Documented R data package for providing National Student Survey data in tidy format
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What is nss for?

This package aims to provide National Student Survey data in a tidy, documented format.

At present the package provides top-level data from 2017 and 2018 iterations of survey.

Subject Level Data

As of 2018, the previously used Joint Academic Coding System ( JACS) classification of subjects will be replaced by the Higher Education Classification of subjects ( HECoS) codes. In 2018 a third system, the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (or CAH) is being used to bridge the gap between JACS and HECoS.

At present I am working on a memory-cheap and future-proof way of joining JACS, CAH and HECoS codes together. Subject level data will follow

Pre 2017 Data

The survey changed from 2016-2017 and HEFCE, who owned the data prior to Office for Students, were very concerned that people may compile 2017 and pre-2017 data as there was a significant survey change at that point.

In the future I would like to combine this with older datasets.

A word on naming

Through the gentle guidance of my good colleague Ian Handel I conceded to naming this package as the lowercase nss, and the top level object shares that name. However column headings have capitals because that's easier to read and this is a hill I am prepared to die on.


At present, no plans to push this through CRAN so use GitHub.



The National Student Survey data is coordinated by the Office for Students. It is currently (as of 2018) delivered by Ipsos MORI and results made available by Texuna Technologies.

All the data used here is publicly available.

All this code is CC0