Signup date: 11 Aug 2010 at 4:48pm
Last login: 24 Feb 2012 at 6:32am
Post count: 560
Had my viva a week ago, starting to sink in now.. minor corrections nearly done. :-)
Your preparation sounds fantastic. You are absolutely spot on.
Only thing i would say is... make sure you think about your positives too. Sell yourself and your thesis and be prepared to defend your argument. Be Up For It is the best advice i can give. Acknowledge this and that could have been done differently but defend why you did it your way.
All the best. Chuff
======= Date Modified 05 Mar 2011 16:38:00 =======
How many weeks did you prep for your viva? From submission to about one week before viva i was writing journal papers, dissecting my thesis, critiquing it. So that was my base. I never really stopped looking at it. As for targeted viva prep, a week maybe 10 days - Murray book was great. I read the Tinkler one too but that was more general, i think i skimmed it. I'd recommend Murray.
@ kb - thanks very much. I'm hopeful of a surge of joy. at the moment i have a headache from not eating for about 7 hours and drinking champagne ! ( only a few glasses but still) head is not good. evenings out are getting planned though. (up)
I'm in the same time frame as you but had a much easier time than you in my viva. I am appreciating how lucky i was. Any change feels like a big change, minor and major are subjective opinion. For example, i may have to / decide to add another chapter to mine, albeit a mini one, some may consider that a big deal, i don't and neither did my examiners but they could have presented it in that way if they felt like. They are a strange bunch. I would suggest, and I'm talking to myself as well here, waiting until you get the revision list from the Uni and see what you actually have to do.. or in my case how you can argue for not doing some.
As Ady said, you have passed and my God a book! a book ! how fab is that. Whatever work you do to your thesis now, think of its as book preparation - reframe it. why not, gets you a long way looking at things from another angle.
all the best. Chuff
Thanks Ady, appreciate it.
I remember your 5 chapter structure. I may, just may, stretch mine to 6 with a short conclusion chapter as i said to punctuate the point. So have a think about yours if i may be easier or better to do that now.. whatever works and whatever you can defend. i tried defending mine but felt i'd got away with enough as it was.. i quit while i was ahead.
Just a bit more that dropped off the end....
Thanks to you all for your posts and support. Happy to try and answer any questions that I’ve not covered in my ramblings above.
Chuff ( I am chuffed, I really am, deep down, its just not reached my face yet :-) )
I have been relentless in my nagging for viva experiences to be posted in all their “glory” so I’m now in the position to post mine. I passed yesterday with minor corrections. Corrections equal - punctuating my contribution more - splitting a section probably, clarifying a few definitions, and reading a specific area of literature which I hadn’t cited to see if it fitted. I await my list from the Uni.
The Qs were straight from Murray’s How to Survive your Viva. I’m sorry, and yet glad, to say as I can’t really add any unusual questions to the obvious. Q were along the lines of: why did you start this research, why does it matter, what is your contribution, why did you do it that way, why not another way. They were very big on my literature, as above asking why I hadn’t included certain important works. I argued, a lot, throughout. But on literature I had my defence that it was different ontological position and that I had made it clear where I stood. I did have to defend, it did feel like a defence, and it wasn’t easy. I feel as though I didn’t answer a number of questions well but on speaking to others it was suggested the examiners were testing if I would change my story to placate and agree with them, I didn’t. I’m not sure if I agree with this interpretation but it’s a point of view. Methodology was a big concern, as expected, I did interviews, a small number which was crying out to be torn apart so I had prepared for this.
I would say, you know more than anyone where your weak points are – where did your sup ask and ask again, that's where the viva will go. My sup was very big on method chapter so I was well prepared. I took an interpretative stance so I would argue “we” are in an easier position to respond with… this is my interpretation, you are going to disagree but as long as I have been clear in explaining how and why I had come to my understanding then. Be prepared to argue, defend, get a bit tetchy but hold your nerve.
I would sum up by apologising to those who have posted before and have said ‘I passed with corrections and I feel a bit flat or a bit low etc’. I have thought, Oh for God’s sake. But I feel exactly like that now. I have never been flat throughout my PhD I have had a fantastic time, all of it. The bad bits and my decisions of how I escaped those bad bits gave me my defence in my viva. You will draw on those escape routes, the manner in which you decide to do a and not b. Much as its easy to say, remember the difficult bits, I realise now that they are your friends in the viva. Odd though I know that sounds. The posts of what the hell do I do now are key to your success, if you don’t have those what have you done that's new.. if you knew what to do, it wouldn’t be new you’d be following a recipe. I’m going off on some strange ramble now. I should delete it but I won’t.. this is post viva morning and I’ve been awake since midnight so I shall indulge myself.
Congrats to hubs ( and you for coping with hubs ! )
I think it is typical to have them printed and soft bound at Uni... but when i was having mine done someone came in who had printed it themselves and asked to have it soft bound - outcome was the same.
So if you have ink, nice-ish paper etc. Seems a waste to do differently. Give your Uni print department a ring, they'll be able to help. Or other printers of course.
For info - i had 3 copies, soft bound, 300 pages each, 70 ish with colour - £65.
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