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University of Derby news

The latest study and research news from the University of Derby

November 2011

September 2011

August 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

February 2011


Online learning improving patient care

Innovative nursing programmes developed by the University of Derby are improving the care of patients as far away as Bermuda and Canada, as well as in the UK.

The online nursing degree modules have been developed to help healthcare professionals tackle major international public health problems such as diabetes and asthma.

Twenty one health professionals from around the world are studying the new interactive nursing modules with the University of Derby Online as part of a pilot scheme, before applications begin to be taken for January 2012.

Students on the online nursing modules in asthma, diabetes and public health include a health professional working in emergency care in Bermuda, a psychiatric nurse in British Columbia, Canada, a tissue donation co-ordinator in Ontario, Canada, and a coronary nurse from the Royal Derby Hospital.

Yvonne Denby, Senior Lecturer within the School of Nursing and Health Care Practice at the University of Derby said: ‘We developed these modules in response to an increased demand for flexible online learning and professional development within the nursing and healthcare community. By working through the interactive modules online, students can top up their education to gain a BSc (Hons) degree in Nursing Studies.

‘We developed the online interactive modules with top clinicians such as Dr Chris Gillespie, a Consultant Psychologist at the Royal Derby Hospital, Dr Pash Dhindsa, lead diabetes dietician for Derby City PCT, and Stella Rushton, lead diabetes education for Derbyshire Community Health Services, using real life scenarios and current issues in their fields.

‘Each module contains learning videos and interactive problem solving exercises, as well as real-time online lectures and tutorials with academics and fellow students.

‘The feedback we have received through the pilot has been incredibly positive, and we know that these students are using what they have learned to improve patient care in a wide variety of healthcare settings around the world.’

Head of the University of Derby Online, Julie Stone, said: ‘The move to make Nursing an all-graduate profession has created a high demand for top-up degrees like ours.

‘We wanted to provide a way of learning that healthcare professionals could fit around their busy working and family lives, and online study is perfect. We are encouraged by the level of interest we have already seen for January, but advise anyone interested in studying on this programme to contact us.’

More information on the Nursing Studies Online BSc (Hons) Top Up degree is available on the University of Derby website.

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New courses to satisfy online demand

To satisfy increased demand for online distance learning, the University of Derby, based in the East Midlands of the UK, has added five more programmes to its online provision; taking the total number of programmes it delivers online up to 28.

From September 2011 the University will welcome learners onto new undergraduate top-up degrees in Information Technology (BSc) and Accounting and Finance (BA), and postgraduate Masters degrees in International Hospitality Management (MA), Health Psychology (MSc) and Psychology (MSc).

Learners can choose to study full time or part time at a pace that suits them. Although most of the programmes are 100% online, students are fully supported by teams of experienced e-lecturers and dedicated support staff.

Julie Stone, Head of University of Derby Online, said: ‘Over the last few years we have seen increased numbers of people from the UK and around the world applying, and successfully completing, online degrees with Derby. Last year over 1,400 people studied online with us.

‘We have introduced these new online top-up programmes in Accounting and Finance and IT to enable people to further their careers through recognised and valuable qualifications while they work.

‘The new Masters programmes will consolidate on the online undergraduate programmes we already offer; for example our online Psychology BSc (Hons) graduates will be able to continue learning and developing their careers by studying one of these psychology Masters programmes, similarly many of our Hospitality Management BA (Hons) graduates have expressed interest in continuing to study towards our new International Hospitality Masters degree. We’re happy that we are now able to provide them with these options.’

Find out more information on these new programmes and studying online with the University of Derby.

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Walk on the wild side with Botswana tourism course

Imagine graduating from university with the skills and confidence to set up a travel company offering zebra migration holidays, desert quad biking experiences or big game photographic safaris.

A University of Derby degree course will give new travel and tourism students in Botswana the opportunity to achieve their aspirations, and provide the skills to launch themselves into one of the fastest growing tourism economies in the world.

The University of Derby has been working collaboratively with the Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) since 1997. Until now students have been able to study towards University of Derby qualifications in business, finance, accountancy and entrepreneurship. In September 2011 the University of Derby will start teaching its BA (Hons) Travel and Tourism Management course to 60 students at BAC’s campus in Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone.

