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Student Satisfaction Survey 2006-07

The University's annual Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS) takes place at the end of the spring term. Students are asked to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of their experience of studying at the University. This page gives details of the questionnaires and presents the results of the SSS for taught course students. It also includes some information on the National Student Survey (NSS) results now available on the Unistats website. The results of the SSS for postgraduate research students will be published in autumn 2007.


There are three questionnaires for the SSS:

The SSS questionnaire for undergraduate students contains the same 21 questions as the NSS questionnaire, arranged into six groups, as well as a question on overall satisfaction. The questionnaire also contains a number of questions that are specific to Essex, including an additional group of questions on degree content. From 2006-07 the SSS and NSS also contained a section on non-academic aspects of the student experience. The questionnaire for taught course postgraduate students is the same as the undergraduate questionnaire, with only minor alterations to wording based on context. The research student questionnaire covers the quality of research supervision and training and the research environment provided by departments and centres. It also includes a section specifically for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Demonstrators.

Students are invited to respond to a series of statements using a five-point scale:

1. Definitely disagree
2. Mostly disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
4. Mostly agree
5. Definitely agree

There is also an option for students to respond ‘Not applicable’ to indicate that the statement is not applicable to them.

In addition, all students have the opportunity to comment on particularly positive or negative aspects of their experience by adding free text comments at the end of the survey questionnaire.

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Response rate

In 2006/07, the overall response rates for the questionnaires were as follows:

Undergraduate students (SSS only) - 38%
National Student Survey - 62%
Postgraduate taught students - 44%
Postgraduate Research Students - 42%

A more detailed breakdown of response rates by department is available with the results.


The results published here show both the scale score (combined proportion who agree) and the point score (the average score on the 1-5 scale). The NSS data published on the Unistats website show the scale scores; the proportion of students who mostly agreed or definitely agreed with each statement. The point score includes information about how satisfied students were (or weren’t), not just whether they were satisfied or not. The following reports are or will be available (see below for notes on interpretation of reports):


More detailed analysis of the NSS data will be circulated to those involved in the quality assurance process but the terms of the survey prohibit us from publishing this data.

Postgraduate Taught

Postgraduate Research


Commentary on results of SSS 2007 for taught course students

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Notes on Interpretation of Reports

  • Results are shown for each department and centre with more than ten responding students.

  • Results based on small numbers of responses may be less accurate. Where there are fewer than 23 responding students or low response rates, care should be taken in interpreting data and combined results for 2006 and 2007 should be considered.

  • See additional notes with each set of results.

General information

General information about the survey is also available

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