Main campus based in the northwest of the city

View of Derby Cathedral at night
Derby Cathedral

The University of Derby is a modern university with a main campus based in the northwest of the city of Derby. There are two further campuses in Buxton and Chesterfield. This progressive university is a popular choice amongst undergraduates and postgraduates, especially in subjects such as Forensic Science, Event Management and Sports Science.

Those looking to visit the university for a day out, or to visit family and friends who attend, will find a wealth of things to see and do. As well as having a look at what the university offers visitors to do, we also take a look at things to do in the city of Derby proper, whilst visiting, staying, or studying at this university.

How to get to the University of Derby

The main campus is located 1.5 miles northwest of the city centre. This means visitors can walk there in around 30 minutes. There are numerous bus services from the city centre to the university and also from Derby Railway Station, which connects the city with all major locations in the UK.

Trains from Derby to London St Pancras Intl. take just 1.5 hours. Those arriving by car from London or the South can take the M1 motorway all the way to Derby.

Those visiting from Yorkshire or the Northeast can also travel via the M1/A1. Those arriving at the university by plane can arrive via East Midlands Airport, which is a 30 minute drive away.

Sports Centre

The University has just invested £10.8 million on building a brand new sports centre. In fact more than £200 million has been invested in the sports facilities at the university over the past decade.

This shining new sports complex includes a fully equipped modern gym, 3G pitches, climbing wall, courts for tennis, badminton and squash and a full timetable of classes.

Members of the general public can book courts and attend the gym and classes. Students can enjoy highly discounted gym membership and use of facilities.

Restaurants, Entertainment, Shops and Bars

All the restaurants and bars on campus are open to the general public as well as to university students and visitors. This includes the Student Union where you’ll find the Academy Bar, Blends Coffee Shop and Keddies Shop, which are all located at Keddleston Road, the main site of the Derby campus. The Academy Bar plays host to gigs throughout the year.

Those visiting the Buxton campus should have a look at what is on at the Grade II listed Buxton Dome, a major arts venue located at the campus and the home of the Event Planning and Management Degrees available at the university. Regular concerts and events take place in this stunning venue as well as dance workshops and public lectures.

The city of Derby also has numerous live music venues including the Flowerpot and the Tap.


The University of Derby prides itself on its Halls of Residences which are the accommodation of choice for most first year students. In fact their halls were twice shortlisted in 2017 National Student Housing Survey. Second and third year students can find private accommodation through the universities approved accommodation listings.

Those visiting friends or family at the university will find plenty of hotels in Derby city centre, including budget options such as Premier Inn, Travelodge and Holiday Inn.

What to do in Derby

Whether you are looking to enrol in the university or simply plan on visiting your children or friends in the near future, you’ll want to get the most out of the city itself too.

Derby is a historic city, and a major urban area in the largely rural county of Derbyshire. Top sights in Derby include Derby Cathedral, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Calke Abbey and the famous race track Donington Park, which is also home to the Donnington Collections Museum.

Shopping is popular activity in the city and the centre is home to huge amount of shops as well as an intu Shopping Mall. Derby is also famous for its pubs, as well as its microbreweries and craft beer houses. Many visitors will enjoy an ‘ale’ trail of the city centre’s historic and not so historic pubs and breweries.

Days out from the University of Derby

The university and indeed the city is surrounded by some of the most stunning rural landscapes in the UK. Namely the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District.

From Derby, the town of Matlock, gateway to the Southeastern edge of the Peak District, is just 45 minutes by train or 35 minutes by car. Historic houses such as Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House are also a short drive away and are the perfect choice for when parents come to visit.

Those interested in the industry of the area should head to the Derby Silk Museum in the Derwent Valley. The buzzing metropolis of Birmingham is just a 60 minute drive or train ride. Whilst the cities of Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield are all within reach for a day or night out.