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National Student Survey reveals the strengths of Chemistry at York

Posted on 17 August 2023

The results of a nationwide survey have revealed that the Department of Chemistry is home to some of the happiest chemistry students in the UK.

1st in the Russell Group for ‘Learning opportunities’ in National Student Survey

We placed 1st for ‘Learning opportunities’ among the Russell Group universities included for Chemistry in the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS), with a score of 89%. We received 91 per cent for Q05 To what extent have you had the chance to explore ideas and concepts in depth?, 93 per cent for Q06 How well does your course introduce subjects and skills in way that builds on what you have already learned? and 93 per cent for Q07 To what extent have you had the chance to bring together information and ideas from different topics?.

We also ranked highly within the Russell Group in the following areas:

2nd for ‘Student voice’ in chemistry


  • Q22 To what extent do you get the right opportunities to give feedback on your course? 92 per cent
  • Q23 To what extent are students' opinions about the course valued by staff? 85 per cent
  • Q24 How clear is it that students' feedback on the course is acted on? 82 per cent

Professor Caroline Dessent, the Head of Department, said “We are proud that the Department of Chemistry in York is a unique learning community which allows students to study at the frontiers of the subject. We are delighted to see that our students value the learning opportunities we provide and are empowered to work with us to build the best course possible”.

What is the National Student Survey

The NSS is a nationwide survey of final-year students in higher and further education. They answer questions on a variety of aspects of their university experience, including their department and course. 

Over 339,000 took part in the 2023 survey, helping prospective students to compare courses and make informed decisions about where to study. The survey empowers those taking part to shape the future of their course, giving universities honest feedback on what they are doing well and where they can improve.

York's overall position

York performed strongly in this year’s National Student Survey, featuring in the top 10 for multiple categories among Russell Group universities.

The University as a whole placed 4th in the Russell Group for Learning Resources, 5th for Academic Support and 6th for Organisation and Management. 

Thirteen subjects featured in the top three in the Russell Group for Academic Support, while a further 12 were placed in the top three for Teaching On My Course. Read more about York’s excellent NSS results.