External Examiners for taught programmes

Code of Practice for External Examining for Taught Programmes

The new Code of Practice was approved in May 2012; most of the changes were precipitated by new QAA requirements.  ESU has produced a summary of the significant changes in the Code (compared with the former Guidelines for External Examining).


The external examining system is one of the most important ways of ensuring that the programmes we are running are academically sound, that the students are acquiring the correct level of teaching and that programmes and that results are comparable to those in similar higher education institutions. At least one external examiner is appointed for each subject or group of subjects forming part of a degree programme.

External examiners have the opportunity to see and comment on all examination papers, all degree examination scripts and any other work that contributes to the degree result. Schools negotiate with the external examiner about exactly how much work they will scrutinise.  External examiners sit on school and/or faculty exam boards and their views are taken extremely seriously.

At the end of an academic year the external examiner produces a report on the programme(s) for which they are examiner. These reports are scrutinised both at school level and centrally and schools are expected to respond to their external examiner explaining how points raised are to be addressed.  The external examiners' reports are routinely circulated to the  Head of School and other relevant contacts.  Students may request a copy of any report by emailing exex-admin@bristol.ac.uk the request will be handled by the Education Support Unit.


If you have any questions about any aspect of the external examining system at Bristol please either email exex-admin@bristol.ac.uk or telephone Matt Holt on 0117 33 14166.


Information about the external examining system at Bristol

Appointment and Re-appointment - including, forms and process, duration, avoiding reciprocal and long-standing arrangements and conflicts of interest, coverage of the role & induction and training

External examiners fees and expenses

Flowcharts relating to the processing of external examiner reports

University Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes: rules for assessment, progression and award of a qualification

University Education Strategy

Rules and regulations for students

Map of the University precinct

You might also like to refer to the following National Guidelines


External examiners for research degrees at UoB