External examiners play an important role in helping the School to assure the standards of its awards and the quality of its students' learning opportunities. They are academics from peer institutions who are experts in their fields. Externals are nominated by departments and appointed (and annually re-appointed) according to School rules.
They perform a number of quality-related tasks for the School:
Each year all external examiners submit a report about the LSE courses and programmes that fall under their purview. These reports comment on academic standards in relation both to student performance and to the relevant level in the Quality Assurance Agency's Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
These reports also comment on the integrity and rigour of the School's assessment processes.
Externals also sample a range of examination scripts and other assessed work to ensure that marking standards are appropriate. Externals review School decisions about student academic appeals.
Further information about external examiners can be found in the 'Duties and responsibilities of the external examiner' section of the Instructions to Examiners handbook (PDF).