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Success in your viva Susan Marlow Professor of Entrepreneurship University of Birmingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Success in your viva Susan Marlow Professor of Entrepreneurship University of Birmingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Success in your viva Susan Marlow Professor of Entrepreneurship University of Birmingham

2 Time to shine? Offering the candidate the opportunity to explore, analyse and defend their work Creating a dialogue/ having a directed conversation Opportunity to show off – you have a captive audience, a body of work you have been immersed in and know all about – what’s the problem?

3 Know your work What is the ‘point’ of the thesis – what have you contributed – the ‘so what’ question underpins your thesis and the viva process The thesis is unpicked over the process of the Viva – explored as discrete elements all of which will be independently scrutinised But it is all about your work so take the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned and your new found knowledge

4 Scouting for success – be prepared Questions may or may not follow the logic of the thesis Introduction – what is the thesis about-the RQ question- why this question – why should we care? Critical evaluation of your literature analysis– prepare to be asked about gaps, perceptions, biases – frame responses as what is known, what is added. Methodology – why? How does your stance map onto your RQ? Findings – what and why are they important – what has been added. Analysis and conclusions – key element – the contribution – absolutely critical!

5 Rabbits, goldfish and bolters: stand at ease! Examiner responsibility – to enable you to speak, defend your work and respond appropriately to questions. Opening points/at - the RQ and why – you know this and you can talk about it Managing the ‘left field question’ – ask for clarification and further information – you have rights too!

6 How to endear your examiner – apart from decent biscuits - Outline a clear and concise RQ – convince in the introduction why there is a thesis here Ensure you have critically analysed contemporary sources of literature – read [include – we all like a bit of flattery] the work of the examiner – how does their work reflect, complement, contradict your interpretation? Ensure you can defend why you did what you did Memorise your contribution Develop your own critical reading of the thesis – be prepared to talk about how you would do it differently, what the limitations are; what your future plans might be Write well – edit your work – responsibility of the examiner to ensure the thesis reflects the standard expected for doctoral work.

7 And finally, my codicil I can only speak from my experience – I do not want to catch you out or trip you up – I want to hear about your work and give you the opportunity to convince me it is a PhD thesis – I want a dialogue not a cross examination Chose your external with care….

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