Student and Registry Services


Module Selection Feedback and Actions

28 February 2023

Read about the feedback captured from staff and students and the actions that we have planned for continuous improvement

What we did 

In December, we sought feedback from staff and students on their experience of the module selection process to gauge the impact of the module selection process / timing changes in 2022 as well as to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.  

Student feedback was captured via a questionnaire to which we received over 840 responses and staff feedback was captured via workshops, involving 26 staff from a cross section of departments.  

What we learned 

Overall students reported a positive experience with 69% reporting that they were given their first module choices; 62% saying they were happy with their module allocation and 81% happy with their allocated timetable. In relation to the process, 88% felt that the module selection window provided enough time to make module selections, 59% said the module selection process was easy to navigate and 79% found it easy to make module selections on Portico.  Areas for improvement included more visibility of modules available, more space on existing modules, more module information and accurate timetabling information to prevent clashes. We have provided faculty specific feedback packs to Faculty Tutors to enable them to identify and implement actions where required.  

Staff reported overall positive views on the timing and duration of the end-to-end module selection process but with some concerns about the high volume of queries and re-selection requests which they felt was caused in part by the extended re-selection window. Staff felt that the module selection process works well for the majority of Undergraduate Students, but presents challenges for certain student groups: affiliate students / elective students / PGT and module flex students / interrupters.  Staff felt that it would be useful to have ranked choices from students so that second choices can be allocated immediately and there is an appetite to further raise student awareness of pre-requisites / restrictions for modules. Last year, room availability and space issues resulted in many module rejections and the room change request process was cumbersome. Staff felt that communications, guidance materials and toolkits were good and student communications were also effective especially for term 1, although there was some contradiction about module selections in term 2.​  

Actions in progress / planned

The following actions are in progress / planned to address the key areas for improvement:  

  • Reviewing the Academic Manual and student messaging to encourage re-selection by end of July and to encourage students to make the right choices first time (where possible), and to make re-selections by exception. 
  • Cross-referencing module catalogue restrictions and corresponding Portico rules to ensure restrictions are flagged to student when making selections. 
  • Investigating options for a longer-term ranking / waiting list solution. 
  • Adding a staff communication section to the module selection support page to show all module selection related communications to staff. 
  • Reviewing elective process and options​. 
  • Investigating PGT / module flex issues​. 
  • Ensuring that staff / student webpages reflect interrupters process. 
  • Reviewing module catalogue entries for consistency, providing template / guidance on entries. 
  • Investigating external space options (Estates)​. 
  • Reviewing room change process. 

What Faculties / Departments can do 

To enhance the module selection experience for their students, we are also asking faculties / departments to:  

  • Provide as much support as possible to students in making module selections. Where possible, provide opportunities for alumni discussions and pathways guidance / examples, demo / intro to subject and lecturers. Offer in-person / drop-in events where possible.  
  • Ensure module catalogue descriptions are up-to-date and consistent. We recommend the following information as a minimum (description section of module catalogue entry): overview; purpose; learning outcomes.​ 
  • Where available, provide additional information to help inform student choice including last year’s average grade; student feedback; reading lists; links to example assessments or lecture notes; profiles of students selecting module.​ 
  • Encourage students to make the right choice first time and use re-selection by exception rather than default.​ Please re-iterate this message in any related communications that you send.

We will send an email to students next week to provide them with information about module selection for 2023/24, we will update our module selection student communication page with a copy of content.  

Contact details for further information: lifecycle@ucl.ac.uk