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External Examiners

The role of the External Examiner

External examining provides one of the principal means for maintaining UK academic standards within autonomous higher education providers. External examining is therefore an integral and essential part of institutional quality assurance, as outlined by the QAA (Chapter B7 of the UK Quality Code).

The purposes of the external examining system are to ensure that:

  • All qualifications awarded are comparable in standard in different universities and institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom and comply with the QAA Quality Code;
  • The system of assessment is fair and operated appropriately in the determination of marks awarded to students.
  • The role of the external examiner is carried out via consideration of assessed work, attendance at Programme Examination Boards, and completion of an External Examiner report, following the final Examination Board for each year. This role is to: 
    i) ensure the comparability of the University's standards with those in peer institutions and as set out by national benchmarks; 
    ii) provide assurance for the University that its assessments and marking practices are fair and operated equitably and consistently; 
    iii) provide assurance that the assessment process appropriately measures student achievement against the intended learning outcomes for the programme/module; 
    iv) provide advice on the content, balance and structure of programmes and modules of study and on assessment processes, including the conduct of examination boards (which they attend) at Programme and institutional level.

External examiners may also attend other assessment-related activities such as performances and workplace practice where relevant. Note: external examiners are not intended to act as additional markers.

If you have any queries or would like any advice please contact the Quality Assurance and enhancement Office by emailing qateam@stmarys.ac.uk.