The National Student Survey (NSS) 

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an annual survey which gives final year higher education students the opportunity to provide feedback about their experience on their course. The information gathered is intended to help future applicants to decide between courses and also to allow higher education providers to improve the learning experience in areas where feedback is less positive.

The survey is run by Ipsos MORI on behalf of:

  • The Department for the Economy Northern Ireland
  • The Office for Students
  • The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • The Scottish Funding Council

In the survey, students respond to statements using a five-point response scale from 'definitely disagree' to 'definitely agree'. The statements are grouped into the following sections:

  • The teaching on my course
  • Learning opportunities
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Academic support
  • Organisation and management
  • Learning resources
  • Learning community
  • Student voice

On Unistats we display the percentage of students who either responded 'definitely agree' or 'agree' to each statement.

For more information about the NSS, visit the National Student Survey website (Opens in a new window).

Publication of results

NSS data for the course can only be displayed on Unistats where at least 10 students have completed the survey and where we have responses from half of all the students surveyed on that course.

In the past we have grouped responses with those from the previous year to allow us to publish information for the course. If this did not result in more than 10 responses, we published responses for all courses in the same subject area.

NSS 2017

A new survey questionnaire was used for the NSS this year. This included some new question sections ('Learning opportunities', 'Learning community' and 'Student Voice') and revised wording for existing questions to bring them up to date and to make them clearer.

As the survey has changed substantially this year, we cannot group responses with those from the 2016 survey where we have had fewer than the 10 responses we need. We will still group data for courses in the same subject area to allow us to publish it where possible, but this year there may be more courses without data or with subject-level data. We also display subject-level data where a course has not been running long enough for data to be available or has not yet started. It is important to note that an absence of NSS data is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

Please note that, if you are viewing NSS data outside of Unistats, it is not valid to compare question level responses from 2017 with data from 2016 or previous years.


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