Take the National Student Survey

Take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) to share feedback on your course experience at Sussex. The 2020 survey will be live from 6 January until 30 April.

About the NSS

The NSS is a UK-wide survey of all final-year undergraduate students to give feedback on what it's been like to study on their course.

It is run so the government can assess the quality of your degree as a whole.

More information about the NSS.

Reasons to take part in the NSS

Your voice matters – the feedback you give is vital in shaping the student experience.

By filling in the survey, you’ll also help other students make an informed decision about their choice of course and university.

Prize draw for £750

Complete the NSS online by 29 February 2020 and you can opt in to a prize draw for £750 cash. The winner gets picked by Ipsos MORI after the closing date.

Woodland Trust donation

For every student who takes part in the NSS, we will donate £2 to the Woodland Trust for their work, which includes woodland protection and reforestation projects in the UK.

This way your feedback can have an even bigger impact – by helping to cut carbon emissions.

Lola explains why it’s worth completing the NSS

Who can take part

You are eligible to take the survey if you are:

  • in your final year of study on a course leading to undergraduate credits or qualifications (such as undergraduate degree, foundation degree, higher education certificate or diploma)
  • on a flexible part-time programme (complete the survey in your fourth year of study)
  • repeating your penultimate year (complete the survey now, not when you progress to your final year).

Completing the survey

You will receive an email from Ipsos MORI on Thursday 16 January inviting you to complete the survey. This email contains a survey link that is unique to you.

You’re asked for some information to verify you’re eligible to take part.

It takes about ten minutes to answer the core questions.

Once you have completed the survey, you will not receive any further contact from Ipsos MORI. If you don’t complete the survey, you’ll get reminders from Ipsos MORI by email or phone.

If you have withdrawn

If you left Sussex early during your final year, you should still complete the survey as your feedback is equally valuable.


Important: If you completed the survey in 2019, you should not complete it again in 2020.

More about the NSS

The NSS is managed by the Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator of higher education in England.

We’re required to participate in the NSS as an ongoing condition of our registration with the OfS.

The NSS is conducted on behalf of the OfS by the polling company Ipsos MORI. While we help promote it, all personal contact with you (such as by phone or email) is by them.

The results are used to compile a year-on-year comparison of data that:

  • helps prospective students make informed choices about where and what to study
  • enables participating universities to improve the student experience.

Contact details

Prior to Christmas, you will have received an email from us explaining that we share your contact details with Ipsos MORI.

The details provided to Ipsos MORI will only be used for the purposes of the survey and your details will be removed from its system when the NSS is completed in May 2020.

Your information will be stored in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The survey questions

There are 27 core questions relating to aspects of your student experience such as learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, and student voice. Read more about questions in the NSS.

You will also be asked three optional questions.

Your answers are confidential and all responses are anonymised before we see them.

Changing your survey comments

Ipsos MORI accepts additional comments to the open questions. If you want to make additional comments, email thestudentsurvey@ipsos.com. You will be asked for some verification information.

You’re entitled to ask that part or all of your record is deleted. Any requests to change responses should be made by 30 April 2020. For more details, email thestudentsurvey@ipsos.com.

Opting out

Participation in the National Student Survey is voluntary. If you do not want to take part, you can opt out. Not taking part is not the same as opting out; you’ll need to actively opt out on the Ipsos MORI website.

Publishing results

The NSS results are published on the Discover Uni website and the OfS website.


The NSS uses some general terms which are not used in all universities.

Feedback – comments from your teachers and peers on all aspects of your work. At Sussex, feedback is given not only in response to assessments, but also during lectures, seminars, tutorials and individually by academics. It might be in-person, on work you have written or by email.

Academic support – the person who provides advice to you on your academic programme of study. At Sussex, this typically means your academic advisor, but it also includes project supervisors and input you may have received from other academics in relation to course choice and so on.

Learning resources – this covers the range of resources available to you. At Sussex, this includes the Library, Canvas materials, hard-copy study packs, periodicals, books and so on.

Personal development – all the elements in your studies which help you develop wider experience and skills. At Sussex, these are often part of your teaching and include things like group working, time management and giving presentations. These also include opportunities at Sussex, such as clubs and societies, volunteering or development projects, mentoring other students or involvement in the Students’ Union.

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