New to Derby?

Let us show you around.

We are excited to offer you a fabulous Freshers experience with fantastic opportunities to meet new people and socialise, express yourself and your identity, join a vibrant student community, and fulfil your potential.

Whether you’re after activities, representation, volunteering opportunities, employability, or advice, we are here to welcome you to the University of Derby and we will be here for you throughout your studies.

What's on?

Your Union will be hosting a variety of fun, engaging, and inclusive events to help you feel refreshed and welcomed back this semester.

Freshers is not just for new students – there will be loads of opportunities for new and returning students to get involved, with a line-up of events perfect for everyone.

Upcoming Events

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Hey, how's it going?

We’re the Union of Students and we exist to represent you, help you, and provide you with opportunities to make your experience here the best it can be.

We’re run by students, for students. Literally. Four students help to run the whole organisation on behalf of the student body, they’re supported by other students that work part-time on specific areas that we think are important to you.

They’ve all been in your shoes so know just what you need to make your time here unforgettable!

Your four Officer Trustees

Frequently Asked Questions

We know there's often lots of questions on your mind when you start Uni, and the unique situation we are in currently can cause a little worry. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions below, simply click or tap on a question to see the answer.

How do I/do I have to join the Union?

When you enrol with the University you become a member of the Union. This will give you access to all of our services, events and activities. At the point of enrolment you can opt out of your membership and you can find out more about this process in our Standing Orders.

How do I meet people?

There will be lots of opportunities to meet new people during your studies. You will meet people on your programme of course, but there are many other great ways to meet like-minded students. We suggest you take a look at our range of sports clubs or societies to find out about different groups you can join. If you have a particular interest that isn’t covered, then get in touch with us to set up your very own group.

The Union also runs a variety of events throughout the year, this starts with our Freshers programme above.

What does a Freshers wristband do?

Buying an official wristband from us is a great way to save money and time during the first few weeks of coming to uni. One wristband will grant you priority access to all events put on by our clubnight partner, Stonegate, who have several venues in Derby City Centre.

How do you get a Freshers wristband?

This year all new students will receive a free wristband from the University upon enrolment. If you are a returning student and don't want to miss out on the Freshers experience, you can purchase your wristband in advance. Wristbands will then be available to collect when you arrive in Derby.

How long does Freshers last?

The Freshers period starts with WelcomeFest on 16th September, and ends on Sunday 1st October. There are official events on every single day during these two weeks to help you to settle in the university life.

Is Freshers only for first years?

The primary aim for Freshers Fortnight is for the Union of Students to welcome first years to the city and the university, however all students are encouraged to get involved and attend the events.

I'm an online student, can I still come to Freshers Fair?

Definitely! Freshers Fair is open to all students so we encourage you to come along if you can.

Is Freshers week the same as welcome week?

Welcome week or Freshers Fortnight are the same thing – they are just umbrella terms for the first week or two of the new academic year at university.

Do you have to go out in Freshers week?

Freshers is a great time to make new friends and explore everything that uni life can offer, but don’t feel pressured to go out if that’s not your thing. There will be lots of other opportunities to make friends in your own time.

Is feeling lonely in Freshers week normal?

It is very common to feel lonely during Freshers. The events in Freshers fortnight are there to help new students meet new people and make lifelong friends. You can also join one of our sports clubs or societies to meet people with a common interest. If you are struggling to make friends and settle in, you can speak to one of our advisors who will be able to support you.

How do I join a sports club?

We’ve got over 40 teams for you to get involved with and you can even set up something new if you think there are enough people interested.

You can find a full list of our clubs and sign upon the website. Clubs and societies offer free sessions so you can try before you join.

Do you have any non-sporting, social, groups?

Our societies help likeminded people gather and meet each other, whether you have an existing hobby or want to experience something new.

You can find a full list of our societies on the website; and if you can’t find what you are looking for you can even start your own society!

Do sports/activities cost to join?

Sports clubs and activities usually have a cost to joining to keep the club running and ensure students are safe and insured. Membership prices for each club and society will be available on the website from September.

Check out our full list of clubs and societies.

I’m struggling to settle in, is there someone I can talk to?

The Union offers a free advice service to all students. Here you can chat to one of our friendly advisors over the phone or in person.

Questions? Comments?

The first port of call if you have any questions about the Union, want to speak to any of the Officers or book an appointment with our advice team is the information point at Kedleston Road.

InfoPoint offers a small range of services to make your life that little bit easier. These include: ring binding, laminating, ticket sales, room booking (for clubs and societies), and memberships.

