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Defending your doctoral thesis: the PhD viva

During the viva

❶Our experts check every time and verify the given requirement, so your final output meets the standard.

Preparing for the viva

Defense preparation or Public Viva Voce Examination
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Introduction

The language used is an alternation between accessible normal language and really specialised arguments. The student needs to be able to move orally between the two. Gina Wisker, professor of higher education and contemporary literature at Brighton University.

Make sure that before the viva you get plenty of sleep, eat properly and de-stress. It is the contribution which makes your work doctoral level.

Be sure that you understand exactly what your contribution is, and that you are able to express and explain it clearly and concisely. Write it down in a paragraph.

Discuss it with you supervisor and fellow students. Make sure that you can relate your contribution to other work in your field and that you are able to explain how your work is different. Students frequently ask how long the viva is likely to be.

Discipline differences are important. Our research suggests that most natural and applied sciences vivas were completed in one to three hours, whereas arts, humanities and social science vivas were typically less than two hours long.

A Handbook for S tudents, Examiners and Supervisors. It seemed ludicrous at the time, but I actually found myself really getting into the discussion as the viva went on. Enter the Guardian university awards and join the higher education network for more comment, analysis and job opportunities, direct to your inbox.

Follow us on Twitter gdnhighered. A Handbook for Students, Examiners and Supervisors 5 Draw up lists of possible questions — especially ones you dread I collected questions from a bunch of different places listed here which I then tailored to my PhD.

Richard Budd, research assistant, University of Bristol who sat his viva in summer and has blogged about the experience 7 Bring a printed copy that is exactly the same as that of your examiners Ensure you and your supervisor have a printed copy that is exactly the same as that of your examiners specifically the same pagination. Anthony Finkelstein, dean of the UCL faculty of engineering sciences who has blogged about surviving vivas During the viva 8 Get off to a good start Give a few detailed answers in the opening 15 minutes, demonstrating knowledge, describing your thinking and working - then the examiners are likely to relax into the viva.

Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination 9 Prepare for the icebreaker Every viva opens with that dreaded icebreaker that is supposed to break you in gently but often seems to be the thing that gets students into a pickle. Jerry Wellington, head of research degrees at University of Sheffield and author of Succeeding with Your Doctorate 13 You may need to move from friendly questions to complex debates Vivas can appear friendly and then suddenly go very conceptually complex.

Gina Wisker, professor of higher education and contemporary literature at Brighton University 14 If things get on top of you, use the excuse of having a look at the thesis Make sure that before the viva you get plenty of sleep, eat properly and de-stress.

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The final hurdle of a doctorate is the defence of your thesis. This page explains what you can expect from the viva at the end of doing a PhD.

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Preparing for viva voce? Viva Voce eBook to prepare for your PhD dissertation research viva voce or any research 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.

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Attempt Viva Voce face-to-face in front of your supervisor confidently with help of our guidance. We also prepare important questions for your oral examination. How to survive a PhD viva: 17 top tips If you have some key diagrams it may help to have these printed larger on A4 sheets that can be used in a discussion. There is a chance, albeit slim.