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External examining at Solent University

These web pages are a useful resource to assist the University’s external examiners with their duties and responsibilities.

External examiners are a vital part of the University’s quality assurance processes. The role of the external examiner is to ensure that the University’s academic standards are maintained and that sector expectations/requirements are met.

The full guide for the University’s external examiners can be found here:

Guide for external examiners

Course documentation such as module descriptors and programme specifications can be found on Solent Online Learning (SOL) by clicking here. A guide to accessing SOL can be found here:

SOL instructions for external examiners

Duties and responsibilities

The role of external examiners is to ensure that the University's academic standards are maintained and meet sector expectations/requirements.

The University appoints both module and award external examiners.

Both the QAA and Advance HE give a clear statement about what is expected with regards to external examining. The University’s policies and processes are aligned to the QAA and Advance HE requirements, which can be found at the following links:

Advance HE: A Handbook for External Examining

QAA quality code: Chapter: External Expertise

A module external examiner’s duties and responsibilities include:

Diagram showing the duties and responsibilities of a module external examiner.
Diagram showing the duties and responsibilities of a module external examiner.

Module external examiners may also be asked to advise on proposed module and course modifications and new modules as they arise.

An award external examiner's duties and responsibilities include:

Diagram showing the duties and responsibilities of an award external examiner.
Diagram showing the duties and responsibilities of an award external examiner.

The full rights and responsibilities of unit external examiners and award external examiners are detailed in Section 2I of the Academic Handbook.

External examiners' briefing day

The University’s briefing day events are normally held in September of each year and all new external examiners are invited to attend. The aim of the briefing day is to welcome new external examiners and provide a useful induction by:

  • introducing delegates to the University and its recent developments,
  • introducing University administrative staff and Department/School academic staff,
  • briefing external examiners on their responsibilities, and
  • providing participants with the opportunity to ask questions about their role.

The following materials were made available at a recent annual briefing day:

Module external examiner information

Award external examiner information


Details of the next external examiners' briefing day will be released in due course. In the meantime, you can view presentations from our last briefing event below:

External examining at Solent

This presentation details the duties and responsibilities of the University's external examiners.

External examining

External examiner support

This presentation outlines the support and documentation made available to the University's external examiners.

EE support

Assessment and moderation in practice

This presentation details the University's assessment and moderation process and how the external examiners are involved.

Assessment and moderation in practice

External examiner annual reports

External examiners’ annual reports are a key indicator for the University in assessing the quality and standards of our awards, and they play a vital role in the quality assurance processes of the University, including course and periodic review. The report should cover the conduct of the assessments over the academic year and the standards being set and achieved by the University.

In June an email will be sent by the quality management department to all external examiners with details on how to access and complete their annual report.

Module external examiners annual reports should be provided within four weeks after completion of moderation for the academic year.

Award external examiners should complete and submit a report four weeks following attendance at a PAB.

The University will give full and proper consideration to comments and recommendations contained in external examiner reports. Appropriate staff within the University will provide detailed written feedback confirming any actions taken or planned in response to the report.

The QAA’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education states that external examiner reports should be made available to students. External examiner reports are shared with students via Solent Online Learning (SOL), the Solent virtual learning environment.

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education also indicates that the external examiner name, job title and institution should be made available to students. This will be done via SOL.

Analysis of external examiner annual reports

At its February meeting, the University's Learning, Teaching and Student Success Committee receives a paper on the emergent themes arising from the most recent external examiner reports received by the University. For further details, please contact

Relevant policies and regulations

The policies and regulations that external examiners are most likely to be involved with are:

  • Academic handbook section 2B: Academic framework for credit-bearing provision
  • Academic Handbook, Section 2K: The purpose and conduct of assessment boards
  • Academic handbook section 2I: External examiners
  • Academic handbook section 2O: Assessment principles and regulations
  • Academic handbook section 2O: Annex 2: Grade marking criteria

The full version of the University's policies and regulations can be found here.

Fees and expenses

Module external examiners are paid an annual flat fee of £500. The fee will be paid upon submission of an annual report.

Award external examiners are paid an annual flat fee of £500. The fee will be paid upon submission of the final board report for the academic year.

All expenses for visits to the University will be reimbursed in line with the University's financial regulations, found here.

Expenses claim form

The expenses claim form should be used to claim back any expenses for visits to moderate student work, interim visits to schools and external examiners' briefing day expenses.

Please contact Payroll for an expenses form (

Claim forms must be accompanied by the appropriate receipts where applicable. The University will reimburse all reasonable travel and subsistence expenses.

The claim form should be completed and submitted to via email or to the address below.

Quality Management Team
Solent University
East Park Terrace
SO14 0YN