Accessibility statement

Student voice

Student voice is integral to the quality assurance and enhancement of learning and teaching at all levels within the University. It takes a variety of forms, including: evaluating modules and programmes; completing national student surveys; acting as representatives on departmental committees, and serving on University committees and working groups. Staff and students benefit from working together to enhance and assure the quality of the University’s programmes. 

The Policy for Student Representation in Learning and Teaching Activities in Academic Departments (Policy for Student Representation) underpins how students can be involved in the academic governance of their programmes, as Course Representatives and individually, through departmental committees and forums: The Board of Studies, the Departmental Teaching Committee and Staff Student Forum. The Policy also explains how the Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association support student representation activities, not least through the organisation of Course Representative elections and training. This form of student involvement is a key way in which students act as partners with staff to oversee and enhance the academic governance of their learning and academic support. By becoming a Course Representative students can also gain an interesting insight into how their department thinks and makes decisions about teaching, whilst developing a range of transferable skills.

In addition to the formal Committee structure, individual students are encouraged to provide feedback on their learning experience to the Department and University by:

  • completing module evaluation and programme surveys; 
  • undertaking national surveys of student satisfaction including the National Student Survey (undergraduates), Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey and Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (for which the University receives data at programme and departmental level); 
  • responding to consultations instigated by academics proposing changes to their modules and degrees where University approval decisions require a consideration of student opinion on the proposal;
  • taking part in Annual Programme Review or Periodic Review meetings, both of which lead to the development of enhancement action plans, to discuss experiences and to share ideas of what works well and what could work better in relation to learning, teaching and student support. 

Student views are also instrumental to the development of new programmes or to considering the need for, and form that, changes to programmes will take. By being involved in these discussions, current students can influence the shape of their degree as well as contribute ideas of benefit to the students that will come after them. For example, when a Department is considering introducing a new programme it will normally ask current or recently graduated students on relevant existing programmes about key issues such as structure, content and the approach to learning, teaching and assessment.