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Postgraduate taught

Information and resources relating to postgraduate taught study in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Postgraduate policies can be found in the policies and and guidance section under Teaching and learning.

Student surveys

  • National Student Survey
  • Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey
  • Postgraduate Research Experience Survey

Guide for academic and student support staff

Do you lecture, tutor or supervise students?  Are you an academic adviser? Are you involved in supporting students?

Since they know you, your students are more likely to respond to your requests than they are to someone working in central administration or a senior figure they have never met, so you are likely to be someone who can be influential in encouraging students to participate in these key institutional surveys.

It’s important to get a good rate of participation so that those people – whether University planners and strategists, the Students’ Union, student reps or prospective students – who are making use of the results can feel confident that they are the views of the majority of students, rather than a vocal minority.

You can help by:

  • Discussing the surveys with students you are tutoring, supervising and advising
  • Displaying appropriate promotional materials in your office or on your email signatures
  • Allowing student reps to do ‘shout outs’ in your lectures or seminars – or announcing it yourself
  • Giving students time in your classes (if the facilities are there) to take the survey

Important points to make to students

  • If eligible for the NSS, PTES or PRES, students will receive an email inviting them to participate. They can also log into My Manchester and follow the link.
  • They should feel free to give their honest feedback – the surveys are all anonymous and we want to know what they really think, not what they think we would like to hear
  • The surveys will have an impact on what things get done or don’t get done – we appreciate that it’s likely they won’t benefit directly themselves, but we hope that they will be willing to share their experiences so that future students can benefit 

Please be careful that:

  • Students are targeted equally so that each eligible student is given a chance to express their views on their student experience
  • You don’t monitor, or give the appearance of monitoring, their responses
  • You encourage them only to reflect in their answers their genuine perceptions of their experiences
  • You don’t make any link between the NSS, league tables and the perceived value of students' degrees

For NSS specifically, you may wish to explain that:

  • The results are usually presented in headlines which state the percentage of students who are satisfied – e.g. 70% of students are satisfied with their overall student experience at University X
  • It would be reasonable to infer from this headline that 30% of students are dissatisfied with their overall student experience at University X, but the remaining 30% also includes those students who answered with a neutral ‘3’
  • So, in effect, answers of 1, 2 and 3 equate to dissatisfied, and answers of 4 and 5 equate to satisfied.

Please remember to keep your information factual and avoid attempting, or appearing to attempt, to influence the way that students answer the questions.

Further details, information, guidance and materials for all three surveys are available here: