Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Quality HandbookExternal examiners

Programme Requirements

Programmes requiring external examiners

The University requires that an external examiner is appointed for every programme which leads to an award of the University (including collaborative provision).  An external examiner is not required for any provision which does not contribute to an award.

No credit bearing degree, diploma or certificate of the University may be awarded without participation in the examining process by at least one external examiner, who is a full member of the relevant Board of Examiners.

In making recommendations for the appointment of external examiners, Schools should ensure that the number and subject expertise of the external examiners is sufficient to cover the volume and range of the programmes being examined and the associated assessments.  It may in certain and exceptional circumstances be appropriate to appoint an Adviser to the External Examiner for a particular module – see paragraph 4.7 of the External Examiner Procedures for more information.

The size of the external examining team should be such that each external examiner has a reasonable and broadly equitable workload in terms of modules/subject areas covered and student numbers for each.  Occasionally the appointment of one external examiner to a subject area will be sufficient.  When considering an external examiner’s module allocation, the Deputy Head of School (Education)/Director of Programmes should ensure that the number of modules allocated and the potential number of students is not too onerous.  In order to determine an external examiner’s workload for the University’s flat fee of £700, the amount of moderation that is required to be undertaken by each external examiner should also be taken into account.

The following factors are likely to influence the amount of moderation required:

  • credit rating of the module/student assessment workload;
  • the typical number of students enrolled for a module in any one cohort;
  • the number of times (occurrences) per academic year in which a module is delivered;
  • the extent of collaborative provision.

The maximum number of examinable modules that will typically be allocated to a single external examiner will be 24 modules (assuming 15 (CATS) credit modules i.e. 360 credits in total).

In certain and exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to appoint an Adviser to the External Examiner.  This will be in addition to a programme external examiner(s) to assure a particular part of a programme.  For instance, where a specialist module falls outside what can reasonably be expected to be within the expertise of the external examiner or a standalone module used across a range of other programmes.  Examples include credit-bearing language modules, Service Teaching modules or a module with a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) accreditation e.g. Advance HE accreditation.  Please contact the Curriculum and Quality Assurance (CQA) Team in the Faculty or QSAT for further information. 



Collaborative provision requirements

All collaborative provision must be the subject of scrutiny by an external examiner(s). The University is responsible for the appointment of external examiners for all credit bearing programmes leading to its awards, even where these programmes are delivered by a collaborative partner; the University will determine in discussion with such partners the extent to which they will be involved in aspects of the external examining process (for example, nominations and induction). For joint awards the arrangements for such appointments will be set out in the Memorandum of Agreement.

Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) requirements

The Deputy Head of School (Education) is responsible for ensuring that specific requirements in relation to external examining which may be stipulated by relevant Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) are satisfied.

Privacy Settings