External examiner A
I was impressed by the overall quality of work on the programme. Many students are clearly working to a very high standard and are benefitting from having a good range of course options to choose from to suit their individual interests. The solid performance of students on the course indicates a high standard of teaching; an impression that is further reinforced by the fact that teachers appear to invest significant time and effort in the examination process – usually providing extensive summative and formative feedback.
In terms of the methods of assessment and general examination procedures, I found these to be rigorous and fair. I was particularly impressed by the careful use of moderation to ensure an even standard within and across course modules. I would also like to commend the great care and diligence that went into considering individual student circumstances in cases of late submission, incomplete work or other ‘special circumstances.’ The process seemed to me considerate, transparent and fair.
External examiner B
Overall, the assessment for the modules I examine on the BSc International Relations is very good. The marking criteria are clearly set out and the marking is consistent across module, with useful feedback provided to students, indicating reasons for the marks given and steps for improvement.
There is a reliance on exams across the modules I examined, combined with formative work during the term, which is a demanding form of assessment and the exam questions likewise made significant demands on students, but this is appropriate to the quality of the programme and modules properly prepare students for summative assessment. Further, student results are very good, especially at the top end of the marks. While the summative assessment profile is quite conventional, I do not see this as a problem and it is being carried out fairly and rigorously.
External examiner C
Obviously, this year out of necessity has seen a greater reliance on ‘take home’ as opposed to timed exams. It will be interesting to gauge student views on this change and whether it might have brought some positive benefits and might be considered part of the conversation re. diversifying the assessment regime, which is something I commented on in my report last year.