2020 applicants
National student survey

Take part in the National Student Survey

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Your voice heard

Are you an undergraduate student in your final year of studying at Essex? Do you want your opinions heard?

The National Student Survey (NSS) is your chance to feedback on your student experience during your time here at university. It's an independently run survey asking final year undergraduate students across the country about their time at university. You'll be asked to give your opinions anonymously, on what you liked about your course and also what you think we could do to improve things here at Essex. 

The results are made publicly available to help prospective students make informed decision of where and what to study. Your voice is hugely important and could help to shape the future of your course and university.

How to take part in the NSS

The NSS survey is open from 3 February to 30 April 2020.

Now the survey is open, you can take part on a computer, mobile or tablet, and it just takes 10 minutes to complete.

You need to be a final year student to participate in the NSS so you will need to complete an eligibility check by providing your full name and date of birth, as well as your student ID number. 

You will receive a confirmation email once your survey has been submitted to NSS.

Let's do this!

As of Tuesday 18 February 2020, two weeks into the surveys campaign for NSS, UKES and PTES, we’ve raised £1,391 for the three local charities in Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

That’s £1 donated for every survey completed.

But we really want to reach our target this year and exceed last year’s if we can! You can help just by completing your survey if you haven’t already done so.

NSS - charity donation
Make a difference

We'll donate £1 for every survey completed to charities chosen by our students.

Take part in the NSS now

should you take part in the NSS?

Your chance to give honest, anonymous feedback on your student experience
It takes just 10 minutes to complete
We'll donate £1 to charity for every survey you complete
Have your say and be heard
You'll help make a difference to Essex
NSS - give anon feedback on your student experience
NSS - just takes ten minutes
Piggy bank donation
NSS - have your voice heard
NSS - make a difference

What will the survey ask?

The NSS will ask you to rate the following on a score of 1 to 5, with 5 being 'Definitely Agree'. When answering the questions, think about your whole experience at Essex, from first year until now.

NSS Questions

The teaching on my course

  1. Staff are good at explaining things.
  2. Staff have made the subject interesting.
  3. The course is intellectually stimulating.
  4. My course has challenged me to achieve my best work.

Learning opportunities

5.    My course has provided me with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth.

6.    My course has provided me with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics.

7.    My course has provided me with opportunities to apply what I have learnt.

Assessment and feedback

8.     The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance.

9.     Marking and assessment has been fair.

10.   Feedback on my work has been timely.

11.   I have received helpful comments on my work.

Academic support

12.    I have been able to contact staff when I needed to.

13.    I have received sufficient advice and guidance in relation to my course.

14.    Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices on my course.

Organisation and management

15.    The course is well organised and is running smoothly.

16.    The timetable works efficiently for me.

17.    Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively.

Learning resources

18.    The IT resources and facilities provided have supported my learning well.

19.    The library resources (e.g. books, online services and learning spaces) have supported my learning well.

20.    I have been able to access course-specific resources (e.g. equipment, facilities, software, collections) when I needed to.

Learning community

21.    I feel part of a community of staff and students.

22.    I have had the right opportunities to work with other students as part of my course.

Student voice

23.    I have had the right opportunities to provide feedback on my course.

24.    Staff value students’ views and opinions about the course.

25.    It is clear how students’ feedback on the course has been acted on.

26.    The students’ union (association or guild) effectively represents students’ academic interests.

27.    Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course.

28.    Looking back on the experience, are there any particularly positive or negative aspects you would like to highlight?

You said, we did

Your feedback plays an important role in helping to shape the future of your university, here’s some of the key departmental changes that have been made as a result of last year's NSS results:

  • The choice is yours – we’ve introduced additional modules to help you create a course that suits you.
  • More opportunities to get great minds together – we’ve created new social spaces and communal study areas.
  • Support when you need it – increased academic support hours and departmental engagement.
  • Keep in touch – More frequent departmental feedback on your progress.
  • Improving the way your course works – Greater clarity on coursework marking criteria and submission deadlines.

STEM Centre
You asked us to provide more lab space so you could work collaboratively...  We invested in our facilities and built a brand new STEM centre which houses tons of modern lab exploratory space, meeting spaces and exhibition areas.

The important details

Sharing your information

The University is required to pass details of students in their final year to Ipsos-MORI for the National Student Survey (NSS). This data is used only for the survey and removed from their systems as soon as the survey is over. All responses are reported anonymously. 

You can find out more about the NSS or choose to opt out of the survey on the NSS website

How we use the results

The University of Essex has a full procedure on disseminating student survey results. In brief, this involves the following activity:

Understanding the results 

National Student Survey (NSS) results are not published per department because not all university departments are the same. Different universities divide their subjects up in different ways so the NSS reflects this by publishing results using the universities sector-wide ‘joint academic coding system’ (JACS). These codes can be grouped together to give very broad subject groupings, such as social studies, made up from a collection of more refined groups, such as economics, politics or sociology. NSS subjects are made up of a hierarchy of three levels, each containing a number of groups from the level below.

National media publication

Once available NSS results and many other statistics are published on Unistats, the official website that helps students make an informed choice about choosing which university to apply to. At this time NSS results are also published in national newspapers’ university league tables and the University will communicate the results internally and externally to staff and students and in news releases.

Departmental results

The University’s Strategic Planning and Change Section provides a basic set of NSS results data for departments, who may request access to more detailed data. This data supplements course-specific feedback received from students during the Student Assessment of Modules and Teaching (SAMT), as a valuable tool that also serves to improve the quality of your educational and student experience before you reach the end of your programme. Heads of department or school subsequently give feedback to staff and student liaison committees on action taken in response to surveys.

Informing strategic planning and change

Results are also considered at University level and are used to inform the University's strategic planning processes with particular reference to those areas that are most important to students. Survey results also feed into annual programme monitoring and the annual departmental planning cycle.

For more information about student surveys or if you’d like to talk to someone about your experience at the University of Essex, please email surveys@essex.ac.uk.

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