Academic & Student Affairs

The Second Year Experience Survey

In 2008, the University introduced its Second Year Experience Survey. The Survey is conducted online, normally in February or March, and has a response rate of around 30% which represents more than 1000 students replying each year. The results are analysed by the Centre for Educational Development and a report on them is considered by senior management committees where they inform the development of new policies and the monitoring of existing ones. The results are also sent to Schools and areas of academic-support which provide key student services. Note that student anonymity is preserved at all times and no reports or analyses of results contain reference to individual students or allow individual students to be identified.

In its early years, 2008 and 2009, the Survey was intended to generate feedback that would help the University understand the issues of most importance to students once they had made the transition to university and before the pressures of final year examinations and job-hunting hit. Useful insights were gained into, for example, the motivation and career aspirations of students in different subjects. As a result of feedback from students in 2008, more emphasis is being placed on careers guidance for second year students in Schools in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes which lead to an even larger range of job opportunities, but, as a result, some students need more guidance on their choice of career.

In 2009-10, the University reviewed the questionnaire used in the Survey. The thinking was that it had built up a body of knowledge about specific second year issues and should now focus on the key issues covered by the National Student Survey. It was also important that the questionnaire generated results that could be easily understood by users so that they were truly effective in shaping policy and improving the quality of academic provision and services. As always, the objective is to listen to what students are saying and to respond to this.

You can download the questionnaire by clicking on this link.

If you would like more information about the Second Year Experience Survey, please contact Pat McNally, Careers, Employability and Skills,