The system of External Examining is a distinctive feature of Higher Education in the UK. All programmes delivered in Higher Education Institutions in the UK will have an External Examiner.
External Examiners are independent experts appointed from other academic institutions or sometimes from industry or from a professional field.
They are suitably qualified to provide advice on the academic standards of the awards, programmes and/or modules to which they have been assigned, and can provide informed guidance on good practice and opportunities to enhance programmes based on comparability of similar awards offered at other higher education institutions of which they have experience.
External Examiners review samples of student work across modules to ensure fair and consistent moderation and to ensure that marking standards are comparable with standards in UK Higher Education. If an External Examiner is concerned about accuracy and consistency of marking within a sample of student work, all work within that particular module will be re-marked - External Examiners cannot change individual student marks as this would not be fair on other students whose work the External Examiner has not seen.
The External Examiner also attends the Module Assessment Board to look at the distribution of marks across modules and identify any issues or aspects of good practice.
Each External Examiner submits an annual written report at the end of the academic year. This report is based on what the examiner has observed of the University’s assessment processes and on samples of student work they have seen. These reports provide invaluable independent feedback to the University at module and/or programme level. The University recognises the importance of the role of students in contributing to the management of standards and quality and with this in mind, External Examiners’ reports are made available to student through programme BlackBoard sites.
You may have an opportunity to meet with the External Examiner in the course of their duties. However students must not contact External Examiners directly, as this is not part of their remit, and therefore they will be unable to respond. The University has appropriate internal mechanisms in place if you wish to raise a concern using the complaints or appeals procedures.