Taught postgraduate survey results revealed

About three quarters of taught postgraduate students are happy with the teaching and learning on their course, a new national survey says.

September 19, 2013

Some 76 per cent of students questioned for the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, published on 19 September, said they were positive about this aspect of their experience.

A total of 58,679 students from 89 institutions took part in the latest annual survey, the largest number since the poll - which is conducted by the Higher Education Academy - was launched in 2009.

While comments regarding teaching and learning are generally favourable, students are less happy about contact time, with only 65 per cent saying they have sufficient contact time to support effective learning.

The vast majority, 93 per cent, say the quality of teaching they receive is generally or consistently good, but just 72 per cent say they receive the right level of teaching support.

Scores on assessment and feedback were the lowest in the survey, with only 64 per cent of students saying they are happy with the timeliness and promptness of feedback, despite improvements on previous years.

“It is encouraging that the results of the survey show that a high percentage of taught postgraduate students are positive about the learning and teaching on their course, and that scores for assessment and feedback are gradually improving,” said Stephanie Marshall, the HEA’s chief executive.

“But there is clearly still work to do to ensure that all students can access an excellent learning experience.”

Students are currently not allowed to see the institution-by-institution results from the annual survey, though the findings are made available to universities so they can compare their success rates against other institutions.

The survey also showed almost four out of five students (77.5 per cent) feel their postgraduate studies have improved their employment prospects, with those in disciplines strongly linked with vocations feeling most positive about their chances of getting a graduate-level job.

Just over half of full-time students (52 per cent) say the reputation of their university was the key reason for choosing to study there, while 43 per cent say the reputation of their course was key. Flexibility of delivery was the most common reason given by part-time students.

This year’s taught postgraduate survey follows the publication of the HEA’s Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2013 earlier this month, which showed 82 per cent of 48,401 students were happy with their course.


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