Postgraduate - De Montfort University

Taught Postgraduate External
Examiners Briefing Day
For New External Examiners
2011/12 Academic Session
What are we covering?
• The DMU Context
• The Taught Postgraduate Scheme
• The Role of the External Examiner
• External Examiner Reports
The De Montfort University
Roles within the University
• Devolved University
• Role of the Centre
Role of Individuals
• PVC/Dean
• Deputy Dean
• Head of School/Department
• Programme Leader
• Subject Leader
• Module Leader
• Head of Postgraduate Studies
• Head of Quality
The Taught Postgraduate
Programme Specific
• Presentation covers the generic scheme
• Some programmes have programme specific
regulations which are more stringent
• Programme specific regulations will be
published as an annex in the Taught
Postgraduate Programmes University
Regulations from 2012/13
The Credit Framework
DMU uses nationally recognised credit tariff:
• 1 credit = 10 student learning hours
• Modules based around units of 15 credits (150 student learning
• Standard modules (15 credits), double modules (30 credits)
• Postgraduate dissertation module normally worth 60 credits
• Semester based system
Programme Specification
• DMU uses ‘templates’ to define curricula
• Two levels of templates defining programme and module
• Programme templates place subject in national context,
including subject benchmarks
• Module templates use learning outcomes methodology
and link this to assessment
• Programme templates define student outcomes as per
QAA programme specification
Awards & Credits
Total credits
Level of Credits
Minimum 150 at level 7
Postgraduate diploma
Minimum 90 at level 7
Postgraduate certificate 60
Minimum 45 at level 7
• The University adheres to the Framework for HE Qualifications
for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and the Credit
Framework which designate master’s awards at level 7. The
FHEQ contains generic descriptors which define awards at
master’s level.
Maximum Periods of
Master’s degree with sandwich
4 years
7 years
Master’s degree
3 years
6 years
Postgraduate diploma
2 years
4 years
Postgraduate certificate
1 year
2 years
Moving through the
• Module pass mark = 50% (some continuing
students will still be on ‘old’ 40% pass mark)
• All modules should be passed to gain award
• One reassessment attempt is available in
each module
Award of Distinction
Master’s: dissertation is at distinction level (70%) and
either at least 120 credits are at distinction level or the
overall average mark is at distinction level
PgDip: either at least 90 credits at distinction level or
the overall average mark is at distinction level
PgCert: either at least 45 credits at distinction level or
the overall average mark is at distinction level
Award of Merit
Master’s: dissertation is at merit level (60%) and either
at least 120 credits are at merit level or the overall
average mark is at merit level
PgDip: either at least 90 credits at merit level or
the overall average mark is at merit level
PgCert: either at least 45 credits at merit level or
the overall average mark is at merit level
Changes and Withdrawals
• Modules – up to 30 credits can be
substituted, by end of 2nd week of delivery
• Programmes – students can change
programme, with agreement of Head of PG
Studies, by end of 2nd week of programme
• Interruption of studies – granted by Head of
Postgraduate Studies, for no more than 1
year in 1st instance. Counts within maximum
period of registration
The Role of the External
The Overall Purpose
of the External Examiner
• To ensure that standards are maintained from
a subject point of view
• To ensure fairness and equity from a student
point of view
• To act as a critical friend with:
- Curriculum developments
- Standards
Examiners Role with
• Assessment aims and objectives are
• Purposes and philosophy of assessment are
articulated and understood
• Assessment load is appropriate
• Assessment is properly and impartially
At the Start of Each Session
• Agree the basis for sampling assessments
• Engage in consultation about draft papers etc
• Agree the basis of visits to the University
Outside of the
Assessment Boards
• Meet students and discuss their work
• Advise on individual cases e.g. where there
has been internal disagreement about a mark
• Sample scripts and assessed material to
enable judgments to be made as to the:
- overall suitability of assessment
- coherence of assessment strategy
- consistency of internal marking
• Right to see all scripts
• Discretion to sample
• Can viva voce as required/necessary
• Should see:
– Assessment(s) marked highest overall
– Selection of passed assessments from each
mark band
– Problematic assessments
– All failed dissertations
Collaborative Partners
• Some programmes are run in collaboration
with partners at locations both UK and
• External examiners should understand this
when sampling in order that they can
Assessment Boards
There is a variety of practice between (and
within) faculties ranging from boards
responsible for individual programmes to
faculty wide boards.
