Slap-bang in the centre of England, this friendly city gives students a lively music scene and plenty of top notch pubs. Hankering for fresh country air? The Peak District is yours to explore.

 

I have never known a city with such great community spirit, especially when it comes to Derby Pride and Derby County game days. There is both rich history, such as the cathedral quarter, and modern facilities like the Intu Centre. It also feels really safe, and everything is within walking distance. (Third year student, University of Derby)

What Derby's famous for...

Peak position

The UK's most central city and just a short drive from the Peak District and Alton Towers. 


Derby nightlife, according to students

The nightlife depends on your preferences. If you like clubs, Mosh, Moomoos, and Pop World are the main ones. If you fancy a quieter, less ‘club scene’ drink, there are so many bars on the outskirts of the city centre, like on Friar Gate. (University of Derby student)

Factories

The Derby Silk Mill became Britain's – and probably the world's – first factory in 1721. 


Derby nightlife, according to students

There isn’t a hugely great nightlife if you’re really into clubbing (but Notts is only a bus ride away). Derby is better known for the pub scene. They’re friendly and cosy enough, so it makes up for it! I rate the Spoons a lot. (Third year student, University of Derby)

Beer

Camra - Campaign for Real Ale - has voted Derby as the best city for real ale. 

Student life in Derby

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Treat yourself
Intu Derby is the best place to go shopping! It has pretty much any shop you need, including bowling, mini-golf, and the cinema. (University of Derby student)
Low on cash
Derby Museum is free, and Derby Theatre has £5 tickets on Fridays! (Third year student, University of Derby)
When family visit
Chatsworth is ideal for a family day out: beautiful parkland, posh house, fab farm, and lovely gardens. As long as your parents are paying! (Third year student, University of Derby)
Feeling cultural
The Quad is a creative hub that shows independent films at its cinema and has free art exhibitions. (Third year student, University of Derby)
Grab a bite
Annie's Burger Shack is, hands down, the best place to go for a special occasion. Every burger can be made meaty, veggie or vegan, and they can even cater for coeliacs. (Third year student, University of Derby)
Friday feeling
Bustler Food Market is an amazing place. Only open on select Friday and Saturday nights, it's worth paying a visit to sample amazing street food. (Third year student, University of Derby)
Sunday chilling
Derby has lovely parks: Markeaton Park, Darley Park, and Allestree Park are all great for a gentle stroll. You can hike for miles in the Peak District. (Third year student, University of Derby)
Catch up with mates
Milk & Honey, The Bookshop Cafe, and Roots are all fantastic locations for grabbing a coffee with a friend, or doing some quiet studying. (Third year student, University of Derby)

Derby in pictures

Market hall

Since opening to the public in 1866, the market hall has been a staple shopping destination for locals since. From bakers to booksellers, the market hall has a little bit of everything. 

The QUAD

Here's your go-to for everything contemporary art and film in Derby, with exhibitions and events running throughout the year. 

Living in Derby, according to students

Chose to live in the city centre [to be] closer to the shops and city life, but still able to grab the bus up to uni. I did pay a premium because of my flat's location but it has been worth it. [The] downside of living in the town centre is that it is somewhat far away from the 'student' areas, such as [the] New Zealand area and Cowley Street, which can make seeing friends in those areas harder. Another downside is that it is pretty noisy at night. (Third year student, University of Derby)

Darley Park

Take a peaceful stroll through Derby's favourite park, located on the River Derwent. 

Derby Cathedral

Derby Cathedral has events, including the Museum of the Moon to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The replica of the Moon was inside the Cathedral for a couple of days, before continuing its tour around the world.(Meg Brian, University of Derby student)

Living in Derby

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Living in Derby, according to students

New Zealand – I live in my current house because it was down the road from my original halls (in St. Christopher's Court). This area is in the middle for me: town is a ten - 15 minute walk down the road, uni is about the same, My other [university] site is near it too. Perfect for a joint honours student going to different campuses. (Second year student, University of Derby)
Where you'll find students*
  • City Centre
  • New Zealand
  • Friar Gate
  • £14.50
  • Adult Weekly
  • (bus)
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

The uni bus is free if you're a student. [It] goes into town, to the train station, to the uni, and to student accommodations. (University of Derby student)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Derby with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.