Academic Quality and Partnerships

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.

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 2023-24 [PDF 539.76KB] 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 [DOCX 38.98KB] must be completed.  Please see the Checklist for nomination criteria [DOCX 24.82KB] 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 [DOC 166.00KB] 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/remit of duties form [DOCX 26.56KB]

All external examiners must complete a right to work check to demonstrate that they are eligible to live and work in the UK. Details of this process are sent to external examiners with their confirmation of appointment letter. External Examiners are required to complete the right to work check before they commence employment. 

All External Examiners have been sent the Undergraduate External Examiner Annual Letter 20-21 [PDF 308.17KB] or Postgraduate External Examiner Annual Letter 20-21 [PDF 136.00KB] along with the Summary and Analysis of Undergraduate External Examiner Reports for 19-20 [PDF 762.02KB] .

Annual reports

Each appointed external examiner must complete the Report Form External Examiners [DOCX 42.00KB] for the course and modules they are appointed to. External examiners for ITE courses should complete the Initial Teacher Training External Examiner's Report Form [DOCX 46.25KB]. External examiners for BSMS courses should complete the BSMS External Examiner Report Form [DOC 152.50KB]. 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 AQP 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 2022-2023 [PDF 530.42KB].

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.