Purpose of Assessment
• Accountable for academic integrity of
assessment in programmes and one or more
• Responsible for conduct of assessment
including determining module marks and
• A focus for quality assurance
Assessment Boards –
Terms of Reference
Assessment Board:
Management Board:
• Teaching, Learning
and Assessment
• Assessment of
• Programme and
subject provision
• Achievement and
• Academic debate
• Programme and
subject development
• Student feedback
At the Assessment Boards
• Arrangements and processes for module assessments
and moderation and for reassessments
• Assessment and marking of students
• Awards
• Compliance with university and professional body
requirements including programme specific regulations
• Suspension or termination of students
• Aegrotats
At the Assessment Boards –
External Examiners Role
• Review and adjust as necessary the overall spread of
marks for a module
• Consider individual cases
• Review module pass rates
• Review programme achievement and award data
• Give an oral report
At the Assessment Boards
• The reports…
After the Assessment
• Complete annual report within one month of
main assessment board
• External examiners should be consulted on
the process/arrangements in place for
• How external examiners are
engaged/involved in reassessment
Extenuating Circumstances
• Faculties handle all requests
• Outcome : Deferral only
• Consistency and objectivity
• Focus on genuine cases
External Examiner
When do you report?
• Annual Report
• Optional Supplementary Reports and Reports
to the PVC or VC
• Within 1 month of main assessment board
Report Headings
Academic standards and programme/module content: taught elements
Academic standards and student performance
Project/dissertation/design work
Module assessment
Delivery and support
Programme management & development
Programme board and administration
Good practice and innovation
Outstanding issues and other key observations
Collaborative provision
UCPD/PgCert Work Based Studies
• Summary of key points when completing your
annual report
What happens to your
• Send in report electronically to [email protected] to
DAQ within 1 month of main assessment board
• DAQ will circulate report to the Faculty
• PVC/Dean will send initial response to you within 28
days acknowledging receipt of report and main
• Considered by the relevant management board at
which student representatives may be present
• A full response will be sent to you within 2 weeks
after the management board indicating any action to
be taken
What happens to your
Monitoring of Faculty Issues:
• Faculty Head of Quality will track Faculty themes, comment
upon any regulatory or board operation issues and complete
annual report to be presented at Academic Quality and
Standards Committee (AQSC)
Monitoring of Institutional Issues:
• Read by DAQ and institutional themes highlighted. Appropriate
person will respond on behalf of University. Issues and
responses included in AQSC External Examiner Overview
• Annual Report for the Academic Quality and Standards
Committee (AQSC).
Faculty Administration
• Managing student records
• Programme and module
• Programme and
management boards
• Operational liaison with
external examiners
• Faculty quality systems
• Pay external examiner fees
DAQ Administration
• Receive and read all annual
and final external examiner
• Keep track of institutional
and Faculty themes
• Prepare AQSC Annual
• Appointments and
extensions of appointments
Payment of Fees and
• Annual fee
Paid on receipt of annual report (to [email protected])
and claim form (to Faculty contact)
• Visit fee
Paid on receipt of claim form. Claim after each visit
• Dissertation fee
Keep track of dissertations and include details on claim
• Expenses
Include any receipts
Payment of Fees and
• Art, Design and Humanities
Bally Dhalu ([email protected])
• Business and Law
Sue Owen ([email protected]) OR
Vicki Clarke ([email protected])
• Health and Life Sciences
Alison Levey ([email protected])
• Technology
Suffiyyah Mohammed ([email protected])
Payment of Fees and
• Completed and authorised claim forms that are
received by Payroll before the 8th of each month will
be paid on the 25th of that month (or nearest working
• Jo Cooke, Director of Student and Academic
[email protected]
• Leopold Green, Head of Taught Programmes
[email protected]
• Louise Newell, Quality Officer (External
Examiners), Department of Academic Quality
[email protected]
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