Teaching & Learning


PTES 2017 results: student satisfaction remains at 80%

14 November 2017

More than 4,900 students took part in the 2017 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), meaning UCL finished on a response rate of 36%, up from 31% in 2016.

PTES 2017 results

The results indicate that overall satisfaction remains unchanged, with 80% of postgraduate taught students happy with their experience at UCL. Students were particularly positive about the teaching at UCL, with 90% agreeing that ‘Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching’ and 87% agreeing ‘Staff are good at explaining things’. 

There are very high satisfaction levels for some departments with 100% overall satisfaction for the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and high scores for UCL Medical School (98%), the Institute for Global Health (97%) and the Institute of Archaeology (96%).

Feedback and assessment which was the biggest area of concern last year, and in particular the question ‘Feedback on my work has been prompt’, saw an increase from 58% to 61%.

UCL is a predominantly postgraduate institution

The PTES is a national survey for Master's students only and is used to gather information about the experience of any taught postgraduate student. The survey focuses on students’ experiences regarding teaching and learning, engagement, assessment and feedback, organisation and management, resources and services and skills development. This academic year, the survey will run from the end of March until early June 2018.

Professor Anthony Smith, who as UCL’s Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) oversees the student experience, said, “UCL is a predominantly postgraduate institution and it is vital we understand more about the postgraduate taught students’ needs and expectations and what this means for how we deliver education. 

“It is great to see some departments have such high satisfaction scores in the PTES but now we need to work together to ensure we are delivering this level of experience across all departments. As a result of our review of postgraduate taught education we’ve started to develop a number of recommendations and will be seeking input from students later this year.”

Departments will respond to the results of the Postgraduate Taught Survey by producing an action plan as part of the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER) process. For more information about the Postgraduate Taught Review survey, you can view the headline results via the You Shape UCL website.

Close-the-loop feedback campaign

Survey metrics are a key part of measuring student engagement and satisfaction but it is just as important to highlight how student views and ideas are helping to shape UCL in a practical sense.

For the second consecutive year, the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) is running a student feedback campaign called ‘You Shaped UCL’. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the institution-wide changes that have happened as a result of what students have told us via surveys like the PTES as well as feedback from student representation on university committees. ‘You Shaped UCL’ will begin in late November and run until January.

However, we need your help. UCL students identify closely with their department and degree programme, therefore making clear the role they are playing to steer change at a local level is vital. 

We have produced a campaign guide for staff along with a range of editable templates to help you share with students the specific changes that have happened in your department, institute, faculty or division because of student feedback.

To download the You Shaped UCL: close-the-loop feedback templates and the guide please visit the UCL Teaching and Learning Portal.

If you have any queries about the 2017 PTES results or the You Shaped UCL campaign, please contact student.engagement@ucl.ac.uk.

Useful Links

Rachel Heatley, Acting Head of Student Engagement, Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)