Take the National Student Survey

Take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) to share feedback on your course experience at Sussex. The 2022 survey runs until 30 April.

About the NSS

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

You can also read more about the NSS on the National Student Survey website, including some frequently asked questions.

More information about the NSS.

Take the National Student Survey

Reasons to take part in the NSS

Your voice matters – the feedback you give is vital in shaping the student experience. See more about how we use student feedback to make improvements.

By filling in the survey, you’ll also help other students make an informed decision about their choice of course and university. The results are published through the DiscoverUni website which enables prospective students to compare data for courses across the UK.

For each final-year student who completes the NSS, the University will donate £1 to one of the four charities chosen by final-year Student Reps. We also asked you to vote for your preferred one at our NSS stand in Library square (24 January - 4 February). Here are the results:

  1. 28% want their donation to go to Student Minds
  2. 27% chose the Clocktower Sanctuary
  3. 23% voted for Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group
  4. and 22% picked  Surfers Against Sewage

Plus, we ran a prize draw among those who completed the NSS online by 28 February for five graduation packages worth £150 each, including two guest tickets, hire of a gown and a photo package. The five lucky winners were randomly picked by Ipsos MORI after the closing date.

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)
  • any undergraduate student who withdrew in their final year of study

Completing the survey

You should have received an email from Ipsos MORI on Thursday 13 January 2022 inviting you to complete the survey. This email contains a survey link unique to you.

You'll need your eight digit student number (Reg. number at the bottom of your student card and on Sussex Direct) to complete the survey.

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

It takes about five 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 think you are eligible to take part in this NSS, but have not heard from Ipsos MORI, email D.S.Cooper@sussex.ac.uk before the 14 Febraury 2022.

If you have withdrawn from your course

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

If you completed the survey in 2021, you should not complete it again in 2022.

Inappropriate influence

It’s really important that your responses to the NSS are a true reflection of your experience of studying at Sussex.

The University is not allowed to encourage or pressure you to respond in a way that does not reflect your genuine perceptions of your experience.

The University will remind you to complete the NSS and to consider your responses carefully and encourage you to give honest feedback.

To avoid what is known as “inappropriate influence” we will not:

  • pressure you to do the NSS or indicate to you that it is compulsory
  • offer advice on how to interpret the questions or the response scales
  • advice you how to respond
  • take you through the survey on an individual basis or do the survey for you
  • give any indication that negative comment could for example make your degree look bad to future employers

If you think you have been the subject of “inappropriate influence” you can contact the NSS helpline or contact the Office for Students via NSSallegations@officeforstudents.org.uk

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:

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

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 2022.

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.

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 2022. 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 OfS website and on the DiscoverUni website.

Terminology

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.

Learning community – All the students and staff who support you in your learning process. At Sussex, this includes your academic advisors and support staff, but also your classmates, student mentors, Students’ Union societies as well as opportunities to being part of the community like the student connectors scheme or Spirit of Sussex Awards.

Student voice – this includes all the opportunities where you can provide feedback and input into your course and the wider university. At Sussex, you can provide feedback via your student reps, the Students’ Union, internal surveys, focus groups, forums and school-specific opportunities. You can also take part in the Connectors Programme, which involves students and staff working as equal partners and collaborating to enhance the student experience.

Learning opportunities – all the elements in your studies that 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 research experience, clubs and societies, studying abroad, work placements, volunteering or development projects, mentoring other students or involvement in the Students’ Union.

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