University of Bath

Guidance on surveying students

Find information, advice and protocol for staff planning to survey students for research purposes or to collect feedback about the student experience.

Avoiding survey fatigue among students

The Centre for Learning & Teaching provides advice to staff and students planning to survey students to help you to promote your survey effectively and maximise response rates.

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

Student surveys may take place for a variety of purposes including:

  • collecting knowledge and feedback from students about their experience of studying at Bath. This enables the University to continually develop its learning and teaching, student services and campus facilities to enhance the student experience.
  • collecting data as part of research to support dissertations, theses and academic research initiatives.

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. If you would like further advice about planning a survey, contact the Student Engagement team at studentengagement@bath.ac.uk.

  3. Please inform the Student Engagement Team about your planned student survey. This helps us to maintain a calendar of student surveys for the University, so that we can ensure that timeframes for large surveys are coordinated in order to minimise survey fatigue amongst students.

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

  5. Please ensure that your research complies with the University's ethical research principles.

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 follow 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 allow departments to fulfill this condition.

  3. The surveyor must 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 students planning to survey other students

If you are a current student, please see our guidance for students on surveying other students.