Teaching & Learning


PTES 2021 headline results: more than 92% of our Master's students would recommend UCL

30 June 2021

UCL’s 2021 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) response rate of 36.3% is up from 32.5% last year, with over 6,400 students taking part.

Image with text Power to the Postgrads

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. Overall PTES results and faculty, departmental and programme-level results have been shared with PTES Liaison Officers and Faculty and Department leaders this week.

Over 6,400 students participated in this year’s survey – a response rate of 36.3%. This is an improvement on last year’s response rate of 32.5% and well ahead of the sector's average response rate of 23%.  

Higher satisfaction for course organisation and support services

The survey focuses on students’ experiences regarding teaching and learning, engagement, assessment and feedback, organisation and management, resources and services and skills development.

UCL saw increased Organisation and Management scores, achieving 74.3% (+1.3ppts). In particular, the question, “The course is well organised and is running smoothly,” increased by 5.8ppts.  

Our Propensity to Recommend score remained stable with 92.1% of respondents indicating that they would recommend UCL.

Most of the questions relating to UCL’s support services saw increased scores, including satisfaction with counselling and disability support appointments which, with a minor changes to the questions this year, both saw very large increases, scoring 73% and 78% respectively.

The majority of UCL students are here at postgraduate level – they are at the heart of what we do so it’s crucial we know how they feel about their UCL education and experience. It’s thanks to your ongoing help with promoting the survey that we can report an increased response rate this year.

It’s encouraging to see our Master's students reporting such improved experiences of support services during Covid-19, and that they’ve recognised the hard work you’ve done to ensure programmes ran as smoothly as possible this year despite huge challenges and uncertainty.

Student feedback, including PTES scores and comments on where we can improve, will be central to shaping our education priorities in this new strategy development period, but these results show there is a lot we can be proud of already. - Prof Deborah Gill, Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience).

The following departments recorded outstanding scores for Overall Satisfaction:

  • Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies with 100% Overall Satisfaction
  • Department of Earth Sciences with 93% Overall Satisfaction
  • Division of Psychiatry with 93 % Overall Satisfaction
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health with 93% Overall Satisfaction

Room for improvement

Overall Satisfaction showed a small decrease of 1.3ppts to 78.4%.

Teaching and Learning and Assessment and Feedback also received small decreases in their scores but, rather than being part of a downwards trend, these showed a return to the scores received in 2019 or higher.

Full results and comments coming soon

Text comments will also be shared with departments at the end of July.

Comparisons against the sector, Russell Group and London university averages will be released in a new PTES dashboard at the end of August. Professional Services reports will also be shared by the end of August.