Making use of NSS data


The National Student Survey is made available to all final year undergraduates during the spring term. The results are collated nationally and then returned to the institution, organised by department and by course. There are multiple-choice questions about satisfaction with various aspects of the course, as well as an opportunity to comment on the best things about the course, and those the student would most like to see improved.

The NSS question about ‘overall satisfaction’ (this was question 22 up until 2016) is used in several league tables at both course and institutional level.

Following  a review of the survey, there will be some changes to the questions from 2017, with new sections on ‘Learning Opportunities’, ‘Learning Community’, and ‘Student Voice’; there will be 27 core questions. Data from the NSS will be used to inform the Teaching Excellence Framework judgements on institutions. Specifically, quantitative data from the multiple choice questions on Teaching, Assessment, and Academic Support will be included automatically. Institutions may use other aspects of the data in writing their submissions to support the case for excellence.

The NSS forms an important part of the data collected by programmes to inform their course improvement plans. This section of the website looks at interpreting the data and considering appropriate actions, including sharing good practice identified by students from their responses. Your CELT faculty link will be happy to discuss the data with you and provide information about relevant continuing professional development opportunities.