National Student Survey

The National Student Survey is a nationally recognised annual survey of mostly final year undergraduates in the UK. The survey provides students with an invaluable opportunity to give their opinions on what they liked about their time at the University of Birmingham as well as things that they felt could have been improved. 

The NSS includes 23 core questions, relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience: teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation, learning resources, personal development, overall satisfaction, and the students’ union. Students are asked to respond to each question using a 5-point scale from ‘Definitely agree’ (5) to ‘Definitely disagree’ (1).

Survey results

The results are made publicly available and used to help future students to choose courses that best suit their needs and interests. As well as providing important information to prospective students, the results are also used by the University to inform improvements and changes that will benefit students in the future. You can see the results of last year’s survey at

Physics at Birmingham has performed consistently well in the NSS over the last few years. In 2013 we ranked first for overall satisfaction within the Russell Group, with 99% of students satisfied with their course here.

NSS - School of Physics performance and rankings (PDF 164KB)

The table below shows the percentage of Physics and Astronomy students in the Russell Group who were satisfied with the quality of their course in 2013.

Question 22: Overall Satisfaction

(‘Overall I am satisfied with the quality of my course’)

University % Agree Ranking in Russell Group
2013 2013
Birmingham  99 1
Leeds  96 2
Queen's University Belfast  95 3
Nottingham  93 4
Glasgow  92 5
Sheffield  92 5
Durham               89 7
Edinburgh  89 7
Imperial College  89 7
Cardiff  88 10
Manchester  88 10
York  87 12
Exeter  86 13
Bristol  85 14
Southampton  85 14
UCL  85 14
Warwick  85 14
Liverpool  82 18
Oxford  82 18
King's College  81 20
Queen Mary  69 21

More information is available on the National Student Survey website.