National Student Survey 2023 reveals the strengths of philosophy at York

News | Posted on Wednesday 16 August 2023

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

2nd in the Russell Group for ‘teaching on my course’ in National Student Survey 

We placed 2nd for ‘teaching on my course’ among the Russell Group universities included for philosophy in the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS), with a score of 93 per cent. 

We received 99 per cent for Q01 “How good are teaching staff at explaining things?”, 95 per cent for Q03 “How often is the course intellectually stimulating?”, 88 per cent for Q02 “How often do teaching staff make the subject engaging?”, and 88 per cent for Q04 “How often does your course challenge you to achieve your best work?”, that placed us first in the RG with an average of 93 per cent.

We also ranked highly within the Russell Group in:

3rd for ‘Organisation and management’ in philosophy


  • 89 per cent for Q17 “How well organised is your course?”
  • 84 per cent for Q18 “How well were any changes to teaching on your course communicated?”

Professor Tom Stoneham, Head of the Department of Philosophy, said “The Class of 2023 have not had an easy time at University, so we are delighted that they have recognised the exceptional effort and dedication of our brilliant teaching staff. We are proud to be able to maintain such excellent teaching alongside our world-leading research.”

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.