ICMP is delighted to announce our best-ever National Student Survey (NSS) scores, outperforming many other small and specialist institutions in the music and creative arts sectors. 

The NSS gathers the opinions of final year students on the quality of courses from all UK higher education institutions. This data is used to inform prospective students' choices and supports universities and colleges in improving the student experience.

In the 2023 results, ICMP has achieved higher ratings than all our main competitors and higher than average scores across the majority of themes and questions. 


ICMP’s ‘overall positivity rating’ is an impressive 81.9 percent and above the UK average of 79.7 percent. 

93% Students feel free to express ideas • NSS 2023

Highlights from the report show how almost 93 percent of students feel free to express their ideas, opinions and beliefs, compared with a national average of 85.2 percent. Almost 92 percent of student respondents believe teaching staff are effective at explaining things.

92% of students believe teaching staff are effective • NSS 2023

A further 90.3 percent feel they have the right opportunities to provide feedback on their courses against a benchmark of 76.9 percent.   


Jonathan Whiskerd, ICMP Dean, said:

We are delighted to have achieved our highest-ever NSS scores and to be above the sector average in our overall positivity rating.” 

“Personally, I am especially proud of our scores relating to freedom of expression, as well as the support and community-focused aspects of the student experience. I have felt very clear for some time that these are ICMP’s core strengths as an institution, so I am delighted that our NSS scores reflect this. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of ICMP faculty and staff - and the fantastic collaborative working relationship we have with our students.” 

icmp London students

Professor Tony Harris, ICMP Principal, said:

One of ICMP’s strengths is the way we listen to our students, and keep their best interests at the heart of all we do."

"The continuing improvement of the student experience has been our absolute priority for a very long time and it’s great to see this borne out by our NSS scores. But we won’t get complacent - we will continue to listen very carefully to what students have to say, and make sure your time at ICMP is as vibrant and valuable as possible.” 

Other notable achievements in the NSS include how 77.2 percent of students believe course feedback is acted on - 16.1 percent above the benchmark of 61 percent. 

77.2% students believe feedback is acted on • NSS 2023 • ICMP London

Paul Kirkham, ICMP’s Chief Executive, said: “At ICMP we’ve always been proud of our commitment to improving the experience of our students. As a small specialist provider, we have many challenges compared to larger, more traditional universities; in addition, we are a truly ‘widening participation’ institution, with 75 percent of our students from groups who are under-represented in higher education nationally."

Our focus has always been on providing teaching and learning opportunities of the highest standards, with students working in small groups or one-to-one in world-class facilities with a combination of qualified academics and experienced industry practitioners.”


“To have this recognised by the students themselves in the NSS is extremely pleasing. Over 90 percent of our students have recognised that our tutors are good at explaining things’; were available when they were needed; that their learning was supported; that they had opportunities for feedback; and that their subject of study was engaging. ICMP’s overall positivity rating is well above the national average and well ahead of similar institutions. And, especially in light of recent commentary on freedom of speech in higher education, to have 93 percent of our students state that they felt free to express their ideas, opinions and beliefs is extremely gratifying.”


Student Experience shines through in recent TEF Award

The latest results come in a long line of accolades and achievements for ICMP including receiving a Silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The rating recognises our ‘Student experience’ and ‘Student outcomes’ related to our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and marks a massive achievement for our team.

Continuing, Paul said: “Despite these fantastic achievements, we will not rest and will continue our journey of continuous improvement, working in partnership with our students and industry partners as we continue to build ICMP into one of the country’s leading small and specialist creative arts universities.”

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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