buildings, Campus, City Centre - photo by Lloyd Russell

The University has been placed 25th in the country for the quality of its teaching in the National Student Survey 2020, the results of which were published this week.

The ranking means final-year students gave overwhelmingly positive responses when asked if they agreed with statements such as ‘Staff are good at explaining things’ and 'Staff have made the subject interesting'.

The University also held its place in the top 50 for students’ overall satisfaction with their degree course.

The NSS, run by IPSOS Mori on behalf of the Office for Students (OfS), is the biggest survey of students’ views in the UK, with 311,432 final-year undergraduates – 68.6 per cent of those eligible – responding nationally this year.

Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with ‘lockdown’ in the UK being introduced in the middle of the survey period, nearly 80 per cent of University of Plymouth students took the time to share their views, a record in itself for the University since the survey began 10 years ago.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Petts CBE said: 

“These results demonstrate first-hand the strength of our teaching and learning offer. I am delighted that, in spite of the unexpected changes to the way our programmes needed to be delivered as a result of the coronavirus, so many of our final-year undergraduates felt able to express so positively their satisfaction with our teaching and the facilities on offer. 

"This vote of confidence in our overall quality and our ability to adapt to the situation stands us in good stead for the next academic year, when we will ensure we continue to offer a great teaching, learning and social experience to all our students.”
Professor Julian Chaudhuri, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education and Student Experience added: 

“While this year’s NSS cohort will now be moving on to employment or further study, their immensely valuable feedback will help us to improve still further. I am very grateful for it, and wish them the very best for the future as they make their way in a world that will be different, yet still full of opportunity for our well-rounded graduates.”

Results from the NSS are a key element of the data used to compile many league tables, and are publicly available to help potential students make a choice about where and what to study.

Dave Burt
“I was working a full-time job, happily earning a salary, when changes in the company left my position uncertain.” – Clearing was Dave’s platform for a career change
Emily Vickery
“I knew that Clearing was my last chance so from July onwards it was a case of refocusing and researching.” – Clearing proved to be Emily’s catalyst for opportunity
Annabel Smith-Moorhouse
“I decided it was fate telling me to go study something I would actually enjoy.” – Clearing offered Annabel the opportunity to pursue a passion
Alumni case study Ella Graham Goodman History with English graduate
“Going though Clearing meant I had more choices and could explore changing my subject.” – Clearing gave Ella more options
Will Sugg

“I knew what I wanted to do and Plymouth was the best option for me. I phoned on results day and could not fault the Clearing process. The advisor kept me in the loop at every stage and calmed my nerves. My advice is to have a clear vision of what course you want, and make sure you articulate that to the advisor. 

I ended up studying two degrees at Plymouth, spending five years in the city and having the best time ever with the best people ever.”

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduate Will Sugg is now a Digital Account Manager at Communisis.

Nanna Clearing

“Clearing changed my life 100%! Plymouth was not my first choice, as I lived in London. However, after visiting on an open day, I fell in love with the city and the campus. It made me see how amazing it was compared to other smaller universities that had less to offer.

I was devastated when I failed to get the grades for optometry. However, when I was offered a place to study biomedical science instead, I did some research and was impressed to take a shot.”

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate Nanna has now secured a job at Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea as a trainee Biomedical Scientist.