Accurate magnetic diagnostics are essential to perform reliable operation of any tokamak. The ITER magnetic diagnostics include a wide variety of sensors located on the inner and outer surfaces of the vacuum vessel, in the divertor cassettes and in the casing of the toroidal field coils. As the measurement accuracy of the inner set of magnetic sensors might be compromised by various radiation effects and high heat loads, the complementary ex-vessel set is essential to provide backup information. This paper is an overview of the ex-vessel magnetic diagnostic which consists mainly of pick-up coils, steady state sensors, Rogowski coils in the toroidal field coil casing and fibre optic current sensors. The work presented aims at designing these sensors to meet the Performance requirements in spite of the constraints due to the tokamak environment. The manufacturing constraints and the positioning requirements for all the ex-vessel magnetic sensors are described. The use and expected accuracy of the entire ex-vessel magnetic diagnostic is assessed in terms of magnetic equilibrium reconstruction and plasma current measurement precision. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.