How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination


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It may be more helpful to think of it simply as the verbal counterpart to your written thesis. Your thesis demonstrates your skill relating to the written presentation of your research. This is the culmination of all your effort so far. How are you going to celebrate?

Preparing for your viva

You may now have time to catch up with people you have neglected, and with activities you have neglected, preferably enjoyable ones, not just the housework! It may then be helpful to assess your time commitments over the next few months so that you can build in adequate time to prepare for your viva.


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Examiners are likely to ask you to comment on the wider implications of your work, so take time to think more broadly about your research. You may wish to use the following questions to help you prepare for discussing these issues in your viva. Your aim is to know your thesis very well and to be calm and confident as you begin your viva. Remember that most students who reach this stage do succeed in gaining their PhD. Here are some ideas to help you regain and retain familiarity with the detail:. You are not expected to memorise your thesis. You can take it into the viva with you, and it is acceptable to refer to it to remind yourself of specific details.

However, it will not impress the examiners if you flick forwards and backwards trying to find what you are looking for. You need to practise answering viva questions.

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A list of typical questions is provided towards the end of this guide, and you can add to this yourself. Make sure you include the difficult questions so that you have a chance to practise how you might answer them. Some form of mini viva is essential, but there are various ways of conducting this: from the formal to the informal, from public to private, depending on what you would find most useful.

The important thing is to answer out loud not just in your thoughts. This can be done in a formal setting with an audience of your supervisor or colleagues, but can also be done in private while walking round a garden or park, or in your room. In speaking aloud you force yourself to put your responses, clarifications, and deliberations into words. Initially this can feel embarrassing, stressful, and difficult, but it is invaluable preparation for arguing your case coherently on the day.


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  7. How To Survive Your Viva: Defending A Thesis In An Oral Examination?

Your study will have strengths and weaknesses, and the examiners will want to discuss these. It is considered positive, indeed essential, that you can discuss both strengths and weaknesses.

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Examiners will seek to find and discuss weaknesses in all theses. You should not interpret criticism as an indication that you will not get a positive outcome. Examiners have different personalities, styles, and levels of experience. Sometimes a candidate may feel that a challenge has been made in a confrontational way.

Experienced and effective examiners will not be inappropriately confrontational, but some personalities are more prone to such approaches. It is important that you do not take offence. A relaxed, thoughtful, and non-confrontational response from you will help re-balance the discussion. Murray suggests how not to respond to a challenge of a weakness in your research. She suggests that you do not:. Practising answering these four questions will take you a long way in your preparation.

The questions below all fall within these four, but are more specific, and are arranged following the order of a typical thesis. Most people who reach the stage of the PhD viva will gain their PhD. However, it is very rare that a thesis will be passed without any changes being required.

Almost everybody is asked to make minor or major amendments.

Beth Karlin Ph.D. Thesis Defense

Having got this far do not give up: the end is in sight. The recommendations available to examiners at the University of Leicester are shown in Table 1, below.

Reward Yourself

You may well take away from the viva a mix of positive and negative feelings. You may feel positive because you have passed the viva, but you may also feel negative because there is further work to be done on the thesis.

How to survive the PhD viva | Birmingham City University

Almost all candidates will have further work to do. You can be assured that getting through the viva is in itself something to celebrate. Rugg, G. Maidenhead:Open University Press. Tinkler, P. Wellington, J.

How to survive your viva: defending a thesis in an oral examination

Email: studyhelp if you are a University of Leicester student please use your university e-mail address Keep in touch via:. Personal tools Web Editor Log in. Search Site only in current section. Advanced Search…. Search Site. Introduction So far you may have focussed primarily on writing your thesis: making sure it was in good shape before submitting it. What is a viva?

Copies of reports of the adjudicators on the written part of the thesis shall be sent to the examiners conducting the viva-voce and also to the candidate prior to the. Presidency universityBuying a dissertation vivaThesis and viva - sociology - trinity college dublinTen tips for getting through your phd viva - careers advice There are few accounts of examiners experiences of the viva.

When you have finally finished writing a phd dissertation or thesis, and yet an oral examination of a doctorate a viva in british parlance is. In the u. Viva voce, preparing for phd viva, dissertation research viva voceBuy dissertation - the art of viva dissertation writing guide : read kindle store reviews. Oral examination viva voce What is a viva voce live voice examination?

Thesis submission and the viva - academic registry and council secretariatViva voce examinations are held for all phd, edd, dedpsy, dclinpsy, dclin res, in person and question you further about your research and written thesis. Research examinations, university of oxfordHow to survive your viva demystifies an opaque rite de passage familiarity with the rules and rituals is of critical importance for all doctoral students wanting.

How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination
How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination

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