18.         Boards of Examiners

Please also see Administrative Processes to Support Boards of Examiners (PDF, 80kB)

School (or 'initial') board of examiners

18.1   The board of examiners may convene at a school, departmental or programme level.

18.2   The board of examiners may be convened for one or more of the purposes outlined below at any time during the year.

18.3   Anonymity must be preserved insofar as is practicable when marks are considered at school boards of examiners.

18.4   Discussions held at the Board of Examiners are confidential, although students may request to see the minute relating to consideration of their individual circumstance.

18.5   A Board may be convened virtually, by correspondence, under the same auspices, but a quorate number of replies must be received for any decision to be enacted. The decision should subsequently be confirmed and recorded in the minutes of the next meeting of the Board.

18.6   Chair’s powers may be granted with the explicit agreement of a Board to enact a specific and defined action, subsequent to the meeting.

Membership and quorum

18.7    As stated in Ordinance 17, a board comprising of at least three people shall be convened to approve each undergraduate and taught postgraduate academic award of the University.

18.8    The board should be chaired by the Head of School or Department (or equivalent), or their nominee.

18.9    The membership of boards of examiners will normally comprise the internal and external examiners for each subject or group of subjects in the programme of study.

18.10  Internal examiners are invited to attend each meeting of the board of examiners, although a School will have discretion as to which of its members is required to attend.

18.11  External examiners are required to be notified of all meetings of the Board of Examiners for programmes which lead to a University award, to which they have been appointed as external examiner, and their right to attend them. The external examiner should attend at least one meeting of the Board in each academic year, as specified by the School. Where the School and External Examiner both agree that they need not attend a particular meeting, the External Examiner should be sent the minutes from the meeting.

18.12  A Faculty Education Director, or nominee, may attend School board of examiners in order to aid interpretation of any new policy and provide insight on particularly complex cases.

Purpose

18.13   The purpose of the School Board of Examiners is to:

  1. Review the rigour and appropriateness of assessment and, where necessary, agree any recommendations in order to remedy anomalies in the mark distribution for each unit under the jurisdiction of the Board. This includes the scaling of marks where an assessment has not resulted in the intended outcome, which requires the explicit approval of the relevant Faculty Education Director, in accordance with the Taught Code.
  2. Accept and approve the marks that are under its jurisdiction.
  3. Consider the report from the relevant Extenuating Circumstances Committees, in cases of students who have presented extenuating circumstances, in order to determine the effect, if any, on an individual student’s performance in assessment.
  4. Consider any recommended penalties in cases of academic misconduct, including plagiarism.
  5. Consider whether the student has fulfilled any additional requirements for progression or completion, as specified by the programme.
  6. On the basis of the marks provided for each student and the outcome from points iii-v, if applicable, make a recommendation to the Faculty Board of Examiners of the faculty in which the degree is awarded with regard to:

Information for consideration

18.14   The Board shall receive and consider:

Output from the meeting

18.15   The written record of the meeting will include: the explicit approval of the marks received, any changes to them and the reasons for doing so and the details of any recommended course of action in cases of extenuating circumstances.

18.16   A report will be made to the Faculty Board of Examiners drawing attention to the issues it wishes to raise, including recommendations with regard to progression, the award of a qualification and/or degree classification for each student and any proposed penalties for academic misconduct, extenuating circumstances (with the report from the extenuating circumstances committee appended) and the details of any complex cases.

Faculty board of examiners

18.17   Where a Faculty has decided that a committee other than the Board of Examiners is constituted to make decisions about the progression of students, this committee will have the same responsibilities as that of a Faculty Board of Examiners.

18.18   Anonymity must be preserved at Faculty Board of Examiners, unless there is good reason to remove the anonymity for an individual student, which is judged to be in the student’s interests. It is at the discretion of the Chair of the board whether the removal of anonymity should be applied, on a case by case basis.

18.19   Discussions held at the Faculty Board of Examiners are confidential, subject to where the relevant record of discussion of an individual student is requested and provided to the student in question.

18.20   A Board may be convened virtually, by correspondence, under the same auspices, but a quorate number of replies must be received for any decision to be enacted. The decision should subsequently be confirmed and recorded in the minutes of the next meeting of the Board.

18.21   Chair’s powers may be granted with the explicit agreement of a Board to enact a specific and defined action, subsequent to the meeting.

Membership and quorum

18.22   As stated in Ordinance 17, the faculty board of examiners shall be chaired by the dean or their nominee and its composition shall be determined by the faculty board.

18.23   Each faculty should have a policy on the quoracy of its boards of examiners.

Purpose

18.24   The purpose of the Faculty Board of Examiners is to:

18.25   A meeting of the Board should be held shortly after the January examination period to agree the marks in each unit from the first teaching block such that they can be released to students, prior to their formal confirmation by an external examiner/s. The Board may also undertake any of the other purposes listed above, where it is possible to do so.

Information for consideration

18.26   The Board shall receive and consider:

18.27   The Board should also consider any new information that has come to light, which has not been previously considered.

Output from the meeting

18.28   A written record (minutes) of the meeting must be kept, including the reasons for decisions and the basis on which they were made. The record must also contain adequate details of where extenuating circumstances have been taken into account and any discretionary decision made by the Board – and its reason for doing so.  The definitive version of any such documentation will be held at the Faculty level.