Why choosing the right university is important

Student life offers enormous opportunities and, while some of these may be linked to the location or community that you are living in, most will be focused on the university itself. Your university is not only your place of study, but it is also likely to be where you live, make friends and socialise.

Each university has a unique character and offers its own blend of academic, cultural and social opportunities. For example, this might include: a great reputation for particular subjects, specific academic facilities; a distinct campus culture; a tradition in the arts; a strength in certain sports; a track record in graduate employment.

To help you consider your options, here we are profiling two counties: Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. These two counties are home to three universities:

  • University of Derby, based in Derby
  • University of Nottingham, based in Nottingham
  • Nottingham Trent University, based in Nottingham

 

Student population

The student population at the University of Derby includes...

  • A new undergraduate intake of 1535 students (2018)
  • 18% of students from BAME backgrounds (2018)
  • A ratio of 1 male to every 1.31 females (2018)
  • The 11th highest proportion of students from low-income backgrounds (out of 168 unis, 2017) 
  • The 2nd most mixed student population across all backgrounds (out of 133 unis, 2016)

The student population at University of Nottingham includes...

  • A new undergraduate intake of 5070 students (2018)
  • 25% of students from BAME backgrounds (2018)
  • A ratio of 1 male to every 1.15 females (2018)
  • The 93 highest proportion of students from low-income backgrounds (out of 168 unis, 2017) 
  • The 108th most mixed student population across all backgrounds (out of 133 unis, 2016)

The student population at the Nottingham Trent University includes...

  • A new undergraduate intake of 5535 students (2018)
  • 20% of students from BAME backgrounds (2018)
  • A ratio of 1 male to every 1.27 females (2018)
  • The 48 highest proportion of students from low-income backgrounds (out of 168 unis, 2017) 
  • The 51st most mixed student population across all backgrounds (out of 133 unis, 2016)

 

University rankings

University of Derby is ranked...

  • 29th out of 121 universities overall in the Guardian University Guide (2019)
  • 97th out of 131 universities in the Complete University Guide (2019)
  • With 1 subject in the top 10 nationally
  • Highly Commended for 1 Societies Award in 2017; Shortlisted for 1 award in 2019

University of Nottingham is ranked...

  • 17th out of 121 universities overall in the Guardian University Guide (2019)
  • 19th out of 131 universities in the Complete University Guide (2019)
  • With 22 subjects in the top 10 nationally
  • Winner of 2 Societies Awards in 2017; shortlisted for 3 awards in 2018; and shortlisted for 5 awards in 2019

Nottingham Trent University is ranked...

  • 16th out of 121 universities overall in the Guardian University Guide (2019)
  • 38th out of 131 universities in the Complete University Guide (2019)
  • With 7 subjects in the top 10 nationally
  • Shortlisted for 1 Societies Award in 2018

 

Open days and taster courses

You can learn a lot from data on universities, including the Think Uni app and others. Once you have shortlisted some universities that you are interested in, open days and taster courses can be a great next step to gain further experience of life at a university before you apply.

Open days give you the opportunity to visit a university and to consider whether it might be the right place for you. You will typically meet with staff and students, and be given the opportunity to ask questions about student life, including courses, accommodation, student facilities, finances etc. While these days are aimed at prospective students, parents or guardians are usually very welcome to join.

Taster courses are offered by many institutions to enable you to get a feel for what it would be like to study your subject there. You will typically experience some of the different teaching methods and gain insight into the facilities available.

Below are links to open days and taster courses available at your local universities:

Open days at University of Derby

Open days at University of Nottingham

Taster days at University of Nottingham

Open days at Nottingham Trent University

Taster days at Nottingham Trent University