Guidance for External Examiners

The guidance and resources on this page provide training and support for External Examiners appointed by the University of Leicester. They have been designed to accompany the official documents and guidelines available on the Quality Office pages.

  1. The External Examiner Role (training)
  2. Overview of the External Examiner Process
  3. Internal and External Guidance
  4. What is it Really Like?
  5. Any Further Questions

The External Examiner Role

The following five short videos provide an overview of the External Examiner role at the University of Leicester, focussing on key aspects of your practice. You may wish to follow through them in sequence (15 minutes in total) at the start of your appointment, and then refer to particular aspects at key points in the year.

1. Your Role

Provides an overview of the External Examiner role: is it one of inspector or critical friend?

Watch the tutorial



2. Assessment

 An overview of assessment and marking practice at the University of Leicester.

Watch the tutorial



3. The External Examiner Role I: Checking Standards

The first key aspect of your role: checking academic standards.

Watch the tutorial



4. The External Examiner Role II: Board of Examiners

The second key aspect of your role: contributing to progression and award decisions as part of the Board of Examiners.

Watch the tutorial



5. The External Examiner Role III: Reporting

The third key aspect of your role: compiling an annual report on quality and standards for the programmes you examine, highlighting good practice and areas for improvement.

Watch the tutorial



Overview of the External Examiner process

The following flow chart gives an overview of the University’s assessment cycle, and indicates how and where External Examiners are involved.

Download External Examiner Role Flowchart


Internal and External Guidance

The following links provide access to the core regulations, processes and documents relevant to your role, as described in the training videos above.

  • External Examiner Handbook and forms (Quality Office)
    This page provides access to your handbook, key regulations, and all forms needed for your role: we recommend you bookmark this for easy access through the year.

  • University Senate regulations
    This page provides access to all University of Leicester regulations, over and above those central to your role. You may need access to others for specific programmes (such as those containing collaborative practice).

  • HEA External Examiner Resources
    The Higher Education Academy publish a useful handbook, and other resources, for External Examiners: covering sector-wide aims and objectives of the role.

  • QAA Quality Code for Higher Education
    Parts A and B of the Quality Code provide key information on quality and standards you will need within your role. In addition, Chapter B7 deals with the External Examiner role itself. Subject Benchmark Statements (linked from the same page) may be applicable to particular programmes you are examining.

  • Frameworks for Higher Education (QAA)
    Applies to degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic awards granted by a higher education provider in the exercise of its degree awarding powers.


What is it really like?

We asked one of our existing established External Examiners to reflect on what it means to be an External Examiner with the University of Leicester: in particular which elements they found both interesting and challenging. You can listen to their thoughts below.

Prof. Pam Meecham, External Examiner in the Arts and Humanities


Any Further Questions?

The information above will have provided you with an overview of your role and the University context. Your department will provide you with full details about the programme(s) of study you will be working with, and will be your main point of contact for most practical matters. If your department, or these resources, cannot provide the answer to a question, please contact the Quality Office directly:  


Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2605/2537

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