The course has been designed by the School of Culture and Lifestyle at the University’s Buxton Campus. Students will learn how to develop travel and tourism businesses in an ethical and sustainable way, and how to maximise their own opportunities in a sector which is booming.

Peter Wiltshier, programme leader, said: ‘It is such an exciting time for the travel and tourism sector in Botswana and we’re thrilled that we’ll be helping young people to achieve their goals and aspirations.

‘There’s a huge skills shortage in this area in Botswana but by working with staff at BAC we are confident we can help students to develop sustainable long-term travel and tourism businesses, owned and operated by themselves.’

Whilst students in Buxton gain their experience in the heart of the Peak District, the second most visited national park in the world, students in Botswana have the Mokolodi Nature Reserve on their doorstep. Only half an hour’s drive from the campus, the reserve is home to many species of wildlife including white rhino, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, elephant and leopard.

Students will leave the Botswana course with a UK degree and the skills to work globally in the travel and tourism industry. It’s hoped, however, that students will be able to use their experience, knowledge and qualifications to continue the development of Botswana’s growing travel industry.

Wildlife and wilderness are Botswana’s outstanding tourism assets and students on the course will be learning not only how to encourage more visitors to the diverse habitats the country has to offer but also how to protect the flora, fauna and people of this unique African destination.

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Derby online learners’ satisfaction shows

With increasing numbers of people studying its courses online from home, the University of Derby is delighted that the first survey of its online students uncovered high levels of satisfaction.

Derby’s online distance learning has grown rapidly over the last four years and now 1,500 people study on its online undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, such as a Psychology BSc (Hons) degree and the MBA from home.

429 online students responded to the University’s first feedback survey into their experiences. Of the respondents, 65% were satisfied with the quality of the online learning tuition, 79% found their programme intellectually stimulating and 73% felt the online distance learning team were helpful.

On learning resources, 70% of students agreed that the learning materials were clearly structured and laid out, and 68% felt that the materials were easy to follow and understand.

Julie Stone, Derby’s Online Distance Learning Manager said: ‘We’ve seen our online learning grow in numbers and reputation over the past few years, and we are very happy with the results from this first feedback survey.

‘We’re always looking for ways that we can improve the learning experience for our students, and we will be using the comments and suggestions we received to inform some changes and improvements. As more people seek to study flexibly in the future, we aim to make our online programmes and methods of learning as accessible and user friendly as possible, employing emerging technologies, for example, to do so.’

For more information on courses available to study online visit the University of Derby’s website.

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Students gather from four corners of the world

The University of Derby, based in the East Midlands of the UK, held a lecture series with a difference recently when online psychology students from 22 countries around the world met each other and their lecturers in person for the very first time.

The 53 students travelled to Derby for the Psychology in Practice residential week from 23–27 May as part of the second year of their online Psychology BSc (Hons) degree. During the week they learned elements of psychology difficult to learn online including experimental design, running practical exercises in labs, group data collection and statistics; knowledge required to gain the British Psychological Society accredited degree.

Dr Christopher Barnes, Acting Online Programme Leader in Psychology, said: ‘The residential week was an important experience for our online students. As well as gaining vital experimental skills they also had the opportunity to meet lecturers and form a community; which will allow them to give each other support and share ideas through online discussion throughout the remainder of their degrees.’

Students hailed from countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar, South Africa, Finland, the Czech Republic, USA, Turkey, Cyprus, Hungary, Germany, China, Japan, Pakistan, Latvia and Thailand as well as home countries England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Clinton Bruigom, 31, who travelled from Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend the week, said: ‘I chose Derby’s course because of its interesting and varied content; there’s nothing like it available elsewhere online or in South Africa. It’s great that the programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society as I’m hoping to forge a career in psychology.’

Ender Eruslu, 33, from Turkey chose to study online with the University of Derby as he wanted the flexibility of independent study, but also wanted to study a psychology degree accredited by the British Psychological Society. Ender said: ‘The week has been intense, with lots of design and data collection and a lot to learn, but it’s been fantastic.’

Lou Vai U, 30, from Macau, Hong Kong, wanted to study for a degree while working full time in marketing. ‘I chose to study Psychology online as I love the subject, and wanted to further my knowledge without leaving my job. I’ve had a wonderful week, and it’s been great meeting everyone.’

