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BU surveys

We'll ask you to complete some surveys at key points during your studies. This is to make sure we understand the views of as many different students as possible, in a way that allows us to monitor our progress. Completing these surveys can really make a difference to the BU experience for you and other students.

Here are details about some of the main surveys we'll ask you to complete - what they're all about, when you'll be asked to complete them and what we do with the information.

Please note: if you want to conduct, or take part in, peer-to-peer surveys for dissertation projects or research studies read our guidance information on how to get involved.

Find out more about BU surveys

Mid Unit Student Evaluation (MUSE)

Who: All students

What: The MUSE is BU-wide for undergraduates and postgraduate-taught students. It allows you to share feedback about your units of study, while you're still studying them. There are core questions focusing on things like:

  • Resources
  • Feedback and assessment
  • Teaching
  • Support and advice.

Depending on your unit, you may also be asked to give feedback on other areas that are unique to what you're studying. You'll be asked to rate each question on a scale of categories from 'definitely agree' to 'definitely disagree'. The two categories of 'definitely agree' and 'mostly agree' are combined and demonstrate overall agreement with the statement and that you are satisfied on that point. Answers in the other three categories demonstrate that you do not agree with the statement and are not satisfied on that point (the middle answer is not neutral).

Your lecturers will share a summary of the collective unit feedback on myBU during semester one.

When: The survey will usually take place in November and March each academic year. 

Why: This is your opportunity to share your feedback about your units of study, while you're still studying them. The questions are a brief form of the NSS questions (see next section) and are designed to give us early information about your satisfaction with your units so we can do things that should benefit you.

National Student Survey (NSS)

Who: All final year undergraduate students (level 6).

What: The NSS is an online nationwide survey initiated by a company called IpsosMori on behalf of the government. The results are used to produce Unitstats data about every course at every UK university. Much like the Mid-Unit Student Evaluation, the NSS allows you to rate how much you agree or disagree with statements about your academic experiences and your overall experience.

When: The survey opens during semester 2 and is typically open for three months. It's an online survey so you can complete it at home or at university. As the deadline date for the NSS approaches, IpsosMori will send you reminder emails, and possibly even call you to ask you to complete it.

Why: This is a great opportunity to reflect on your full experience at BU. Your feedback is used to compile year-on-year comparative data. Results are publicly available to prospective students, their families and advisors to help make informed choices of where and what to study.

New students' survey

Who: All new students starting at BU (levels 4 and 7).

What: Organised by BU and SUBU, this online survey that takes around 15 minutes to complete and asks about your experiences during your first few weeks here. 

When: This survey typically opens at the end of October / start of November.

Why: Results show us things we can improve on for future years - and what to keep because you like it the way it is! Your responses can also help to give us an idea of the sort of things you might be have been expecting before you got here versus the reality of arriving, as well what you might be expecting for the remainder of your studies e.g. your communication preferences.

International Student Barometer

Who: All new, non-UK, students in their first year of an undergraduate or postgraduate course (level 4 and 7).

What: This complements the Arrivals Survey, but looks more in-depth at your arrivals experience as an international student. An online survey that focuses on your experiences as an international student so far. It’s a national survey administered by a company called igraduate, who often offer incentives such as a prize draw.

When: The survey is typically run in the Autumn months.

Why: Your feedback help inform how we make your BU experience, as well as the experience of future BU students, one that is memorable and positive.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)

Who: All current postgraduate taught level students (level 7), including CPD, part-time and full-time students for MA, MBA, MSc, LLM or LPC courses.

What: This is an annual, national survey arranged and processed by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). It is coordinated by Bristol Online Research on behalf of BU and other UK higher education providers. PTES takes 15-20 minutes to complete online and includes questions on topics such as Teaching & Learning; Assessment & Feedback; Resources & Services & Skills Development.

When: Every year, typically during March – June.

Why: PTES gives Masters student's the opportunity to tell us about their experience, in an anonymised way, helping inform BU about both positive and negative experiences.

Results: PTES has helped improve timetabling, personal and professional development opportunities and community building.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

Who: Anyone studying a research degree (PhD, MRes, MPhil, DProf)

What: A national survey led by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and coordinated by BU's Doctoral College. It takes 15-20 minutes to complete online and includes questions on topics such as supervision, the research community at BU, assessment & feedback, resources, skills, and professional development.

When: The survey is typically open from March to May.

Why: PRES gives those studying a research degree the opportunity to have their voice heard in an anonymised way which helps inform BU about both positive and negative experiences.

Results: PRES has helped improve supervision, personal and professional development opportunities and community building.

Your feedback

Your feedback

We value what you have to say - find out the different ways you can share your feedback.

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Student survey guidelines

To survey - or be surveyed - for a student research project you need to use our official student surveys email group.