Academic Development and Quality Enhancement

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey

HEA PTES LogoThis year, the University of Sussex is taking part in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).

PTES is a national survey, co-ordinated by the national body for improving teaching and learning in Universities, the Higher Education Academy. It is carried out by the University and begins here on 24 April 2017 and closes on 16 June 2017.

The survey is the chance for taught postgraduates to feedback on their experiences of teaching and learning, to let us know what went well and what can be improved. We need to know what postgraduates think so that we not only address any issues, but also keep on doing the things that work well and are valued by students. It should take students no more than 15 minutes to complete.

The survey is confidential and the results are made anonymous so that no individual can be identified.

Promoting the survey

Posters will be printed for display around campus. Electronic versions of these along with online adverts and a Powerpoint will be provided to support promotion of the survey.

Completing the survey

Full-time postgraduate taught students and part-time postgraduate taught students in their second year will receive an email from Clare Wolstenholme in the Academic Development and Quality Enhancement (ADQE) Office asking them to complete the survey. The email will contain a personal link to the survey which is hosted online by Bristol Online Surveys. PTES should take around 15 minutes to complete.Email reminders will be sent throughout the survey window to those who have not yet completed the survey.


The survey questions are broken down into the following areas:

  • The experience of teaching and learning, including: staff, learning materials, working with other students, workload, and feeding back on experience;
  • Assessment and feedback, including supervisor support for dissertation or major project;
  • Organisation and management, including induction and involvement in course decisions;
  • Resources and services, including learning resources and overall support;
  • Skills development and independent learning, research skills and career skills;
  • Questions around the workload on your course;
  • Motivation for taking the course and information provided by the instition to help with your choice;
  • Demographic details, including on previous education and fluency in English.

Where we already hold demographic details for students we will pre-populate these fields. This will mean that students may not have to enter details for certain questions and the survey will be quicker for them to complete.

Why should students take part?

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is a chance for students to let us know their thoughts about their course. The results help us to make changes that will improve what we do in future and to keep doing the things that students value. We really appreciate feedback from students and this is one way that you can help to improve the experience of future students at Sussex. As a thank you for taking part, students will receive a £5 food and drink voucher which can be used in SussexFood outlets on campus.

Can students opt out?

We strongly encourage students to complete the survey as soon as possible because their experience and views are very important. However, the survey is not compulsory. Students can let us know that they do not want to take part by emailing Clare Wolstenholme in ADQE.


Over one hundred universities and colleges take part in the survey and the results of institutions aggregated together are published by the HEA. 

You can view PTES reports from previous years on the HEA's website.

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