Preparation for the External Examiner role

For new External Examiners

The Quality and Academic Development team will provide all new External Examiners with the following documentation upon appointment:

All External Examiners

Beginning of a new academic year

The Quality and Academic Development team will send the following to all our current External Examiners:

  • welcome to the academic year     
  • links to the Rules of Assessment and the Assessment Policies (including Marking Policies)
  • the list of course and modules for which they are responsible (provided upon request)


Before the first week of term, departments/schools should send to all External Examiners:

  • a copy (or link to) the relevant Student Handbook(s)
  • a copy of the marking criteria (including, if relevant, information relating to professional competencies)
  • teaching, learning and assessment (including reassessment) strategies
  • dates of Boards of Examiners meetings
  • information relating to the requirements of any professional, statutory or regulatory bodies (PSRBs) or accrediting bodies
  • information relating to the indicative workload of the External Examiner for that academic year, including:
    • the moderation policy and indicative sample sizes
    • types of assessment used in the module(s)
    • the timing of the work
  • information about the courses and modules for which the External Examiner is responsible for including:
    • programme specifications
    • programme-level statistical data
    • module information including module maps, module outlines and statistical data (including the number of students)

During the academic year

  • Examination assessment questions (and coursework assignment briefs as necessary to ensure there is no overlap) must be sent annually or with a frequency in line with the examination period(s) by a date(s) set by the Assessment Team.
  • Arrangements for the Board of Examiners meeting(s) including dates.
  • The Extenuating Circumstances policy, including information about how the department/school implements this policy.
  • The Annual Review of Courses report. This should relate to the most recently completed academic year and should be sent to the External Examiner after it has been submitted to the University. If departments/schools wish to send a draft to the External Examiner before the deadline, they may do so.
  • The University expects that there will formal or informal communication between the department/school and the External Examiner relating to curriculum development, course changes and new courses.
  • Student work for review. For each module:
    • as a minimum: at least 10% of examples across all classifications (including fails). If the cohort is under ten, all student work should be seen. Samples should include all of a sampled student’s work and classifications should be calculated on the module aggregate unless there is a variation to the Rules of Assessment requiring students to pass all assessments. The full range of assessed work (dissertations, examination scripts and so forth) should be sent
    • overall marks profile for the cohort
    • examples of marking from all markers
    • evidence of moderation, and how final marks were agreed
    • samples should be electronic unless at the specific request of the External Examiner for hard copies. Approval must be sought from the Faculty Dean for exceptions.

Level 4

External Examiners have the right to ask to see samples of work from Level 4 (normally year one of a degree course) and you should discuss their requirements in this respect with the External at the time of their appointment.

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Contact us
Quality and Academic Development
Telephone: 01206 873944