External Examining

External Examining

This page refers to external examining of taught courses and programmes. Details for external examining of postgraduate research is available at the Postgraduate Research webpages.

Covid-19: Information for External Examiners

External examiners are asked to note the actions the University of Aberdeen has taken in 2019-20 to support the learning of our students and to manage the assessment process and ensure the integrity of the University’s awards in these challenging times. Details are available here.

External Examiners

External Examiners are appointed by the University to ensure that standards are maintained on a comparable level with universities throughout the UK and that the system of assessment is seen to be transparent and fair to all students. External Examiners make recommendations to the Senate, which authorises the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Contents: 1. Induction and Training  2. Annual Reporting;       3 Expenses;        4 Fees;      5 School Resources

Induction and Training

At the beginning of each academic year, all External Examiners will be provided with information and training specific to the course(s) and programme(s) they examine, as well as general information and training provided by the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC), with support from the Academic Services team and Centre for Academic Development. Training will normally be provided using the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), MyAberdeen or via Microsoft Teams (for live sessions). All new External Examiners will be added to the central QAC-owned training page, and Schools will communicate with External Examiners separately to provide information and training via the VLE as required.

External Examiners should expect to receive the following information from their School:

  • Course/programme handbooks;
  • Schedules for circulation of draft/final exam papers;
  • Marking schemes;
  • Information on dates of Examiners’ meetings;
  • Contact information for named EE contact;
  • Information on the programmes/courses for which they have responsibility, including a selection of course feedback forms, annual course and programme reviews, and student-staff liaison committee minutes;
  • A copy of the previous External Examiner Report (EER).

External Examiners can expect to receive the following information via the QAC-owned MyAberdeen page:

  • Nomination and appointment document;
  • Links to general and supplementary academic regulations and assessment policies;
  • Degree classification criteria;
  • Information on our strategic plan, Aberdeen 2040;
  • Information on variations to standard process for students who require additional support;
  • EE roles and responsibilities;
  • Information on the requirements of the External Examiners’ Report (EER), including submission deadlines and instructions for submission;
  • Confidentiality guidelines;
  • Information on payment and expenses;
  • MyAberdeen user training (both via online guides and an annual drop-in training session).


Annual Reporting

External Examiners are required to complete an Annual Report at the end of each academic year; these reports are a central tenet of the University’s quality assurance mechanisms. Annual Reports are considered by the relevant School and the Quality Assurance Committee and other committees as appropriate. In addition, Annual Reports are made available to staff and students and to panels for the purposes of internal and external review. 

Where an External Examiner has a serious concern relating to systemic failings with the academic standards of a programme or programmes and has exhausted the University’s internal procedures, including the submission of a confidential report to the Principal, the Examiner may invoke the QAA’s Scottish Concerns Scheme or inform the relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body.

Undergraduate, MBChB and Physicians’ Associate

No later than 31 July annually

Postgraduate Taught

No later than 31 October annually


All reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, including those incurred in relation to essential visits to the University, will be paid on production of a completed expenses claim form and original copies of the appropriate receipts. Expenses are not subject to income tax. Examiners should refer to the University’s Expenses and Benefits Policy for guidance on what constitutes ‘reasonable' expenses.


External Examiner fees are paid annually on the condition that an Annual Report has been received. Fees are subject to income tax and are paid by BACS to your nominated bank account on the last working day of the month. A payslip will also be sent by post.

School Resources