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Exam Boards and External Examiners

The Common Awards Scheme operates a two-tier structure for Boards of Examiners. This structure - and the related assessments processes – ensures consistency for the consideration of marks and progression, and for the consideration odiscretion, classification of degrees and the confirmation of all awards of Durham University.  

This approach also ensures comparability across Common Awards programmes and ensures that the University is able to fulfil its obligations as the awarding body, in accordance with the agreed validation contracts.  

Minutes from the TEI Boards of Examiners meetings are submitted to the University Board of Examiners for review. These, alongside reports from the External Examiners, inform annual overview reports which are considered by the Common Awards Management Board 

Durham University (Overarching Board of Examiners):  

The Durham Board of Examiners is responsible for receiving the confirmed marks for any students recommended for award, and for considering and determining, in accordance with the relevant University core regulations and programme regulations, the award and classification of all students registered on Common Awards programmes.  

The Overarching Board of Examiners is held in Durham, meets twice a year - typically in August and December - and is administered by the Common Awards administrative team. The Chair is a senior member of academic staff within the University not involved in Common Awards. University Liaison Officers and the External Moderator attend meetings of the Board of Examiners. 

TEI Board of Examiners:  

Each TEI operates its own Board of Examiners, in line with guidance issued by Durham. TEI Boards of Examiners are organised, administered, and chaired by the TEI. Meetings of the TEI Board must take place in good time for students to be considered for progression and recommendation for award, in line with the Common Awards Calendar. TEI Boards of Examiners report into the Durham (Overarching) Board of Examiners. University Liaison Officers and External Examiners attend meetings of the Board of Examiners. 

External Examiners: 

External Examiners have professional expertise and experience in designated areas of study, and they are able to offer informed, independent, and impartial judgements about the appropriateness and comparability of the standards of awards. Each TEI is appointed an External Examiner and each External Examiner is allocated to two TEIs.