories in the National Student Housing Awards 2021, including Best Student Halls, Best Student Wellbeing and Best Value for Money, and won the Best Environmental Management award. First-years who apply by the end of July are guaranteed a place in the university’s stock of 1,962 bed spaces.

Located in the heart of England, Derby makes a legitimate case for being within easy reach of Manchester, London and Birmingham. The breathtaking scenery of the Peak District is on its doorstep.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 96 (94=)
Teaching quality 78.8 16th
Student experience 74 36th
Research quality 21 111th=
Ucas entry points 118 89th=
Graduate prospects 68.9 93rd
Firsts and 2:1s 68.4 122nd
Completion rate 80.1 99th=
Student-staff ratio 15.8 54th=
World ranking - 1001= (1001=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 16,395/3,130
Applications/places ratio 5.2:1
Overall offer rate 81.9%


Places in accommodation 1,962
Accommodation costs £115 - £164
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,000
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £14,045
Finance website
Graduate salaries £23,813


Sport points/rank 785, 45th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 19
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 96.1%
Grammar school admissions 2.2%
Independent school admissions 1.8%
Ethnic minority students (all) 27.1%
Black achievement gap -26.7%
White working class males 6.3%
First generation students 53.7%
Low participation areas 24.7%
Working class dropout gap -1.6%
Mature 38.7%
EU students 4.7%
Other overseas students 5%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Geography and environmental science 96.5%
History 95.9%
English 89.4%
Social work 87.4%
Psychology 82.8%
Civil engineering 82.3%
Subjects allied to medicine 81.7%
Accounting and finance 81.3%
Criminology 80.8%
Drama, dance and cinematics 80.8%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 80.8%
Sociology 80.8%
Education 80.7%
Communication and media studies 80.5%
Business, management and marketing 80.4%
Art and design 79.2%
Sports science 79.2%
Creative writing 79%
Animal science 78.8%
Information systems and management 78.7%
Geology 78.3%
Nursing 78.1%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 77.3%
Electrical and electronic engineering 77.3%
Architecture 76.8%
Computer science 76.5%
Biological sciences 71.1%
Law 70.9%
Mathematics 70.3%
Mechanical engineering 70%
Radiography 59.8%
Archaeology and forensic science 59.1%