Join us
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) welcome sign

Become a member and discover where geography can take you.

Join us

External examiners play a crucial role in maintaining academic standards and supporting high quality teaching and learning in UK higher education. The role involves providing impartial and independent advice, ensuring that policies and procedures are followed and making recommendations for development. Below is a developing list of resources for external examiners, or those considering such a role.

The following list of online resources, organisations and publications is dynamic. If you know of other resources you think we should be sharing, we’d be happy to hear from you at

The Society does not accept responsibility for the content of the external sites. Inclusion on this list does not equate to an endorsement of any content or organisation. Please contact the external site for questions regarding individual resources.


Subject resources

QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Geography

A description of the nature and characteristics of programmes in geography, and general expectations about standards for the award of qualifications in terms of the attributes and capabilities demonstrated.

SEEC credit level descriptors for higher education

Credit level descriptors define the level of complexity, relative demand and autonomy expected of a learner on completion of a module or programme of learning, providing a description of levels of learning through a hierarchy of knowledge and skills.

Discover Uni website
A comparison of official course data for undergraduate courses by university.


Further Reading

  • Wyse, S., Page, B., Walkington, H. and Hill, J. (2020) Degree outcomes and national calibration: Debating academic standards in UK Geography. Area 52:2, pp. 376-385. Access the article.

  • Thornes, J.E. (2012) External examiners and the continuing inflation of UK undergraduate geography degree results. Area 44:2, pp.178-185. Access the article.

  • Richards, K. (2012) Comment on 'External examiners and the continuing inflation of UK undergraduate geography degree results' Area 44:3, pp.379–81. Access the article

  • Thornes, J.E. (2012) 2.2 good to be true? Reply to Keith Richards Area 44:3, pp.382-383. Access the article.

  • France, D. and Fletcher, S. (2004) The motivations and professional development needs of aspiring and serving external examiners in the GEES disciplines. Planet No. 13. Access the article.


Email and discussion lists

  • Geography external examiners list on Jiscmail
    A mailing list for those interested in external examining in geography to share opportunities, contribute to discussions and ask questions.

  • External examiners list on Jiscmail
    A mailing list for individuals and institutions to share opportunities for external examiners, validation panels and other roles [note: covers all disciplines and mainly used by quality professionals].


The role of the external examiner

Individual university websites also usually provide detailed information about the process of external examining for their institutions and the expectations of external examiners.


Featured image: Sharon Mccutcheon/Unsplash