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Derby, University of



Overall ranking: 94th out of 126 in the The Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Roots date back to 1851. Before it became a university in 1992 it was the Derbyshire College of Higher Education. It was one of only a couple of colleges of higher education to gain university status in 1992. Merged with the former High Peak College of further education in Buxton in 1998.

Address: The main site, Kedleston Road, is on a hill less than 10 minutes from the city centre and there's also a stunning campus in Buxton.

Ambience: Derby has a 'university quarter' with three main teaching sites - Kedleston Road, Britannia Mill and Markeaton Street (for art, design and technology students). Having spent millions on its facilities in the last few years, Derby has never looked so good. University accommodation is also nearby, and all the sites are a few minutes from the centre of Derby - officially the 'safest city in the East Midlands'.

Who's the boss? Professor Kathryn Mitchell will begin as Vice-Chancellor in September 2015

Prospectus: 01332 591044 or order one here.

UCAS code: D39.

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Entry tariffs have risen significantly and most degree courses typically ask for 260-300 UCAS entry points. The average entry score is 273 UCAS points. If you're not qualified, Derby also offers Year Zero programmes and some foundation degrees which can lead to an undergraduate course.

Vital statistics: Nearly 30,000 students including 14,000 undergrads (full and part-time); overseas and professional students; and over 5,000 further education students on non-degree courses. Vocational courses are the name of Derby's game - business, law, education, design and technology-related courses are strong points.

Added value: 'Education with the personal touch’ - small classes, friendly feel and personal tutor system. Through volunteering and placement schemes and its Derby Award in leadership, graduates can add value to their CVs to boost their employability. The Buxton campus, 30 miles from Derby, dates back to the 18th century. being a spa town at the heart of the peak district it is the ideal place to study spa management, culinary arts and outdoor recreation.

As University, Derby has invested heavily in a range of facilities to enhance students' learning. The University has a Clinical Skills Suite worth £1.5m, two law courts and a computer games development suite. More recently, the University officially opened a forensic training house, which has a £410,000 custom-built facility within. There is also a new £10.8m Sports Centre, which will enhance the development of students and encourage the pursuit of sport and fitness. Last year the multi-million pound institute for Sustainable Engineering (IISE) opened which supports the manufacturing industry working with partners such as Rolls Royce, Toyota and Bombardier.

Teaching: 27th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 112th out of 126 with 54 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Derby guarantees a place in halls for first years. Rooms are priced between £96.67 and £137.76 per week. Optional extras include a car parking permit and canoe storage (the latter at Buxton).

Cheap to live there? Cheaps as chips. Private rentals are as wallet-friendly as the university's rooms, at just £62.50 per week on average (shared house). With the Unibus under £2 a trip and similarly good value gym membership, Derby is excellent value for money.

Transport links: Ten minutes from the M1 and on the main line north from St Pancras by train. East Midlands airport nearby.

Fees: Classroom-based courses are £8,500; resource-intensive courses are £9,000 for EU and home students. International students pay more.

Bursaries: Bursaries of £1,000 (£900 plus £100 study resource card) for students coming from Buxton College and Leek College (first year only). Annual Bursaries are available of up to £1000 (£900 plus £100 study resource card) for students commencing full time undergraduate study in 2015/16. Eligibility is assessed by the University, based on household income.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Dynamic students' union, with the £500,000 award-winning Academy Bar (opened in 2006) designed by Derby students and featuring plasma screens, pool tables and a DJ booth. Outdoor deck overlooks the new all weather sports pitches and tennis courts. Clubs in Derby city centre run packed student nights.

Price of a pint: The union is unbeatable for food and drink deals, but Derby's not too pricey either.

Sporting reputation: Average- 60th in the current BUCS league out of 145 universities and colleges.

Notable societies: Ever wanted to try pole-dancing? Now's your chance with the Derby Treefrogs. For self-confessed 'geeky fun', join the Comic Book, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Roleplaying group. Or if you're more DJ than nerd, learn to spin discs with the DJ and Mix Society. Yes, there's also a Glee Club.

Glittering alumni: Kevin Gratton, head chef at Le Caprice; Silvana Franca, celebrity chef; John Stobart, famous maritime artist; Arnold Machin, designer of the Queen's Head that appears on all British stamps; Agrina Mussa, Her Excellency High Commissioner to South Africa for Malawi; Roger Baker, former chief constable of Essex; John Blakemore, photographer/lecturer who won the Fox Talbot prize.

Alternative prospectus: See how current students rate various aspects of their university experience at Derby on What Uni? here.