2016 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey: Listening to Students

The School of Law has been delivering professional law and ethics postgraduate programmes for over 25 years. We are conscious of the needs of our diverse student cohorts and aim to ensure that all of our postgraduate students have a high quality experience and all the support they need to reach their potential, whether they are intercalating medical students, recent graduates or seasoned professionals.

We have regular reviews of student evaluation of teaching and students can feedback on general issues through their class representative with whom we meet at regular intervals during the year.  Teaching teams also review how their programme went from their perspective at the end of each academic year and we make changes based on all these inputs to keep the programmes up-to-date and responsive to student needs and expectations.

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is a sector-wide survey of postgraduate students and gives us further information on how we are doing. We were delighted to see that our students’  ‘Overall Satisfaction’ was 92.5% and the Quality of Teaching and Learning rate is 89.29%.

It is clear that our overall satisfaction rate is much higher than the specific categories explored by the PTES. This indicates that the PTES does not capture everything in the postgraduate taught experience. Over the many years of delivering programmes to our students, we have become sensitive to the particular learning and support needs of working professionals. We know that organisation, assessment and quality teaching matter most (see Leman 2015 - link https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/ptes_2015_what_do_pgts_want.pdf).

The Higher Education Authority (HEA), which runs the survey, states that overall satisfaction is most closely linked with quality of teaching and learning. This is true in our case but there is still a gap of 5%. We think that extra 5% is partly down to our students - student experience is not only about individual members of staff or individual students but about the relationships between staff and students and the dynamic of the student group. We aim, always, to facilitate a welcoming supportive environment and a positive dynamic amongst students. Our fantastic students also bring diverse experience, training and perspectives (both personal and professional) to their courses.

We are very grateful to all our (very busy) students who participate in the PTES survey.