Comments from External Examiners on the 2014-2015 session:
External Examiner A
I remain impressed by the teaching, learning and assessment materials and processes I have overseen as External Examiner this year. LSE IR provides a good coverage of the field, appears to prepare students well for assessment and insures that examination is rigorous and fair. LSE is unusual in that Externals are asked to arbitrate between Departmental faculty when first and second markers disagree over assessment of students’ work. In each instance of this, I felt the disagreement was substantive and my arbitration served the interests of fairness in regard to grading the work. I was also privy to a number of faculty discussions about ways in which systems of supervision and student support, which are already satisfactory, might be improved upon. I can thus reassure students that the LSE IR Department remains committed to reflective professional practice. I was particularly struck by the diligent, careful treatment given to ‘mitigating circumstances’ cases, where issues of mental or physical health or other adverse circumstances had impacted students’ studies. These cases and the relevant regulations were carefully presented to me for consideration as External Examiner. All of them - particularly when the student’s final degree class was in question - were discussed at length in the Exam Board with reference to the correct and fair application of regulations to each case. In sum, I was left with clear sense that LSE IR faculty understood and cared about the pressures their students are subject to, particularly when circumstances are difficult.
External Examiner B
The range of topics I examined was good; the standards achieved were high; the methods of assessment appropriate.