Derby: A Small Gem

Derby: A Small Gem

In Derby do you live in halls or privately?

I spent my first year in halls with five other students. A couple of months in, a few of us agreed that we would like to live together the year after, so later on we moved into a private four bedroom house for second year. Of course you don’t know who you’ll get when you go into student accommodation which can be a good and bad thing; you could find yourself in a flat with a bunch of night owls that keep you up all night, or introverts that never want to leave their rooms. Or you could meet the best friends of your life, this luck-of-the-draw mentality doesn’t make moving in any easier but can make the experience a lot more exciting.

What were your first impressions of the City of Derby?

The City of Derby is relatively small in comparison to other cities in the area, however its small nature allows its local community to be way more active around Christmas and other holidays with Derby Festival and the turning on of the Christmas lights. Also, when in the city centre you are in walking distance of next to every available shop, bar, or club that you would ever need. A quick train or bus journey to Coventry or Manchester allows you to access those larger, more well known clubs with little extra effort.

Where are the top 5 places to go in Derby?


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  • A three floor nightclub near the city-centre, Mosh is Derby’s number one alternative nightclub, hosting great nights of indie and alternative music each week on Monday, Friday, and Saturday. Every week they put on an amazing night for the students of Derby University to “rock their socks off”

intu Derby Shopping Centre

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  • Offering everything you could possibly need, from mainstream to indie fashion brands, fresh and frozen, make-up and costumes, as well as a few bonus features such as a spacious cinema, a bowling alley, mini golf and Derbys-own famed Christmas Icebar ‘Glacier’.


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  • Add a bit of culture to your afternoon at the QUAD, a charity and cultural hub in the heart of Derby. See independent exhibitions, workshops, galleries, and cinema showings for incredibly cheap prices as it offers student discounts. Opportunities include sketching, sewing, writing, talks, and the fortnightly film club.


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  • Good food, great atmosphere, and perfect Insta pics. The alternative neon lighting makes the place feel pleasingly colourful whilst also relaxingly sheek.


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  • Back to the good old days when hair was high and shoes were shiney. With the cheesiest of music going back to the 80s, you’ll always have a boogie and a laugh at Popworld, especially if you go to one of their famed events whether it be the ball, foam, or mask parties.

From your top 5, which is your favourite and why?

Personally, Mosh would be my favourite. There’s something incredibly satisfying about screaming the lyrics to “Feed Em to the Lions” with everyone whilst wobbling about the place like a jelly. Many people believe Derby isn’t much of a partying city and to them I say nay. Derby has numerous nightclubs on offer, ranging from big club anthems in MooMoos to commercial RnB in the Living Lounge; the events and offers add a touch of personality to each club, and exploring to find your favourite is always a treat.

When was a recent, perfect day spent in the city and what made it so enjoyable?

Me and a few friends went to the city centre to celebrate the lights being turned on for Christmas. On the way, stores were set up selling street food, Christmas souvenirs and toys, along with giant lumbering Christmas mascots exciting the children. At the stage in the city centre there were a few acts on including a local disabled school coming out to sing a couple Christmas hymns, a large boy-band, Santa himself, and the Mayor. It started to rain and everyone rushed into the local Wetherspoons. There was a nice community feel to the whole event and had been the first time in my whole life where I actually felt like I was part of a town.

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How do you get friends involved in your fave activities around the city?

My friends are usually already involved with events around town. Popping to the gym with Brad, watching Charlotte’s new play at the intu theatre, or joining Georgia at the QUAD for a sketching lesson always brightens my day as I see people genuinely interested and involved in the events going on around town.

What’s it like balancing your personal interests with being a student?

Becoming a University Student is the most independent and liberating thing I have ever done. At School I felt trapped, at College I felt bored, at Uni I’m open to do the things I have always wanted to do whilst also being able to learn what I want to learn. Personally I have completed two paid internships, learnt how to play the piano, started programming my own 2D video game, Learnt how to draw, and made friends with people that I would have never expected to be friends with just a couple years earlier, all with keeping to my target grade. Derby is a modern and interesting city with plenty of things to do to those who search for them.

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