Role of the external examiner

The external examiner’s principal role is to provide a judgement on the rigour of the University’s processes for maintaining academic standards, and on the comparability of the standards achieved by students on Oxford Brookes awards with those on similar programmes in other UK higher education institutions. The primary formal roles of external examiners are therefore to:

  1. Assure academic rigour and equity of treatment in assessment which contributes to final awards;
  2. Monitor and provide assurance that the agreed assessment process has taken place, in accordance with the approved regulations governing the programme, and see evidence that the requisite internal moderation procedures have been complied with;
  3. Monitor and provide assurance that students have fulfilled the stated programme learning outcomes in their submission for conferment of the award;
  4. Approve proposed examination papers and draft coursework assessment briefs which count towards final awards, to ensure that students will be assessed fairly in relation to approved syllabuses and regulations, and in such a way that external examiners will be able to judge whether they have fulfilled the objectives of the programme and reached the required standard;
  5. See and agree samples of work from all students proposed for both the highest category of the award and for failure, and samples of the work of other students in order to satisfy themselves that each student is fairly classified;
  6. Provide advisory comments on the standard of marking for the internal examiners to act upon during the following year.
  7. The external examiner may also provide advice on other aspects of the provision, such as course content or teaching and learning strategies.

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