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External Examiner Course

Date:    16 February 2022    



A course for external examiners has been developed through collaborative working with higher education providers. This course has been designed by experts in the fields of higher education assessment and external examining through consultation with a Professional Development Working Group involving members from Oxford Brookes University, the University of Liverpool, the Royal Northern College of Music, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Queens University Belfast.

The aim of the course is to enable new or experienced examiners to:

  • understand the role of the external examiner in the new model of quality assessment and be confident to undertake this; 
  • develop a deeper understanding of the nature of academic standards and professional judgement, and explore the implications for external examining;
  • recognise the importance of evidence-informed judgements on academic standards in contributing to transparency and impartiality, and supporting a complementary interest in enhancement.

The generic course is designed as a blended approach with two linked parts: part one requiring participants to engage with activities (to take around 2-3 hours) as preparation for part two, which will be run as face-to-face delivery over one-day at the piloting institution (9.30 am – 4.00 pm; 6 hours and 30 minutes, including breaks).

We have been working to ensure that this generic course will be a valuable professional development experience for participants.

The course has been developed to reflect an experiential learning approach, with an emphasis on:

  • building understanding through valuing participants’ experiences and prior knowledge;
  • active participation, through a variety of activities (e.g. reading, exercises, discussion);
  • ensuring direct relevance of content to participants’ examining role, with the use of tasks that are representative of the kinds of activities that as examiners they will engage with;

exchanging good practice particularly the expertise of experienced examiners being shared with participants who have less experience.


Registration is via iTrent self-service.