Three degrees are top in UK for student satisfaction

09 August 2017

Three undergraduate degree subjects taught at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies (IBERS) are ranked top in the UK for overall satisfaction in the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS).

Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Zoology are all ranked number one across the UK for overall student satisfaction in the annual influential poll of final-year undergraduates published 9 August 2017.

Two other subject areas at IBERS also feature in the UK top five, namely Genetics (2nd) and Animal Sciences (4th).

Four undergraduate degree programmes were given a 100% rating by students, with three others ranked between 94-96%.

Undergraduate Degree Course


Overall Satisfaction

Biochemistry C700



Genetics & Biochemistry









Marine & Freshwater Biology









Students were asked to rate the programmes across a series of measures including the quality of teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, learning community and student voice.

Professor Mike Gooding, Director of IBERS, said: “We are delighted by the strong performance of IBERS in the NSS, as it reflects the very broad commitment of our staff to the learning experience of our students, as well as the investment we have made in our courses. Highlights include the new research vessels for our Marine and Freshwater Biology degree, and the Zoology field course to the jungles of Peru. Looking forward, we are excited about our new degrees in Human Biology and Health, and Wildlife Conservation, starting in September 2017. While we are not complacent, with recent investments in new staff, we have every reason to hope that the coming year will be as least as successful as the last.”

The IBERS results are part of a wider success story for Aberystwyth University which is rated the best in Wales and one of the top five higher education institutions in the UK for overall student satisfaction, according to the 2017 NSS.

The results show that overall satisfaction amongst students at Aberystwyth University stands at 91%, well above the UK figure of 84%.

If you’re interested in studying at IBERS and finding out why Aberystwyth students are so satisfied, it’s not too late. We still have some clearing places left for the 2017-18 academic year or come along to one of our Open Days.

The NSS figures follow closely on the heels of the latest employability figures for UK universities which showed that 97% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University.

The National Student Survey is carried out annually by IPSOS Mori on behalf of all the UK’s higher education funding councils and other bodies, interviewing more than 300,000 final year students in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Students are asked to rate their university across a wide range of measures including quality of teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, learning community and student voice.

Aberystwyth University’s rankings are based on the overall satisfaction question and use the list of higher education institutes from The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.