External exam candidates

The University of Essex provides invigilation services for students registered with other universities, both inside and outside the UK, who are not able to sit an examination at their own institution. Provision of this service is subject to the availability of University of Essex staff to co-ordinate the examination on the date requested.

Every university has strict regulations about how examinations are conducted. We ensure that all regulations are followed and that all requirements are met. We will receive and securely store papers from the other university and return the answer scripts via a secure postal service.


This service is provided subject to the availability of our invigilation staff to deliver your exam and Exams Office staff to support it. If you book an exam on any date we are not able to accommodate, we will offer you an alternative or refund your payment.

We would prefer to host your exam during UK office hours, but we will attempt to make arrangements to deliver it in the evening, at the weekend or on a public holiday on request. However, exams must start no earlier than 8am and end no later than 10pm.

We cannot host exams during the University's Graduation Week, or during the period between the last working day before Christmas Eve and the first working day after New Year's Day.

We are happy to accommodate requests from students with individual needs assessed by their home institution, such as extra writing time or rest breaks. We will attempt to source a scribe or reader if required, although this will incur an additional cost (approximately £7 per hour) that will be charged separately.

We will attempt to accommodate exams that require the use of a computer, though this is not always possible. Please let us know if you require software other than Microsoft Word or Excel.

The external exam service is provided at our Colchester Campus only.


The University of Essex charges the highly competitive rate of £100 per paper for this service, for exams of up to three hours’ duration. Exams of more than three hours’ duration will incur a surcharge of £30 for each hour or part thereof.

The fee pays for one of the University’s professional invigilators to run the exam, the use of the exam room, and administrative costs incurred by the Exams Office.

The fee is payable by the candidate to the University of Essex immediately upon requesting this service.

If you need us to supply a reader or scribe, this will incur an additional charge of approximately £7 per hour. Please notify us of this after you make your booking. The surcharge will then be invoiced separately.

If your educational institution is paying these charges, please do not submit this online booking form. Please ask them to contact us and we will invoice them directly.

All fees are payable in pounds sterling (GBP). Different rates apply for group bookings where the fees are paid by the educational institution.

Cancellation policy

Where the candidate fails to attend the examination(s) without any prior notice having been given to the University of Essex Exams Office, or cancels less than 72 hours prior to the examination (regardless of the circumstances), the full service fee of £100 per paper will be charged.

Where notice of cancellation is provided at least 72 hours prior to the examination, any fees paid will be refunded in full.

Booking procedure

The candidate must seek permission from the exams co-ordinator at their own university for their examination to take place at the University of Essex. Please ask them to send their authorisation to University of Essex Exams Office.

When your university has authorised your request, please apply and pay online.

The University of Essex will send you confirmation of the date and time of your exam(s), and details on when and where to report on the day.

If you represent an educational institution and wish to make a group booking, please contact us for details of our group rates.

GCSEs and A-levels

The University of Essex is not a registered centre for GCSEs and A-levels as we do not offer those qualifications. However, we know it can be difficult for external candidates to find a centre willing to accept them for GCSE and A-level exams, so we have provided details of two such centres below.

Thomas Gainsborough School
Head Lane
Great Cornard
Suffolk, CO10 0JU

Contact: Tony Marshall, Examinations Officer
Email: amarshall@tgschool.net
Telephone: 01787 314311
School website

Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies (CCSS)
1 Salisbury Villas
Station Road
Cambridge, CB1 2JF

Contact: Lynn Davidson, Examinations Officer
Email: lynnd@ccss.co.uk
Telephone: 01223 517544
School website

Please note that the University of Essex is not affiliated with either of these institutions. If you represent these institutions and would like your information removed or amended, please email examsacs@essex.ac.uk

Contact us
Contact us
Examination Office
Telephone: 01206 873926