The Viva Exam - Processes and Procedures
An oral examination must be held for all candidates submitting for an MPhil or doctoral degree and may be held for candidates submitting for the degree of MRes at the discretion of the examiners
In line with University's Regulations for Research Degrees, viva exams should be concluded within three months of submission of the thesis. If there is likely to be a delay, the internal examiner should notify the candidate and the Graduate School Office.
Purpose of the Exam
- To enable the examiners to clarify any ambiguities in the thesis.
- To satisfy the examiners that the thesis is the candidate’s own work.
- To ensure that the candidate has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the relationship of his/her work to the academic discipline and to establish that the thesis is of a sufficiently high standard to merit the award of the degree for which it is submitted.
It is expected that examiners will try to ensure that candidates are put at ease as far as is possible given the circumstances and to enable them to perform to the best of their ability.
Arranging the Exam
The internal examiner is responsibile for arranging the viva exam. This includes all logistics, such as booking a suitable venue and agreeing a date/time with other members of the examining team and the candidate.
The viva exam should be held at the University. If, for exceptional reasons, you wish to hold the viva outside the University, please contact the Graduate School Office for advice.
Who should attend the exam?
In addition to the examiners and the candidate, the candidate’s supervisor may be invited by the examiners to attend the viva exam as an observer. The attendance of the supervisor is at the examiners' discretion - supervisors have no automatic right of attendance.
Is a second viva required where a candidate is referred for resubmission?
There is no requirement for the examiners of a resubmitted thesis to hold a second viva exam - although they may, where appropriate, recommend this.
The examiners may make this recommendation at the time they recommend referral or they may wish to read the resubmitted thesis first and then decide.
In either of these cases their intentions must be made clear to the candidate and should be stated in the joint report.