The duties and responsibilities attached to the External Examiner role at Queen Margaret University are formally explained in the following documents:

In this section we look at some common questions about the role and good practice in writing the External Examiner's report. If you would like us to add a question, please email

Frequently asked questions

The Role

Question: Can I change the marks for two of the assignments - the others in the sample are fine?

Answer: No - you can advise the internal examiners to review their marking but you cannot make recommendations to change marks as an External Examiner, unless you have seen work from the full cohort.

Question: Can you explain to me how you use the undergraduate marking criteria for the different years of the programme?

Answer: Each internal marker is advised to use the marking criteria in association with the programme objectives and the specific learning outcomes for each module. In addition, the module team may have devised specific criteria for performance e.g. in practice elements of programmes. You should be provided with marking criteria for each assessment.


Question: When will I be told when to expect work?

Answer: The School Office will provide you with information.

Question: Why is it the module coordinator who sends me the work for scrutiny and not the Programme Leader?

Answer: This is because the responsibility for communicating with you and providing you with the module information, as well as assessed student work, is given to the module coordinators.

Question: How can I find out when the Exam Boards will be held?

Answer: Dates for Exam Boards are usually set during the course of the first semester. You will be informed once the schedule has been agreed. Your best point of contact, if you are in doubt, is the School Office.

Question: Who can help with accommodation, transport etc.?

Answer: The School Administrator

Fees and Expenses

Question: Do I get paid for looking at each assignment?

Answer: No - there is a fee for acting as Examiner that is set according to the number of modules that you are examining for. For details, please refer to the External Examiners' Handbook (link above)

Question: Do I have to attend all meetings of the Board?

Answer: It is an expectation that you will attend all meetings where awards are made. If, exceptionally, you cannot attend, you will be required to provide feedback in writing instead, confirming whether or not you endorse the decisions of the Board.

Question: Do I get paid for attending the meeting?

Answer: Yes - you will be paid a fee and also any travelling expenses and subsistence.

Question: Is there a time limit for submitting expenses claims?

Answer: Yes - all claims must be submitted within three months of the expenditure being incurred.

The External Examiner Report Form

Question: How was the form designed?

Answer: The External Examiner Report Form is based on the Expectation and Indicators outlined in the QAA Quality Code for Higher Education

The relevant Indicator from Chapter B7 reads as follows:

External examiners' annual reports provide clear and informative feedback to the institution on those areas defined for the role in Indicators 2 and 3 (the core content). In addition, their reports: • confirm that sufficient evidence was received to enable the role to be fulfilled (where evidence was insufficient, they give details) • state whether issues raised in the previous report(s) have been, or are being, addressed to their satisfaction • address any issues as specifically required by any relevant professional body • give an overview of their term of office (when concluded).

Question: How many reports do I need to submit each year?

Answer: As a minimum, one report is required for each Programme for which you are responsible. Some Examiners choose to submit a second report if they have additional feedback throughout the year, for example, following moderation of dissertations.

Question: When is the deadline for annual submission?

Answer: Examiners are requested to submit their report as soon as possible following the semester two (summer) Exam Board and no later than 30 September each year. For Programmes with non standard dates, different arrangements may apply.

Question: Where and how do I submit my report?

Answer: Please submit electronically to

Contact the Quality Team