Academic Development and Quality Enhancement

External Examiners


External examiners are one of the principle means by which we uphold our academic standards at the University of Sussex. The University regularly reviews its policies and processes for external examining and ensures alignment with the QAA's Quality Code for Higher Education, in particular, Chapter B7: External examining.

The full policy and procedures for the external examining of taught courses at the University of Sussex can be found in the Handbook on the policy and procedures for the external examining of taught courses 2018-19 [PDF 716.05KB]. This provides information for all external examiners of taught programmes (undergraduate and postgraduate) and includes guidance on the duties and powers of external examiners in relation to assessment and the Progression and Award Board (PAB).

Information for examiners assessing research degrees can be found on the Doctoral School's website.

For general queries about external examiners please contact:

A table setting out points of contact with external examiners and responsibilities can be found in the Task List for External Examiner Communications [PDF 89.65KB]

Nomination and appointment

To nominate a new external examiner for a taught course the External Examiner Nomination Form 2018-19 [DOCX 30.03KB] must be completed.  Please see the Checklist for External Examiner Nominations [PDF 21.30KB] for guidance on identifying a suitable nominee.

To appoint external examiners for Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) courses, the BSMS External Examiner Nomination Form 2018-19 [DOC 171.00KB] must be completed.

If you would like to extend an existing external examiners tenure or remit of duties, then please complete the Extension to External Examiner tenure or remit of duties form [DOCX 26.21KB]

All external examiners must complete the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act form 2006 [PDF 310.81KB] to demonstrate that they are eligible to live and work in the UK. This form is sent to external examiners with their confirmation of appointment letter. External Examiners are required to provide the original documentation for checking before they commence employment. 

If you have a University of Sussex user name and password you can view the list of External Examiners 2014-15 [PDF 202.98KB] or External Examiners 2015-16 [PDF 294.31KB]

All External Examiners have been sent the Undergraduate External Examiner Annual Letter 2016/17 [PDF 101.19KB] or Postgraduate External Examiner Annual Letter 2016/17 [PDF 87.53KB] along with the External Examiner FAQs and Summary and Analysis of Undergraduate External Examiner Reports 2015/16.

Annual reports

Each appointed external examiner must complete an External Examiner Report Form 2018-19 [DOCX 36.76KB] for the course and modules they are appointed to. External examiners for BSMS courses should complete the BSMS External Examiner Report Form 2018-19 [DOC 152.00KB]. All external examiners should complete the External Examiner Statement of Compliance [DOCX 16.57KB], usually at the Progression and Award Board (PAB).

External examiners are required to submit their annual reports within 6 weeks of the PAB. Following submission of annual external examiner reports, schools are required to review the reports and produce an External Examiner Action Plan Template [DOC 31.00KB] to address any issues raised.

Generic issues of concern and areas of good practice arising from external examiner reports are included in the annual external examiner overview report completed by ADQE on behalf of the PVC (Teaching & Learning). These are considered as part of Annual Course Review. Extracts from available reports are below:

Fees and expenses

External examiners will receive an annual fee which covers all of the duties that have been carried out on behalf of the University. Annual fees are paid centrally on receipt of the external examiner annual report. The fee structure is detailed in the Handbook on the policy and procedures for the external examining of taught courses 2017/18 [PDF 366.92KB].

Expenses can be paid throughout the year as appropriate. Expenses will be paid independently from the annual fee and require a Visitor Expense Claim form to be completed. The claim form can be found on the Finance webpages. Please note that receipts for all expenses should be provided with the claim form and be submitted to the designated school administrative contact.