You can also contact us with any questions or queries you have on the details below (and remember to follow the Union on social media so we can tell you all the important things as they happen).

Not on site?

No problem; contact Info Point on 01332 591507 or email

Do you Trustee us?

Every year we hold at least two elections to vote in students that will lead the Union forward for the next year.

Any student can run for one of these positions; many are part-time and can be done during your studies, but the main four officers either take a year out of their studies to work full-time (or run in their final year and start after they graduate).

It’s an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience, but if you don’t feel like running for a position just make sure you vote for who you want to represent you.

Need any help?

Our advice team are focused on helping any and every student whilst studying at Derby.

We understand that students may encounter some difficulties, and no matter how big or small – we’re here to help!

Book an appointment by calling 01332 591507 or through our website We can help with a range of issues including:

Money Matters
Sexual Health & Relationships
Mental Health
Sexual Violence
Pink us logo
TOTUM discount card from NUS

Who loves saving money?

You can buy an NUS TOTUM card, saving you all the monies on your online and highstreet shopping.

At only £14.99 for one year it’s a great bargain!

Just download the app for your phone and you can start enjoying TOTUM Lite for some free discounts – or you can purchase a card to access them all!

Get it on Google Play

You wanna tell us what to do?

Change is at the heart of everything we do; and you are at the heart of every change we make.

The Ideas Forum

Change starts with one thing – a great idea. If you’re one of those people with a great idea then head to our website at and let us know what it is! No idea is too big or too small. If other students like your idea then the Union will strive to make it happen for you.

Academic Representation

We work closely with the University and our officers and reps sit on almost all of the decision making groups in the University.

This means that, through our Academic Rep Scheme, if you want to change your course or something about the University then we can represent you and pass on your views to the people who make the decisions.

You can find the rep for your course, or find out how to become one on our website.

Annual General Meeting

Every year we have a huge meeting where you can come and hear about what’s changed, tell us what you want to change, and even vote on what changes should happen.

Back to list
  • 3 score
    5 voters

    Water Fountains at Markeaton street and Britanna Mill

    • Resources
    • University Sites
    • Food and Drink
    • Accessibility
    There used to be a few water fountains at Markeaton Street but they have all seemed to disappear and now there seems to only be 1. I think many people would benefit from having more water fountains again. As the university encourages the students to drink water because helps the brain work.
Joanne Easom
12:08pm on 22 Nov 19 Include WORKING water fountains at OFGS too please. There is no point them being there if they don't work on an all too regular basis.

Need any essentials?

Your Union of Students runs five commercial venues and two convenience shops providing you food, drinks, supplies, and some entertainment too!

We have a shop at the Kedleston Road, and Markeaton Street, sites. Both selling a range of food, drinks, convenience items, and clothing; we hope you’ll have access to everything you need on site in between your lectures.

We even have an online shop too, so you can get a hoodie delivered directly to your door!

Blends is our Union coffee shop and offers everything from hot and cold drinks to breakfast, snacks, and sandwiches. Plus an amazing selection of cake, muffins, and biscuits! We have two Blends outlets at Kedleston Road and also at One Friar Gate Square and Markeaton Street – in case you’re not on the main site and want a caffiene fix.

Campus Kitchen is our mobile food trailer that provides great food across campus, perfect when you need to grab something special after some serious studying.

Want to play for us?

The Union of Students activities team coordinates all of the competitive sports at the University and supports all of our teams.

Most of our clubs give you the opportunity to play sport competitively as well as socially. The British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) league allows many teams to compete against other institutions to gain points for the University. Last year we were placed amongst the top 40 institutions in the country!

We’ve got over 40 teams for you to get involved with and you can even set up something new if you think there are enough people interested. You can find a full list of our clubs on the website.

Looking for like-minded friends?

The Union of Students activities team also coordinates all of the social societies at the Union and supports their members.

We have a massive choice of almost 100 societies to get involved with – whether you’re into Accounting, Medieval Reenactment, Poetry or eSports we’ve already got you covered. You can even start a new society for almost any interest.

Being part of a society is a great way to meet like-minded people, new friends, and have some downtime from your studies. You can find a full list of our societies on the website.

Fancy being part of a team?

The Union of Students' Student-Led Services provide an opportunity for students to come together, like societies, to do the things that they love.

We have or student media groups; Phantom Newspaper, Phantom Radio, and Phantom TV. As well as fundraising through Raise And Give (RAG), and Enactus – who can provide entrepreneurship opportunities and social action.

You can find a list of our Student-Led Services on the website.