Internal examiners

Every taught, credit-bearing module must have an internal examiner- an identified individual that takes responsibility for the assessment and awarded marks on the module.

Schools usually automatically appoint the module leader to the role of internal examiner. Schools may appoint another individual to act as an internal examiner, so long as they follow the guidance below.

Who can be an internal examiner? 

Internal examiners must be appropriately qualified and experienced to take responsibility for awarded marks, and must be a contracted member of academic staff.

Current students, including research students, cannot be internal examiners: the only exception to this is where a member of academic staff is also studying as a research student. Current research students may hold appointments as assessment assistants, where they assist with marking but do not have responsibility for final awarded marks.

All fully appointed members of staff within the standard academic grades are entitled to be examiners for the modules and programmes on which they teach, and therefore do not need to be separately appointed as internal examiners.

However, there may be occasions when it is appropriate for another qualified and experienced individual, such as an academic-related staff member, a foreign language assistant, a collaborative partner or a retired or visiting academic, to act as internal examiner.

In such a case, the module leader would retain overall responsibility and accountability for the module while delegating students’ achievement assessment to another.

Responsibility for student assessment ultimately rests with the Head of School. This responsibility includes ensuring that internal examiners are identified for every module and that everyone engaged in student assessment, including internal and external examiners and assessment assistants, are suitably qualified, correctly appointed, have received adequate training and follow the University's agreed policies and procedures.


  • Schools must nominate an individual to act as an internal examiner for each session and submit the completed internal examiner nomination form to QAT.
  • The nomination should include a brief statement of the proposed internal examiner's role.
  • A brief academic CV should accompany the nomination, unless the appointment is a repeat appointment from a previous session.
  • The nomination should state the period of appointment: either co-terminus with the individual's teaching contract, or for a renewable period of one academic session.
  • Current students are not permitted to hold an appointment as internal examiner unless they are also a member of University staff.
  • The relevant Faculty Taught Student Education Committee, or the Pro Dean for Student Education acting on the Committee's behalf, must approve the nominee.

Conditions of Appointment

  • The module leader, who must be a contracted member of academic staff, remains involved in and accountable for the setting and marking of assessments that carry credit towards the final degree results.
  • A contracted academic staff member moderates marking.
  • Nominees receive adequate training and guidance.
  • Internal examiners should be involved in module and programme review, and should be invited to the relevant Assessment Board meeting.

Training and Guidance

Schools should provide training and guidance for internal examiners that includes:

  • appropriate induction in respect of assessment conventions employed in the school and faculty
  • a copy of the school's current code of practice on assessment
  • where appropriate, attendance at relevant SDDU and/or school training courses
  • full information on the courses on which they are teaching: for example, module and programme handbooks, teaching materials, handouts, clear assessment criteria and marking schemes
  • up-to-date information on relevant administrative procedures: for example, the policy on plagiarism and cheating, late or non-submission of work, attendance at classes
  • constructive feedback on their performance.