Emma Prior, 24, from slightly closer to home, studies online from Essex while working full time as a nanny. Emma said: ‘This week has been fantastic, a great opportunity to discuss and debate, and asking questions as they arise, things that aren’t that easy to do online.’

Find out more information on the University of Derby’s Psychology Online BSc (Hons).

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Horror headliners’ support for ‘scary studies’

Celebrated British writer and director Clive Barker is among the respected horror industry names throwing their weight behind a dark and deadly new course at the UK’s University of Derby.

The Masters (MA) postgraduate degree in Horror and Transgression at the University of Derby – which is based in the East Midlands of the UK – will take students through the history of vampires, ghouls and ghosts; as they’ve been depicted in books and films. Course attendees will also produce their own original horror literature and films.

Their studies will include looking at the popular genre’s links with ‘transgression’, or what society considers acceptable to depict in art, and how such standards have changed over time.

Clive Barker, writer and director of films such as Hellraiser and Nightbreed, has already indicated his support for the unique course, and his interest in being involved in a future masterclass or workshop with students.

He told course organisers: ‘Thank you for raising hell in Derby.’

Another British ‘horrormeister’ supporting the course is Johannes Roberts, director of Forest of the Damned (2005) and hoodie teenager thriller F (2010).

He said: ‘The MA in Horror and Transgression is a significant milestone in cementing the academic legitimacy of the darker side of film and literature.’

The postgraduate degree course was officially launched on 4 May at a special screening of recent British horror film Mum & Dad, about an outwardly normal but secretly murderous family. Director, Steven Sheil, was at the event at the Heap Lecture Theatre at the University’s Kedleston Road site in Derby, to answer staff and student questions about the making of his film.

Dr Jason Lee – University Head of Film and Media, with Creative and Professional Writing – said: ‘Horror stories have dominated European culture for over 400 years, and the obsession with creatures such as vampires and zombies continues in popular culture today.

‘There’s a new wave of people working in British horror, coming up with fresh and exciting work. We feel our Masters degree in Horror and Trangression is coming at the right time to highlight this genre’s significance, socially and culturally.’

Students on the new Masters degree course, which begins in September 2011, will study:

  • how writers such as William Burroughs, JG Ballard and Anthony Burgess pushed the ‘acceptable’ boundaries of their times
  • classic films and the current new wave of horror directors, particularly in Britain
  • how philosophical and literary theorists such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault link in to this popular genre.

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University inspired by London 2012

A recent University of Derby event has brought it a London 2012 Olympic Inspire Mark, making it the first university in the East Midlands, and one of only two in the UK, to receive three of the prestigious marks.

During March, the University of Derby, based in the East Midlands of the UK, hosted a Festival of Sustainability for staff, students and visitors, to show and explore what sustainability means to the University of Derby. The University was awarded an Inspire Mark by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) for the Festival, which adds to the mark it received for its Festival of Volunteering and that awarded to a professional course in Events Management in 2010.

Inspire Marks are the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme, and are awarded by LOCOG in recognition of exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.

Festival of Sustainability organiser, University of Derby’s Senior Lecturer in Law, Joel Klaff said: ‘We were delighted to receive this Inspire Mark, and that it is the third the University has received makes it extra special.

‘We wanted to show the University’s commitment to improving sustainability after being spurred on by the intentions of London 2012 and the heightened profile of sustainability that the Games have generated. We hope to make a lasting change to the way students, staff, and the University work.’

Rory Slater, Derbyshire 2012 Legacy Coordinator, said: ‘The University has done incredibly well to receive three Inspire Marks which clearly demonstrates not only the commitment the University has in supporting the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics but that the county of Derbyshire can play an active part of this once in a lifetime opportunity.’

The University’s Inspire Marked Festival of Volunteering is now in its seventh year, with the next event taking place on 9 November. The aim of the Festival, which is supported by Community Action Derby, is to promote and raise awareness of volunteering amongst University students, staff and members of the public.

At this year’s Festival over 50 local, national and international not for profit organisations will have the opportunity to promote their volunteering opportunities. This year, the focus is on sport. There will be inspirational healthy lifestyle talks, and a range of sports workshops led by the University’s Team Derby sports clubs and societies and Derbyshire Sports Partnership.

