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How to survive your viva Chris Park – Director, Graduate School.

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Presentation on theme: "How to survive your viva Chris Park – Director, Graduate School."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to survive your viva Chris Park – Director, Graduate School

2 Before the Viva Examiners –normally 2 –1 internal, 1 external –staff = 2 internals Selection –chosen by Department –approved by Director of Graduate School –student consulted; no right of veto Supervisor –may attend Viva if examiners happy Examiners must –have subject expertise –be research active –have experience of supervising and examining (at least in team)

3 Preparing for submission & Viva Supervisors blessing –advised, not compulsory Copies –need 1 copy for each examiner and 1 for supervisor if you wish –can be soft bound –no loose sheets allowed –Postgraduate Studies Office in Uni House Viva –may take weeks/months –ask supervisor to arrange a mock viva –think about research rationale originality contribution to knowledge strong and weak points

4 The PhD Viva An integral part of the examining process –may confirm a favourable impression of thesis –may compensate for weaknesses Allows candidate to –defend research/thesis –expand and clarify Allows examiners to assure themselves that –the research is original –the candidate did the work –the candidate is capable of future research unsupervised

5 Key aspects of the Viva Typical duration 1-2 hours Evidence –Independent Chair –Audio record (tape) Examiners –equal status and responsibilities –share the asking of questions Supervisor, if present, is a silent witness Questions may be wide- ranging and demanding, but the tone should be civilised It is usual at the end to ask the candidate to withdraw –does not mean you have failed!

6 Criteria for award of PhD Convincing evidence of capacity to pursue research/scholarship in 3 years full-time Thesis to make an original contribution to knowledge Thesis must contain material of a standard appropriate for publication Thesis must comply with regulations on length, form etc –dont forget the Abstract

7 Outcome of the Viva PhD awarded forthwith PhD awarded subject to minor corrections (in 3 months) PhD awarded subject to minor amendments (in 6 months) PhD not awarded - revise and resubmit (in 12 months) MPhil be awarded the candidate be permitted to resubmit for MPhil

8 What happens next? PhD awarded –candidate takes 2 copies of thesis to be hard-bound –result approved by Director of the Graduate School on behalf of the Senate –December graduation Minor corrections and amendments –usually checked by Internal Examiner when agreed –then proceed as PhD awarded

9 What happens next? Revise and resubmit –student receives written guidance from examiners –is entitled to continued supervision –after thesis resubmitted may be second Viva –if not, both examiners report in writing

10 What if you are unhappy with the result? Appeal –can only be made on procedural grounds –no appeal against academic judgement –seek advice on the appeal process department Postgraduate Studies Office Postgraduate Review Panel –automatic process –procedural grounds –chair and 2 senior academics

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