Students talking outside Tavistock Centre

Student survey

Tell us your views and opinions to help improve our courses and your time studying with us

We run an annual survey to gather the views and opinions of all students studying at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust – this is your chance to tell us what you think.

The Trust has been running an annual student survey since 2004. To enable benchmarking, the questions are largely based on the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) and the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), both run nationally by Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Academy). To capture the unique nature of the Trust’s programmes and their integral link to NHS clinical training, and to help us in our aspirations for promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, additional questions are included.

The survey is a key component of the Trust’s engagement with students, alongside more frequent touch points such as termly course committee meetings, student representation on DET committees, termly Dean’s Forum meetings, and more ad hoc events and surveys.

Anonymity and Privacy Statement

We want you to feel comfortable expressing your opinions and so we protect your identity within the survey through our privacy statement.

Here is a summary:

  • Your name, email address, student ID and any other personal information will NOT be saved with your response.
  • We will NOT share the section ‘about yourself’ (where you are asked about your personal characteristics) with course teams.
  • Aggregate (combined results with your peers) are presented in graph and table form, never individual responses.
  • All feedback is considered and reported on at a global level, but where there are fewer than five responses at a course level, these results will not be shared with course teams.
  • Qualitative comments may be used for marketing purposes.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you can stop at any point and delete your answers. Once you have completed the questionnaire you will not be able to return to the survey to amend or delete your answers.

What are the questions?

We ask questions in the following areas:

The answers to the ‘About Yourself’ questions are used to analyse our performance by characteristic, and evaluate whether certain groups are experiencing our delivery differently, e.g. if some students with particular characteristics are less satisfied with an aspect, such as support and wellbeing, than others. We never share the data for this section at a course level.

You said, we did…

In last year’s survey, 50% of you felt that your feedback was valued and responded to.

We acknowledge the need to be more proactive in addressing the feedback provided by students, as your input is crucial in shaping the services we offer. With the establishment of a new Student Engagement team, we are developing an engagement strategy that places students at the forefront of our decision-making processes. The newly-formed Student Experience Sub-Committee will further focus on enhancing the overall student experience through a range of collaborative efforts.

54% of you said that the current support for academic skills met your needs.

To enhance support provided for students, we launched our first ever Skills Fest in November 2023. Conducted in-person and online, this week-long event was designed to develop essential academic skills, and highlight wider support available through our Academic Skills Hub.

59% of you said that you were given appropriate guidance and support when you started your course.

Welcome week continues to serve as the central hub for students during their first week of starting a course. Each year, staff work on enhancing this experience, and last year, a dedicated room was set up with key professional services staff present to meet, greet and answer students’ questions. Plans are underway to integrate these teams into course inductions, providing further transparency on available support services. Additionally, a pre-enrolment survey will be introduced to identify students’ needs ahead of starting a course, and essential information will be provided from the time of acceptance until the course starts. This approach aims to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by receiving too much guidance and support all at once.

Areas of good practice

In addition to areas that we need to work on, it is also important to keep in mind the areas where you tell us we do well – so that we can learn from this and continue developing in these areas too.

In the 2023 survey:

Overview report and action plan

We take your feedback extremely seriously and create analysis reports and comprehensive, wide-ranging action plans based on the results.

Your feedback is also included in the annual review of our courses, which all course teams review and respond to with a course-level action plan. These are then considered and discussed at course committees.

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