Viva session slides:

Edinburgh Viva 2017

Glasgow University Viva College of Arts  (see below for new links)

Viva links

(Remember that the #phdchat stream on twitter includes useful links on viva resources.)

Many people have blogged and written about their viva experiences although you need to approach these with some caution as they can focus on negative experiences rather than the typical, positive norm. Here are some from reliable sources which add value to your preparation:

The Viva Survivors’ podcast – interviews with researchers from a wide range of disciplines

Nadine Muller, English

Jane Grimson, Computer Science (talking abut the external examiner view)

David Twigg, Business

On social media, the twitter communities #phdchat and #Acwri regularly discuss viva preparation and experiences.

For more general advice, the Vitae website includes a checklist and carries ten tips for a good viva.

Although it is a few years old, this is a great list of potential questions from the Open University blog :

Top 40 potential viva questions

And a final list of potential questions from Prof David Denyer, Cranfield:

Questions often asked in a PhD viva

Latest additions:

Post about the post viva process – Australian but very relevant to the UK

Another great post from the thesis whisperer about the process of choosing examiners, make a point of reading the comments as well – great advice from other researchers

Some suggested practice viva questions to help your preparation

Great and detailed analysis from Liz Dobson of her viva (including the preparation and mock viva)

For Arts researchers:

The first set of links are aimed at PhD by Practice students

Emma Darwin is a novelist (her website is a fantastic resource from writers, particularly novelists) who completed a PhD in Creative Writing in 2010. A number of articles on her blog relate to her experience of doing a PhD.  Links to the articles on her PhD

Andrew Melrose DPhil, is a Professor of Children’s Writing at the University of Winchester, UK and has written a paper about the viva voce in the Creative Writing PhD examination process. It addresses the procedures and practice and is accompanied by a rationale which argues the merits of the viva voce.

Anna Woodford’s article about her Creative Writing PhD is light on detail, but interestingly sits on the website of the National Association of Writers in Education which has a network for PhD students which runs events from time to time. 

The site includes a number of articles from current and former creative writing PhDs which make for interesting reading (and reassurance about the process).

The critical piece that sits alongside the creative work can present particular challenges. Ideally you will have read an example which will help you understand how to structure this. If not, one is online – Martin Goodman, PhD Creative Writing from Lancaster has made his critical exegesis available

Other links (arts and humanities focus)

Dr Fiona Noble’s three part blog reflecting on her viva experience defending her PhD thesis on the topic of childhood, performance and immigration in post-Franco Spanish cinema.

The Birmingham institute of Art and Design have compiled an extensive booklet on the viva with particular attention to creative subjects.

This is one of a series of guides covering a range of issues – all are carefully tailored for Arts researchers
The excellent PORT website (Postgraduate Online Research Training) from the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies of the University of London includes advice, sample questions and video clips to help you prepare – content is very widely applicable.