External Examiners

In this section


External Examiners are able to provide carefully considered advice on the academic standards of the awards, programmes and/or modules to which they have been assigned, and can offer advice on good practice and opportunities to enhance the quality of those programmes/modules. They are also able to offer an informed view of how standards compare with the same or similar awards at other higher education institutions (primarily in the UK, and sometimes overseas as well) of which they have experience.

Awarding institutions expect their External Examiners to provide informative comment and recommendations upon whether or not:

  • an institution is maintaining the threshold academic standards set for its awards in accordance with the frameworks for higher education qualifications and applicable subject benchmark statements;
  • the assessment process measures student achievement rigorously and fairly against the intended outcomes of the programme(s) and is conducted in line with the institution's policies and regulations;
  • the academic standards and the achievements of students are comparable with those in other UK higher education institutions of which the external examiners have experience.

External Examining Policy and Procedures

For more information read External Examining Policy and Procedures (PDF)

Nomination and Appointment

Please see the External Examining at Goldsmiths guidelines downloadable PDF above for the criteria for suitability of External Examiners and information on the processes for approval of nominations and early termination of appointment. 

External Examiner Nomination Form (Word)

Right to Work

The College is required to ensure that anyone appointed as an External Examiner has the right to work in the UK. In order to fulfil this requirement, all External Examiners are required to complete the following form and upload a copy of their relevant ID documents. All information submitted via this form is stored securely online:

Right to Work Online Form 

Induction and Mentoring


On confirmation of their appointment, all External Examiners will receive a letter of appointment stating:

  1. The award bearing programme(s) for which they have been appointed; 
  2. The period of appointment and starting date; 
  3. If more than one External Examiner is appointed to the programme, an explanation of the roles assigned to each appointee; 
  4. The fee they should receive and an explanation of Goldsmiths' position with regard to the deduction of tax at source, etc; 
  5. A request for their NI number; 
  6. A specification that attendance at Exam Boards and the submission of an annual written report be a condition of appointment and payment; 
  7. The ways in which the College will make use of their personal data, including any comments they make about the performance of students, either individually or generally in their reports and, in particular, that their name, position and institution will be included within student handbooks; 
  8. An explanation that, if they so wish, they may, in the case of serious concerns, make a separate confidential report to the Warden.

The following information will also be included with the letter of appointment:

  1. A copy of the previous External Examiner's report (where applicable)
  2. The role and duties of the Board of Examiners
  3. A link to this web page that sets out details of Goldsmiths external examination processes
  4. External Examining Policy and Procedures (PDF download)
  5. Goldsmiths Academic Manual
  6. A copy of the programme specification 
  7. A copy of the student handbook
  8. An annual report form (see Reports and Report Forms section below)
  9. Fee and expenses claim form (see Fees and Expenses section below)

The External Examiner will also receive from the Chair of the Board of Examiners:

  1. A full and detailed briefing on the regulations for the programme covered by the Board to which they have been appointed and on the departmental learning and teaching strategy; 
  2. A full and detailed briefing on their role in relation to the internal examiners and assessment process; 
  3. The date, time and venue where the meeting of the Board of Examiners will take place

External Examiners for programmes leading to validated awards of Goldsmiths at partner institutions will be required to attend a briefing at Goldsmiths during the autumn term.


For new External Examiners with no prior experience in the role, Goldsmiths operates a mentoring scheme in the first year of appointment. The mentor should be agreed prior to the appointment of the new External Examiner and should be a current, experienced External Examiner of Goldsmiths who has agreed to act in this role. 

The External Examining Policy and Procedures (PDF download) contain further information on the induction of External Examiners and the Mentoring Scheme. 

Reports and Report Forms

External Examiners are required to make annual reports on the appropriate form below, which should be submitted electronically, within a week of the Board of Examiners, to the Quality Office:

Form for report of external examiners - accessible (Word doc download)

Form for report of external examiners PGCE - accessible (Word doc download)

External Examiner Report Archive 

External Examiner Reports from the past 3 years are available from this archive (accessible only with a Goldsmiths login)

Fees and Expenses

The External Examiner Expenses Policy (PDF download) provides an overview for the payment of Goldsmiths expenses for External Examiners


N002 fee payment claim form non-staff (Excel doc download)

N004 expenses claim form non-staff (Excel doc download)

External Reference Points

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education

The UK Quality Code was developed with the higher education sector and is maintained and published on their behalf by QAA. It sets out the expectations that all providers of UK higher education are required to meet. 

Quality Assurance Agency Subject Benchmark Statements

Subject Benchmark Statements are part of the UK Quality Code for setting and maintaining academic standards.

Subject Benchmark Statements set out expectations about standards of degrees in a range of subject areas. They describe what gives a discipline its coherence and identity and define what can be expected of a graduate in terms of the abilities and skills needed to develop understanding or competence in the subject. Subject Benchmark Statements are available for: bachelor's degrees with honours; master's degrees; health professions; professional qualifications in Scotland.

Higher Education Authority External Examiner Handbook

The HEA's External Examining Handbook is a point of reference for Exernal Examiners and brings together the outcomes from research and development in the field. The guidance is supported by evidence dervived from the collective experience of practising examiners, staff who support the process, research studies and publications. Case studies are used to illustrate issues that can arise in practice.

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