Accessibility statement

National Student Survey

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an annual survey that asks final year undergraduate students to provide feedback on their programme of study. The survey is commissioned by the Office for Students and undertaken by Ipsos MORI.

Undergraduate finalists studying at UK universities are asked for their views on:

  • the quality of the teaching and assessment on their course;
  • personal development and academic support they have experienced;
  • organisation and management within their department;
  • the quality of, and access to, learning resources.

The results help to highlight where departments and the University are doing well and to inform plans for quality improvement.

Survey completion

Students are usually contacted to complete the survey between January and April, and the results of the survey are published on the Discover Uni website.

The 2023 survey will run from Monday 6 February to Sunday 30 April 2023

Promotional materials

Official NSS promotional materials for 2023 are available, including:

  • A4 poster to self-print
  • Slides for lecturers
  • Digital screen
  • Short video
  • Web banners

Official NSS promotional materials

Consult the staff wiki for advice on resizing and saving your images for the web (staff login required). Images can be resized down as required, but please do not resize up as you will lose image quality.

Inappropriate influence

All those involved in the NSS should be aware of the guidelines regarding inappropriate influence. Staff can remind eligible students to complete the survey but they have a responsibility to ensure that their students are encouraged to give their honest feedback on their student experience in the NSS. Students should not feel that they are being monitored or encouraged to answer the survey in a particular way.

Staff must not:

  • explicitly instruct students on how to complete the survey, eg "I recommend that you select agree or mostly agree"
  • link responses to the NSS as having an impact on the value of students' degrees or their chances of employability
  • link responses to the NSS as having an impact on the institution’s position in league tables
  • inaccurately represent the response scale to students ie defining the "neither agree nor disagree" as a negative response
  • compare the NSS scale to other scales with different purposes ie assignment marking schemes
  • look over students' shoulders when they complete the survey
  • require students to provide evidence that they have completed the survey
  • complete the survey on behalf of students.

It is crucial that local survey promotion is neutral and that:

  • students are targeted equally so that each eligible student is given a chance to express their views on their student experience
  • students feel free to give honest feedback about their experiences without their responses being influenced by their institution
  • students must not be encouraged to reflect in their answers anything other than genuine perceptions of their experience.

Any promotional materials that are produced in addition to those provided by Ipsos MORI must be checked for suitability in accordance with NSS guidance. A senior member of staff should sign-off all materials before they are used.

Where a concern or allegation is raised, it will be investigated by the Office for Students. If an investigation were to find that promotional activities and marketing materials had resulted in inappropriate influence, whether intentional or unintentional, the integrity of the NSS data could be called into question.

The OfS (in partnership with the relevant funding partners) could take action to suppress the affected NSS data for the institution. This would mean that no NSS data would be published for the affected courses at the institution in the specific year and, as a result, it would not be available for marketing activities, learning enhancement work or inclusion on Unistats, the Office for Students website, etc.

NSS promotion Slides 2023 (PDF , 93kb) - A guide to promoting the survey.


University Teaching Committee has recommended that an institutional incentive of a charity payment of £1 be donated for every student who completes the survey. York University Students Union (YUSU) have selected their charity partner for this year, IDAS (, to be the recipient of this donation.

IDAS is the largest specialist charity in the North supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

If you have any queries, please contact

Survey results and analysis

At York, the results of the Survey are considered initially by a small group of staff and Students' Union representatives led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Information on behalf of University Teaching Committee (UTC). The group analyses and draws out the implications of the results for institutional quality enhancement activities and provides feedback to departments.

The results and some analysis of results are circulated to Heads of Department and Chairs of Boards of Studies in the summer. Departments are asked to consider the results (with staff and students) and to keep UTC informed of their response and any actions taken through the annual programme review process. 

Who to contact

For survey queries:

For enquiries under the Freedom of Information Act: