External examiner reports are an integral part of the University’s quality monitoring and enhancement processes and link to the annual monitoring cycle and student feedback mechanisms such as Programme Voice Groups. They also play an important role in the programme validation and review cycle.
External examiners are required to submit one annual report per academic year. The External Examiner Annual Report should be submitted to the University within four weeks of the exam board been held. For standard undergraduate provision this is usually June/July but timings will vary for non-standard and postgraduate provision. If you are unsure of the timing of your main assessment board, your academic contact will be able to confirm this for you.
For both in-house and collaborative partner provision, all reports should be submitted centrally to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The report templates for each academic year will be circulated by the external examiner team via email in May.
The External Examiner Annual Report template can be found here
Once your report has been received by the external examiner team, it will be logged and circulated to the key members of the programme team and to Senior Faculty Staff, including the Dean and Deputy Dean of the Faculty.
For collaborative partner provision, the external examiner team will also formally circulate the report to the University Link Tutor and to the relevant contacts in the Partner Institution, as well as the Senior Faculty Staff at Middlesex University to which the partner is aligned.
If an external examiner has a genuine reason for a delay in submission of the report, they should contact the external examiner team as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
Upon receipt of the report, the Director of Programmes or, in the case of collaborative partner provision, the Institution Link Tutor, is required to prepare a formal written response and/or action plan to address all recommendations or actions in the annual report.
A formal response is always required for the external examiner, even if no recommendations or actions were made in the report.
The Director of Programmes / Institution Link Tutor should send their formal response directly to the external examiner with a copy to the external examiner team who will log the response.
The Annual Report template is comprised of different sections for commentary that look at programme design, content and standards; student achievement; and, the structure, design and marking of assessments. External examiners can also make comment about any collaborative partner relationships or apprenticeship programmes.
There are key areas of the report that external examiners should use to note any actions or suggested recommendations for programme teams as well as a space to highlight any commendations/good practice the external examiner wants to note.
External examiners are required to confirm within the report that:
The report should be linked with programme aims and outcomes, and the assessment criteria for each module, as described in the programme/module handbook(s). Reports should be objective and make positive criticism and/or recommendations where appropriate.
There are also sections for confirming Assessment Board arrangements and that consider support for the role of external examiner.
An important principle in writing the report is that it is consistent with the comments and judgements that you will have given to examination boards, or through contact with internal staff, such as the programme leader. It would be unfair if serious new issues and criticisms were raised in the report that had not been raised with staff during the external examiner’s visit.
External examiners’ reports figure prominently as a key evidence base for Middlesex University internal, and external, quality assurance processes. It is important that reports are robust and strongly evidence-based. There is also an expectation that reports will be shared with student representatives and are more generally available to students on the programme as well as members of the public as needed (i.e. through FOI requests). The language used in reports must be carefully chosen in the light of the multiple audiences: staff, students, and senior staff at the institution and external bodies, such as professional regulators. It is important that external examiner reports do not name individual students or members of staff.
All external examiners have the right to see the reports of the previous external examiner for the programme they are examining, if desired. This can be requested from the external examiner team by sending an email to email@example.com