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National Student Survey reveals the strengths of the Environment and Geography Department at York

Posted on 16 August 2023

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

3rd in the Russell Group for ‘Learning resources’ in National Student Survey

We placed 3rd for ‘Learning resources’ among the Russell Group universities included for human geography in the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS), with a score of 91%. We received 95 per cent for Q15 How easy was it to contact teaching staff when you needed to? and 93 per cent for Q16 How well have teaching staff supported your learning?.

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

 ‘Teaching on my course’ in environmental sciences


  • Q01 How good are teaching staff at explaining things? 96 per cent
  • Q02 How often do teaching staff make the subject engaging? 89  per cent
  • Q03 How often is the course intellectually stimulating? 96 per cent

Professor Roland Gehrels, the Head of Department, said “Together with our excellent research and impact ratings, these NSS results show that we are successful in producing happy and accomplished graduates who have the ability to tackle the many environmental and social problems the world is facing today. Our graduates will help us on our ambitious mission to become the most influential environment department in the world within the next decade.”.

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.