About the NSS

What is the NSS

Nearly half a million students across the UK are invited to take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) every year.

The NSS is your opportunity to give your honest feedback about what it has been like to study on your course at your university or college. It is published every year and is a rich and influential source of information about higher education. The survey is a key component of the quality assurance and wider regulatory landscape in UK higher education.

As students, you have a powerful collective voice that will help shape the future of your course and your university/college for current and prospective students.

The survey is completed by final-year students at:

  • All publicly funded Higher Education universities and colleges in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland
  • Further education colleges in England and Northern Ireland
  • Further education institutions (FEIs) in Wales (with directly funded higher education students)


Who benefits from the NSS?

Your feedback from the NSS provides universities or colleges with a picture of what the learning experience has been like for you as a current student. Universities and colleges, and student unions (associations or guilds) look at the anonymised NSS data to understand what they do best, and what needs to change. Your opinions can be used to help make changes that will improve the learning experience. More widely, the NSS provides important information for the four UK higher education regulatory and funding bodies – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Department for Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI), and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

NSS results are also publicly available on the Discover Uni undergraduate course search. Prospective students considering higher education in the UK can find out what students like you thought about any course, to help them decide what to study and where. Discover Uni allows prospective students to compare higher education courses at different universities and colleges.

Universities and colleges also use the results to improve the student learning experience and the data is published on the OfS website.


The NSS is commissioned by the Office for Students (OfS), on behalf of the UK funding and regulatory bodies – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Department for Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI), and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The NSS is undertaken independently by Ipsos. The survey respects the privacy of the students taking part, and as such, individual responses are confidential. Please refer to the FAQs’ ‘Type of questions asked’ section for guidance on preserving your anonymity and that of others in the open-text comments.

For more information, as well as help with specific queries, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).