In 2010, the University became the first university in the East Midlands to receive the Inspire Mark for one of their Events Management courses. Delegates on the course have learned how to integrate economic, social and environmental responsibilities into mainstream business and project management for the events industry.

For more information about the Festivals, or the Events Management programmes available visit the University of Derby website.

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Fashions fit to delight disabled children

A fashion student is mixing style with sensitivity by creating clothes for disabled young people that they will want to wear.

Rosie Hall, 23, is on the final year of a BA (Hons) Fashion Studies degree at the University of Derby, based in the East Midlands of the UK.

She has been working with a local charity Umbrella, which runs projects for disabled children from birth to 19 years old, on a range of trendy ‘adaptive clothing’ for young people.

Limited mobility and other problems related to their disability can make it difficult for children and teenagers to find clothes which fit properly and are fashionable.

Adaptive clothing makes things easier for the wearer. For example, traditional buttons can be replaced by less fiddly Velcro or magnetic fastenings and trouser pockets are positioned further down the leg so a person in a wheelchair can get to them.

Racketys of Leek in Staffordshire, which makes clothing for adults and children with disabilities, advised Rosie on her project; as did children at Umbrella.

Rosie said: ‘I came up with four designs aimed at girls aged around eight. The aim was for the clothing to allow them to be more independent, so they could dress themselves, and also be fashionable.

‘I thought of things like having an extra fastening at waist height to accommodate use of a feeding tube and making the clothes warm, because of the circulation problems some disabled children have. The designs are also what we call ‘on trend’, using the military emblems that are popular in mainstream fashions right now.

‘It has been a really interesting project.’

One of the children who tested out Rosie’s designs and gave her pointers was ten-year-old Niamh Allen, daughter of University of Derby Marketing Director Peter Allen. Niamh has breathing and other related long term health problems due to having been born prematurely.

Niamh, of Leicester, said of Rosie’s clothing range: ‘I really liked Rosie’s clothes. My favourite was the hoodie because it was nice and warm, and not pink.’

Rosie thanked the Umbrella charity for the help with her project by setting up a mini-fashion shoot for its children, complete with photographs by professional photographer Ewan Mathers.

An Umbrella spokeswoman said: ‘Rosie put a lot of thought into the type of clothing she designed and took into account the children’s needs. All the girls loved the clothes and enjoyed working with Rosie, who has highlighted an area that needs to be progressed and marketed.’

Fiona Hawthorne, of the University’s Fashion Studies course, added: ‘Fashion should be for everyone. Rosie has shown real ingenuity in thinking about the day-to-day difficulties these children face and designed around those, to create clothing they will actually want to wear.’

For more information about the University’s Fashion Studies degree course see the University’s website.

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Video postcards give families glimpse of Derby life

International students have been sending ‘video postcards’ home to let family and friends know what life is like at the University of Derby, which is based in the East Midlands of the UK.

Students from Nigeria, Latvia, India and China were each filmed sending a message home, and a map and photographs of the University were then added on to create unique postcards. These messages have now been ‘posted’ onto the University’s website, and students have been sending the links to their family and friends at home.

Erin Parker, Marketing Officer at the University, said: ‘As well as the international students being happy here in Derby we know how important it is for them to maintain links with home, and for their families to know that they’re safe, happy and having a great time. This is why this project came about.

‘We hope that these e-postcards represent the feelings of every one of our international students – and that our students send them around the world.’

Featuring in one of the e-postcards is Elisha Aboh, 27, from Nigeria, who is currently studying towards a BSc (Hons) in Geology.

Elisha said: ‘I was really happy to get involved in this project. I’m glad that I chose to come and study in Derby as it’s a great city, so I thought that if this postcard encouraged more people to study here that would be a good thing.’

On her e-postcard from Latvia, Jevgenija Kuznecova, 25, a BSc (Hons) Commercial Photography student, told her family: ‘The city is full of young people, it is friendly and small and very beautiful. I am enjoying my stay here, and hope you can come and experience it. See you soon.’

Also featured are Rohit Paliwal, 24, from India, who is studying a Masters degree in Computer Games Production and Jia Li, 27, from China, who is studying a Masters degree in Management.

Visit the University of Derby website to watch these e-postcards. More of the University of Derby’s international students are now getting involved in the project to reflect its diverse international community.

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