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Our Journal

Have your say in the National Student Survey 2021

Share your experience and help shape the future of the college – with the chance to win an HP Chromebook!

The National Student Survey (NSS) gathers feedback from all final year undergraduate students across the UK about their course and their time at university.

If you’re in your last year of a BA (Hons) degree programme with us, it’s your chance to let us know about your time studying with us – what you loved about your time here and also what we could do better – to help shape the short-term and long-term future of the college.

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The NSS is an easy to fill out online questionnaire. Entirely anonymous, it asks 27 questions – from the teaching and assessments on your course, the feedback you received, and the academic support available to the learning resources available and the Students’ Union.

Our students’ feedback is very important to us and we really do listen to what you have to say. We’re passionate about creative education and we want to know what we could do to be even better.

Since last year’s survey, we’ve made a range of improvements based on student feedback throughout the year. Here are a handful we’ve made in the past year*:

During the COVID-19 pandemic we:

  • Invested in extra resources for the Equipment Resource Centre and various other workshops to enable students to borrow more kit and use it safely through the pandemic.
  • Created more self-directed study spaces on campus.

  • Received requests for additional campus access, which increased throughout the pandemic (apart from lockdowns) and led to the bookable self-directed learning on weekdays, evenings and Saturdays throughout December 2020.

  • Significantly increased our Higher Education Hardship fund, offering a crisis payment that does not need to be repaid, and is designed to help you cover the cost of necessities – this could be anything from essential living costs, bills and accommodation to food, childcare, medication or travel.

  • Worked with your SU President to extend deadlines for undergraduate and postgraduate students, with the aim of ensuring that all students can still progress from each year to the next successfully or graduate as scheduled.

  • Heard you were struggling with feeling connected. As a result, The Library Team created ‘Study Club’, an informal supportive group session to allow you to reconnect with others in a productive way. The Students’ Union created various online communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and hosts a range of online events to help keep the community feeling of PCA. Our Learning Lab expanded their weekly student forums on the Student Portal - from academic skills and careers drop-ins to technician open forums and a Library helpdesk. All of these sessions are a great chance to not only ask any questions but also a place to meet socially, see friendly faces, discuss processes and catch up with fellow students.

Your Students’ Union has:

  • Introduced a Students’ Union Bursary of £1000. Find out more.

  • Broadened the Students’ Union Executive Committee, including a BAME Representative and a Disability Representative for both FE and HE.

  • Renovated the Students’ Union to become a dual-purpose relaxed study space and contemporary SU Bar.

Plymouth College of Art’s Estates team has:

  • Switched all of our electricity to 100% renewable energy sources including solar, wind and hydro.

  • Expanded our Solar pV installations, which is generating electricity, to include the Charles Cross building roof.

  • Since the start of 2020, rolled out a programme of LED lighting installations in various spaces across our campuses.

  • Installed a new Aqueous Water system for use by our Cleaning Teams, which is a very positive environmental improvement to bleach or chlorinators, and ready on tap through our new machine.

  • Worked with the Students’ Union on future plans to create a wildflower and contemplative garden within the courtyard at our Tavistock Place campus.


*for a more extensive list visit the Student Portal.

Join the 4 million students who have shared their views and helped improve the student experience. Enter the survey online now. Open 6 January to 30 April 2021.

And as an added bonus for completing the survey, you will automatically be in with the chance to win an HP Chromebook!

Have any questions? Take a look through these FAQs.