Graduate School

Bristol Online Surveys


Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) is an easy-to-use service that allows you to develop, deploy and analyse surveys via the Web. No complicated set-up or technical knowledge is required and the service is offered free to University of Nottingham postgraduate research students and staff through the Graduate School.

The online reports allow real-time analysis of survey results. You can cross-tabulate results, filter by question response, compare results between surveys, step through responses and download data for use in other packages. Once you have a BOS account you can create as many surveys as you wish.

How do I get an account? 


University Staff and Research Postgraduate Students (eg PhD, MRes, MPhil)

If you are a University of Nottingham staff member or postgraduate research student who is eligible for Graduate School researcher development courses you may apply to The Graduate School for access to BOS.  Your BOS account will remain open for the duration of your studies or employment at the University.

Step 1: visit the BOS access request and User Agreement and accept the User Agreement.
Step 2: Once you have completed step 1, send an email to to request your BOS login credentials.   Your login details will be sent to you by email within 5 working days from the date your email confirmation is received.  

Taught Postgraduate students (eg MA, MSc)

Schools may now nominate an administrator from their school to create and manage BOS accounts for taught postgraduates within their own school. Please contact your school for access to BOS.

The following Schools have nominated school based administrators:



The Graduate School does not offer any BOS survey development and deployment support however most people have found the software very easy to use without training. If you do need assistance, please take a look the  BOS knowledgebase for FAQ or contact BOS support

Before you undertake any surveys, please familiarise yourself with the University's Code of Research Conduct and Research Ethics that can be found on the Research Ethics workspace.

Data Management

Data backup is managed by BOS however you are advised to back up your own data.



Account options

In addition to the annual licence the Graduate School currently subscribes to the following options:

  • Survey Access Control
    This option allows survey authors to restrict respondent access to surveys using a username/password system. This allows you to limit access to a specific group of people and also prevent people completing a survey more than once. You can also choose to record usernames and other data with responses; this data will appear in your survey results as if it were a response to any other free text question. Alternatively, if access control and anonymity are required, then the responses can be stored without the additional details but with access still restricted. 
  • Encryption
    The encryption option allows your survey respondents to complete their survey using a secure connection. The encryption offered by BOS is similar to that used by most online shops. The Web address will begin with https and a small padlock icon will appear in the browser showing users that the connection is secure.
  • Fine-grained account security
    This security feature provides much tighter control over who can do what with your surveys. Account administrators or authors, on a survey-by-survey basis, can set permissions for fellow account users.




University of Nottingham BOS account administrator


Christine Gratton
University of Nottingham
Graduate School
A20 Highfield House
University Park

t:+44 (0)115 84 67337



The Graduate School

The University of Nottingham
A floor, Highfield House
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 846 8400

Text: 07786209140 Email: