University of Bath

Guidance for students on surveying other students

Find information, advice and protocol for students planning to survey other students to gather opinions or as part of research towards dissertations and theses.

Advice available to help carry out a survey

The Centre for Learning & Teaching provides advice to students who are planning to survey other students for research or other purposes. We can help you to promote your survey effectively and maximise response rates.

You may be surveying other students for a variety of purposes, including:

  • collecting data as part of research to support dissertations, theses and academic research initiatives
  • collecting opinions and feedback from students to help support and enhance student groups, societies, teaching and learning and other University activities.

Please read our advice and guidance below. If you would like further information, please contact the Student Engagement team at studentengagement@bath.ac.uk.

Avoiding survey fatigue among students

Please help us to avoid survey fatigue among students by following our guidelines.

Please remember that students receive numerous requests throughout the year to complete surveys. These include:

  • annual surveys organised by the University to help monitor student satisfaction, such as NSS, UKES, PTES, PRES and unit evaluations
  • student satisfaction and experience surveys organised by Faculties, School, Departments, The SU Bath and a range of student services
  • requests to take part in student and academic research.

General guidance for all surveys

  1. See our best practice guidelines about designing and promoting your survey.

  2. Remember to plan in advance how you will feedback the results of the survey to your participants.

  3. You are welcome to promote your survey on the University website. Complete the Student Survey Template and send it to studentengagement@bath.ac.uk. Your call for participants will be displayed on our webpage to encourage people to participate in student research.

  4. You can also promote your survey via the University noticeboard.

  5. When collecting data, please ensure that you adhere to the Data Protection Act.

  6. Where applicable, please ensure that your research complies with the University's ethical research principles.

If you would like further advice about planning a survey, speak to your tutor, supervisor, or contact the Student Engagement team at studentengagement@bath.ac.uk.

Protocol for surveys of over 250 students

If you are contacting over 250 students to take part in the survey and if your student sample is taken from more than one Department or School, please ensure that you meet the University protocol for surveying students:

  1. You must seek permission from the Centre of Learning & Teaching to run the survey. Please complete the survey scheduling request form and email it to the Student Engagement team at studentengagement@bath.ac.uk.

  2. At least one of the people involved in creating the survey must have recent training or experience in survey and questionnaire design. The Student Engagement team can advise about training to help you fulfill this condition.

  3. The surveyor should have a clear plan for feedback of the results of the survey to the student community.

  4. The Student Engagement team will schedule the survey at an appropriate time. They will also ensure that all appropriate ethical protocols, for example about confidentiality, will be observed.

Advice for staff planning to survey students

If you are a member of staff, please see our guidance for staff on surveying students.