What to expect from your Viva: a discussion.

What should I expect from the day of my Viva? Are all vivas the same? Are there some tips to help me personally prepare for that day? What can I learn from other people’s experiences? What are the regulations regarding the viva? What type of support is it provided?

The answers to these questions are arguably among the more important for doctoral researchers at any stage of their PhD experience. This is why the Research Hive Scholars invite you to share your doubts, questions and experiences during the Doctoral Discussion on “The viva experience: tips from PhD survivors” on the 18th May 2017 at 12pm in ARTS A04-GTS. Our guest speakers will be former PhD students from a range of disciplines and staff from the Research Administration Office.

Book via Eventbrite, here.



Here are some tips regarding the preparation to the viva and the viva experience from a former PhD student.

  1. One of the main issues is dealing with anxiety, notwithstanding having the rational thought that everything was going to be alright. “It felt like a GRE examination: the problem is not that you don’t know, but that you are able to control your nerves”. Controlling anxiety and stress can be very relevant issue in the last part of the PhD (as in any stage of the PhD-I guess). Remember that the Student Life Centre here at the University of Sussex can help you with this!
  2. Prepare a 5 minutes summary to start your viva and use it to introduce the topic to the examiners. This will help you relaxing and getting comfortable. Practise this well in advance and rehearse the speech in front of your supervisors and colleagues. Leave the details to the discussion.
  3. Don’t drink coffee.
  4. Overall: Trust your supervisors. If they allowed you to submit, it’s because is a defensible thesis.
  5. When re-reading you’ll find lots of mistakes and typos. It’s normal. Don’t bring them in, but be prepared to address them if the examiner points them out.

Interested in how to have a successful viva? Read more here.

Thanks for reading,



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