Annual Reports – Bath Spa University

All external examiners are required to submit an annual report to Academic Governance and Policy as part of their role with us

Submission deadlines for annual reports

  • Initial Teacher Training courses - 31 July   
  • Undergraduate courses - 31 July 
  • Professional Master's courses - 30 November
  • Master's courses - 30 November

We'll send you an email before your annual report is due.

Annual reports should be emailed to the Head of Academic Governance and Policy at The team will then copy reports immediately to Subject Leaders and all relevant staff. External examiners retain the right to send reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor.

Report templates

Copies of the below report templates are available by request from the Academic Governance and Policy team

  • Undergraduate report template
  • Initial Teacher Training report template
  • Chief External Examiner report template
  • Postgraduate report template

Content of annual report


Individual students should not be named in annual reports or reference made to students' work or presentations which may identify them. For example, detailed description of a particular piece of art may allow for the student to be identified. In addition, for PGCE reports comments regarding lesson observation/observation of student teaching should not be included in the main report, but included as an appendix.

External examiners are required to report annually on issues related to course assessment.

Student performance

  • Overall performance of students in relation to peers on comparable courses elsewhere
  • Strengths/weaknesses of students
  • Quality of knowledge/skills demonstrated by students
  • Quality and standard of exam scripts and/or assignments
  • Depth/breadth of subject matter revealed in students' work
  • Comparison with student performance in previous years

Marking and assessment

  • Consistency, thoroughness and standards in marking
  • Distribution of marks within and between modules/units
  • Comparisons of distribution of degree classification with those from comparable courses as far as can be inferred from the marks of "your" modules
  • Suitability of examinations/assessed coursework in relation to module unit/course aims, objectives and intended outcomes

Teaching, learning and curriculum

  • Appropriateness of programme specification
  • Relationship of the curriculum to subject benchmark statements
  • Lessons from the assessments for the curriculum, syllabus, teaching methods and resources of the course
  • Appropriateness for qualifications at this level in this subject in relation to FHEQ
  • Comparable with similar courses or subjects in other UK institutions


  • Embedding of employability and engagement with industry within curriculum and explicitly demonstrated in quality/outcomes of student work

Strengths and areas for development

  • Any particular strengths, distinctive/innovative features or areas of good practice in relation to standards and assessment
  • Priorities for improvement

Required areas

  • Confirm that, for the boards relevant to your area of external examining, Bath Spa processes for assessment, examination and determination of awards are sound and have been fairly conducted
  • Confirm broad comparability of standards relative to other institutions which offer similar programmes
  • Observations on issues raised in meetings with students
  • Extent to which the support from the course team (communication/information provided) has enabled you to carry out your duties successfully
  • Adequacy of University's general arrangements and organisation, and conduct of assessment board meetings
  • Response by course team to areas for development identified in last report
  • External examiners in their last year of appointment area asked to comment on their experience as an external examiner at Bath Spa University
  • Any comments external examiners wish to raise not covered previously

Requirements for Chief External Examiners' reports

  • Discussion with relevant external examiners within the course team to identify generic issues, together with means of resolving such issues

How we use annual reports

Annual reports are addressed through a feedback process that aims to keep external examiners fully informed of action taken as a result of their reports. The feedback process is as follows:

  • On receipt, Academic Governance and Policy will acknowledge safe receipt of the report. It is then forwarded to the relevant subject leader and copied to the relevant Head of School for information.
  • The Head of Academic Governance and Quality reads all external examiners' reports and makes comments or raises questions pertaining to the issues raised by the external examiner for the attention of subject leaders.
  • Subject leaders are asked to write a response to their external examiner, advising of any action taken/to be taken (or reasons why action is not taken) on issues raised by the external examiner and Head of Academic Governance and Quality. This response is copied to the department.
  • The Head of Academic Governance and Quality writes an overview report of all external examiners' reports which accompanies the annual reports to the University's Academic Quality and Standards Committee.
  • Annual reports form an important part of the Academic Developmental reporting process undertaken by course teams.
  • Chief External Examiners' results are circulated to external examiners within the relevant course team.
  • The External Examiner's report will be published in full for all students to access as per Chapter B7, indicator 14 of the UK Quality Code. Students can also access comments made by the Head of Academic Governance and Quality and subject leaders' responses for subjects relevant to their course as this information is hosted on Minerva.
  • School Boards are required to consider all external examiner reports and the subject leader's response for subjects delivered in their School.

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