Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Preparing for the Viva

LEVEL D - Doctoral Workshops/Symposium

ECTS CREDITS Not Applicable

DEPARTMENT Doctoral School

This workshop sets out to help doctoral researchers prepare for their oral examination. The form and style of viva voce examinations differ depending on the academic discipline involved. They also vary depending on the traditions and rituals associated with different higher education institutions. Nevertheless, while acknowledging this diversity, the workshop will identify the key components common to viva examinations, the expectations that examiners have of doctoral candidates, and the behaviour and responses that are most likely to lead to positive outcomes. The workshop will also provide participants with the opportunity to experience a mock viva and to benefit from feedback about their performance.


By the end of this workshop, doctoral researchers should:

- be familiar with the nature of doctoral viva examinations and traditions underpinning them;
- understand the expectations that examiners have of candidates sitting the viva;
- be acquainted with the kinds of questions that are likely to be asked during the viva, including the sequence in which they might occur (e.g. general questions followed by questions on context, methods, analysis and findings, discussion, conclusion/ implications);
- be able to give a synthesis of the main findings and/or main arguments in a thesis as well as its contribution to knowledge;
- understand how to respond to questions in ways that do justice to the work invested in the thesis;
- be aware of different examiner styles and how to respond to them;
- be able to identify typical errors made by students during a doctoral viva, and know how to avoid them;
- understand the different possible outcomes of a viva and the follow-up to it before graduation.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This workshop is being offered to students who have successfully completed their transfer from M.Phil. to Ph.D. and to Pharm. D. students.

Timetable Details

Semester 1
Occ A - Date: 9 Jan 2020; Time: 9:00 - 12:00; Duration: 3 hours

Semester 2
Occ AE - Date: 27 Feb 2020; Time: 17:00 - 20:00; Duration: 3 hours


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Attendance No 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Ronald Sultana

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.