Current students

National Student Survey

National Student Survey – Information for Students

The National Student Survey ('NSS') is a survey of students across the UK which takes place every year. It is aimed mainly at final year students, although in some rare cases other students will be eligible to take part. This is because students become eligible for the survey in the year they were originally expected to graduate. Occasionally, if you’ve taken a year out or repeated a year then the survey might be open to you.

The survey is run by an independent organisation, Ipsos MORI. Its purpose is to find out what it has been like to study on your course. The results are published nationally. The survey is an influential source of public information about higher education and gives students a powerful collective voice to shape the future of their course, their School and their university. We know that it’s a busy time for you but we really do value your input.

1) Why should I complete the survey?   
2) How long will it take?
3) What is the survey about?
4) What answers should I give?
5) What do the questions mean?
6) Does UWL get paid for this? Why are you encouraging me to complete the survey if there’s nothing in it for you?
7) Why is Ipsos MORI contacting me? How do I stop them contacting me?

Why should I complete the survey?

  • The survey gives you the chance to give feedback on various aspects of your course and university experience. The information that you provide is really important to your course team, your School, the university and the Students’ Union. It allows us to respond to the issues you raise, to do more of the things that you think are great and to improve things that need work, so that we can make sure that the UWL student experience is always as good as it possibly can be.
  • The higher the response rate on a course, the more reliable the data is likely to be. If only a small percentage of students complete the survey then we might not know whether those views are representative of the whole cohort, and we might make changes that not everyone would want. The more students who respond, the more effective our response to the feedback can be.
  • Every student who completes the survey gets a £5 voucher (instructions for how to claim this will be emailed to you after you have completed). There is also a prize draw of 50 £100 Amazon vouchers.

How long will it take?

It depends how much you want to write! It can be completed in a few minutes but some students take longer whilst they decide what they want to answer.

The main survey has 27 questions which can be answered really easily, you just have to tick a box to say whether you ‘Definitely agree’, ‘Mostly agree’, ‘Neither agree nor disagree’, ‘Mostly disagree’, ‘Definitely disagree’ or ‘Not applicable’. There are also two boxes where you can write comments on positive and negative aspects of your course that you’d like to highlight.

Nursing and midwifery students will also be asked about satisfaction with their practice placement, and all students will be offered the option to answer some additional questions if they want to.

What is the survey about?

The survey covers a number of different areas:

  • Teaching quality
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Academic support
  • Organisation and management of the course
  • Learning resources and your overall personal development
  • Learning community
  • Student voice
  • Overall satisfaction

What answers should I give?

The answers should be your own personal opinion about how you found each aspect of your course. The survey is completely anonymous and you should feel free to answer honestly and openly, giving scores that reflect your perception of your experience.

Do feel free to pick your answers from the whole scale, all the way from ‘definitely agree’, down to ‘definitely disagree’ and ‘not applicable’. Many people tend to avoid using the highest and lowest scores in a survey, often sticking to the middle options. However, if you feel that overall the course was really good, you should not be afraid to use the ‘Definitely agree’ option, and the same goes with the ‘Definitely disagree’ option if you had a unsatisfactory experience.

What do the questions mean?

Ultimately, the questions are asking you to give a response about how you perceive your experience. They are purposefully broad because they need to be suitable for students on all different types of courses, so you should answer in a way that most accurately reflects how you feel about the issue in each question.

Does UWL get paid for this? Why are you encouraging me to complete the survey if there’s nothing in it for you?

UWL does not get any payment based on the survey results, or on the numbers of students who complete the survey. We’re encouraging all students to complete the survey because the feedback is incredibly important to us – it helps us to constantly work on improvements to the student experience and to make sure we carry on doing the things that you really value about your experience. It is also really valuable to future students because it gives them information which can help them when they decide where to study.

Why is Ipsos MORI contacting me? How do I stop them contacting me?

The survey is run by an external company, Ipsos MORI. Like other UK universities, UWL is required to provide contact details for all eligible students to Ipsos MORI so that they can contact students to remind them to take part.

If you complete the survey, or go to the survey website and indicate that you do not wish to complete it, Ipsos MORI will stop contacting you.