Skip to main content

Preparing for your role

Preparing for your role

Handbook for External Examiners of Taught Programmes

Welcome to our new-look website. Any feedback or suggestions - please let us know.

The following section outlines the materials that you should expect to receive, both from the University and from the relevant academic unit.

Provided upon appointment, with annual updates if appropriate:

From the University Learning and Teaching Development Service (LTDS):
  1. A confirmation email setting out the terms and conditions of appointment, including confirmation of the programme(s) and/or module(s) to which you are appointed;
  2. Links to key information including:
  3. A virtual institutional briefing/induction in the form of this Handbook for External Examiners of Taught Programmes;
  4. Guidance on using the online External Examiners system for the submission of reports;
  5. Regular updates on institutional assessment policy and procedures to be provided by LTDS.
From the relevant Board of Studies:
  1. External Examiners reports and Board of Studies responses from the previous two years;
  2. The relevant Degree Programme Handbook;
  3. Procedures relating to relevant professional issues, e.g. Fitness to Practise.

Provided annually by the relevant academic unit:

  1. Details of any duties additional to those specified in the University’s Policy and Procedure for External Examiners of Taught Programmes
  2. Examination Conventions relevant to the degree programme;
  3. Any instructions issued to examiners and/or boards of examiners;
  4. Degree programme regulations, programme specifications and programme handbooks (including assessment criteria) for the relevant programme(s);
  5. Information about School moderation and scaling procedures;
  6. A full list of modules, module descriptions, including learning outcomes and assessment methods;
  7. Procedures relating to relevant professional issues, e.g. Fitness to Practise.
  8. Access to programme materials within the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used by the school (Guidance on Canvas is available);
  9. Draft assessment types, including examination papers and coursework instruments, and, if appropriate, a description of the marking schemes for each type of assessment, and, if deemed appropriate by the Board of Studies, model answers for assessments.
  10. A selection of assessed student work (to be sent or made available to you). The principles for such selection should be agreed early in the academic year between the Chair of the Board of Examiners and the external examiner;
  11. Samples of Learning Agreements relating to any student placements or - if the placement is for credit- samples of assessed work.
  12. The arrangements, where appropriate, for the selection of candidates for viva voce examinations where the viva is a formal part of the assessment process (taught postgraduate programmes only);
  13. The arrangements for you to be given adequate opportunity to communicate with internal examiners and, where appropriate, others involved in teaching and assessment (such as placement providers/assessors);
  14. Information concerning your authority and role in the Board of Examiners;
  15. Early information concerning the dates and times of Boards of Examiners meetings;
  16. Minutes from meetings of Boards of Examiners which have taken place during the period of your appointment and at which student performance has been considered;
  17. Details of arrangements made, where appropriate, for you to meet with students on the programme (including, wherever possible, those on placements);
  18. By request, statistical reports showing analysis of cohort marks, including Mean, Standard Deviation, Sparkline, Lowest Mark, Lower Quartile, Median, Upper Quartile, and Highest Mark (which the School can generate from the NESS system).

In addition, you will receive a briefing from the Chair of the Board of Examiners and, if appropriate, the Degree Programme Director prior to the Board of Examiners’ meeting which will cover all relevant examination conventions.

From the Board of Studies:

Feedback on any actions that have been taken as a result of the previous year’s report (if applicable). If the Board of Studies has decided that no action should be taken on any issue, this will be stated and the reason(s) for this decision will be detailed.

You may request any documentation within your remit, even if it is not included in the list, and/or request to see specific materials at a particular point in time.

Should the information listed above not be provided, please contact the Chair of the Board of Examiners and/or the School Manager.


Data Protection

We would be grateful if, during your appointment as an External Examiner you will abide by data protection legislation when handling data which identifies individual students or staff of the University.  Care will need to be taken, for instance, if you ask us to communicate with you via a private email address which may be accessible to others.