External examiners

External Examiners

External Examiners are appointed to provide the University with impartial and independent advice and informed comment on the institution’s academic standards and student achievement in relation to those standards, through oversight of the assessment process at the module and programme/award level. All University programmes of study, and modules therein, leading to an award of credit at foundation, undergraduate or postgraduate taught level must have one or more external examiners appointed.

Code of Practice

Central to the University’s External Examiner System is the Code of Practice. All external examiners appointed by the University are required to adhere to the Code of Practice and within the University it is the responsibility of each Executive Dean of School or their nominee to ensure the information in this Code of Practice is adhered to and communicated to the nominated Examinations Officer and all academic staff designated as internal examiners.


The guidance below supports the Code of Practice. This is sent to external examiners when they are first appointed. 

Containing information about the nomination of external examiners, procedures for extending an external examiner's appointment and the annual reporting process.

It is recommended that this is given to those students selected to meet with external examiners to ensure they are clear on the purpose and limitations of the meeting. This document is also available in the Student Handbook under Assessment: Fairness and Marking section.

Marking and Moderation

Over the years UCB has developed a bank of assessment criteria templates. The Generic Grading Criteria have been benchmarked against the QAA national level guidelines (QAA Quality Code Section A1). The purpose of the criteria is to:

  • Improve transparency of the criteria to students
  • To make visible attributes of good work
  • Retain common cross school consistency of attributes by level
  • To balance both the cognitive academic attributes with the professional and vocational attributes students demonstrate

Generic Grading Criteria Sheets by Level

Moderation Code of Practice

The Moderation Code of Practice sets out a number of parameters and minimum requirements with regards to moderation, which must be followed by all schools for validated University of Birmingham and University College Birmingham Awards.

Policies and Regulations

This section covers information on the management of learning and teaching processes and on examination and assessment, including policies, procedures and regulations.

Higher Education Academy documents

UCB Documents

You should contact The Quality Department in the first instance for questions about your appointment, fees or the programme(s) you are examining at HE-Quality@ucb.ac.uk.

The External Examiner Report

External Examiner recommendations will take the form of a report; any issues raised will be responded to by the Executive Dean of School or their nominee and considered by the University’s Curriculum and Quality Committee.

For each individual/suite of programmes, external examiners will submit one report. Details of the number of reports each external examiner is expected to submit will have been detailed in the offer letter upon their appointment.

Completed reports should be emailed to HE-Quality@ucb.ac.uk by the agreed deadline. We ask external examiners to respect the deadlines when submitting reports as this ensures that the School has time to respond to any issues that arise and that the University’s Curriculum and Quality Committee can determine what further action may be needed before the next academic year.

Upon completion of the required reports, external examiners are able to submit their expenses claim form for fees, travel and subsistence which should be supported with corresponding receipts where applicable, which can be scanned and sent to HE-Quality@ucb.ac.uk 

The Quality Department will send each external examiner an acknowledgement email once the reports are received. If the report raises developmental issues that external examiners have asked the Executive Dean of School to consider, they should receive a response letter within 6-8 weeks of the report being received within the school. However, if the issues that were raised need to be discussed at the committee level, this may take longer.

If external examiners feel at any time that issues raised in their report have not been considered appropriately by the School or for any other problems in connection with reports, please contact The Quality Department at HE-Quality@ucb.ac.uk.

School Academic Management Structure

Programme and Module Catalogue

Welcome to University College Birmingham’s programme and module catalogue. Searching by programme or School enables access to the Definitive Documents which include a list of each module studied as either compulsory or options at each level on any given programme. Here you will find details of the programme specification, outcomes and context and briefing. Clicking directly on the module title or searching by ‘module title’ takes you directly to details of its assessment mechanism, learning outcomes, syllabus content and delivery.

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