Community information

At this time, the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and the communities around us continues to be our primary concern.

Kathryn Mitchell in the atrium of the University of Derby's Kedleston Road site
Professor Kathryn Mitchell

A letter from our Vice-Chancellor 

University of Derby update on travel planning and the asymptomatic testing scheme 

Following on from my recent letter where I updated you on our plans for managing the second lockdown period, I would like to share with you the steps we are taking to ensure that students who want to go home for Christmas are able to do so safely for themselves and their families. 

On 11 November, the government announced new measures designed to enable this, centred around a move to online learning for the final period of the autumn semester, the creation of a ‘student travel window’ (39 December), and a nationwide asymptomatic testing scheme for students. 

The flexible educational model we implemented at the start of this semester – specifically designed to enable us to provide the best possible student experience in all circumstances – means we are well placed to deliver a solely online learning model for a short period.  

In line with the government announcement, the final day of face-to-face teaching this semester will be Friday 4 December, ahead of two weeks of online teaching delivery.  

Furthermore, having expressed an interest in taking part in the government’s testing scheme, we have received the go-ahead to set up our own on-campus Asymptomatic Testing Centre for students at the University.  

I can share with you the following additional details: 

It is hoped that this testing facility will give students the peace of mind they need in order to travel home safely to spend Christmas with their families, even if they are not symptomatic. It should also offer additional assurance that we are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff and local community safe. 

Where students do test positive, they will be appropriately supported during a period of self-isolation, before being able to head home for Christmas. 

Finally, we know that that the vast majority of our students are exceptional ambassadors for the University, and we have urged them to continue to be sensible over this period of lockdown and beyond, stressing the importance of them following government and University guidance.  

We expect this good behaviour to continue in the run up to the Christmas break and will work closely with students who wish to leave during the ‘student travel window’ to ensure a safe and coordinated departure from their accommodation.  

I am grateful to our staff, students and stakeholders for their continued support and hope that by taking these steps now we will all be able to enjoy the festive period safely 

Yours sincerely, 


Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL 

University of Derby Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive 

The Vice-Chancellor also wrote a welcome letter in September to students and the wider community to explain what the University's plans were for the start of term.

How we are helping the local community

As a university, we take the civic role we play seriously and are committed to supporting our local communities through these challenging times. We are in the fortunate position of having a wealth of expertise and knowledge to share.

We are already working with, and providing a wide range of support to, the NHS, local councils, organisations and communities across the city and county. Here are some examples of how we are responding to the crisis.

An artists at Banks Mill Studio painting.

Banks Mill Studios is hosting a digital Open Studios to showcase the works of its artists and designers this weekend (28-29 November)

Research programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council will involve studies in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Duchess looks at how the University is supporting students through the pandemic and discusses new online service for student mental health.

Picture of a pit wheel at a colliery with man walking along the street.

Researchers find links between industrial decline and unemployment and offending and police caution rates.

Graphic showing a coronavirus cell

Historians consider how future generations may see the pandemic in the first of a series of online talks focusing on the impact of coronavirus

Researchers from the University of Derby and University of Nottingham have launched the first research project focusing on those who have had to transition to home working, as a consequence of the lockdown measures in the UK.

University hits 100,000 enrolments mark for its range of Massive Open Online Courses 

Picture of coronavirus cell

Key workers to be tested at University's primary care hub

x-ray image of lungs

Equipment donated to help assess COVID-19 patients and to ease pressures caused by pandemic.

The University of Derby is providing a free (online) educational and information resource aimed at supporting pharmacists who have been redeployed to NHS 111 services.

Useful resources

Below are some resources you may find helpful.


Whether you are facing the challenge of home schooling, or worried about your mental health during the crisis, our expert blogs offer sound advice and helpful tips to make life at home a little easier.

Expert comment

Our academics have been featuring regularly in the news, providing their expert perspective and advice on various issues related to Covid-19, ranging from its impact on BAME communities to effect of lockdown on the environment. For more information contact

For businesses

At this challenging time, we wish to highlight that we remain as committed as ever to working with you and supporting our business community. We are using technology to ensure we can continue to collaborate and are committed to doing all we can to make sure any restrictions we face do not impact on the projects and activities we deliver.

If you would like to find out more about how we can support your business, please speak to your usual contact person or our Business Enquiry Team via

During this challenging time, support is available from a variety of expert sources. In addition to contacting us, excellent advice and guidance is also provided by the Government, D2N2 Growth HubCBI and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.


Find out more about how local stakeholders are supporting the recovery efforts across the city:

Online learning resources

The University of Derby has seen a steep rise in the number of people accessing its free online courses at this time. These short online courses, also known as MOOCs (massive open online courses) are free to take part in and are open to everyone regardless of age, education level and location.

Mental Health Toolkit for businesses

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a time of uncertainty and concern that is affecting people’s mental health.  It is essential that individuals have the tools to manage their mental health and wellbeing and to feel able to support others too. The University has developed webinars and short courses as a mental health toolkit, to assist employers and employees to look after their mental health during this difficult time.

Coronavirus information for current students and staffCoronavirus information for applicants