These videos, created by the Graduate School and Dandylion Films, examine common concerns about the PhD viva. They offer advice from Imperial examiners to PhD researchers preparing for their viva and features a mock viva. Topics include how to prepare for your viva, common mistakes, outcome options as well as examiner perspectives.


passing viva

The basics

Beginning the Viva Process - The basics

After an introduction, this chapter features information on: What is the Viva? Viva paperwork, choosing examiners, Viva venue, length, dress code and requesting breaks.

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Preparing for the viva

Beginning the Viva Process: Preparing for your Viva

This chapter covers; receiving the thesis, viva preparation, grammar and spelling errors, nervousness, and responses to the questions; what are examiners looking for in a candidate and what should you take into the viva?

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Welcome & discussion

The Viva: Welcome & Discussion

This chapter features a mock viva and examines; how examiners review the thesis and generate questions, how the Viva begins and the style of the examination.

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The recommendations chapter covers; what will the atmosphere be like in the viva, common mistakes and saying “I don't know”.

The viva: Recommendations



Chapter 5 features a mock Viva and looks at; how does the viva end, what are the outcome options and asks “Have the interviewed examiners ever failed a PhD? student?”

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Examiners' perspectives

Chapter 6 asks; What is the worst / best thing about being an examiner? Do you remember your viva? and concludes with advice from an experienced Imperial Viva examiner.

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