Signup date: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:56pm
Last login: 27 Mar 2015 at 9:12pm
Post count: 1264
My viva was beginning of July 2011 and my corrections were submitted 25th July 2011. I then had an agonising wait for the internal to review my corrections and sign them off. I heard officially that all was rubber stamped on the 12th or 15th September 2012. My final 'formally' bound thesis was submitted on graduation day mid October 2011. I was only then that I felt completely free of my PhD and may the celebrations begin, woohoo! It is a long road to get that final tick in a box but it all comes to those who patiently wait.
I had my viva Q notes in the back of my experimental workbooks so they were with me in my briefcase if required. There were also copies of key references in there aswell. I also put post-it notes in my thesis at key points with bullet point notes for me to remember if questioned on that page. That said, I didn't refer to any of those notes at all during my viva. I did refer to some of the pages in my thesis when asked about diagram 4.3 on pg 87 (for example) or to highlight where I had included something that they thought I had omitted. The references only came out when I was asked whether I had read 'Smith, 2011' which I promptly provided from my case lol. Fortunately, it was one I had included at last minute prior to submission!
Take whatever makes you feel comfortable. I had on the table my thesis, notepad, pen and my water, but had my case open for easy access to workbooks and articles.
I am married and use my maiden name (ie Dr maiden) on publications as I have several prior to marriage. Otherwise I use my married name with the Dr title. I would add that my job is a specialised clinical role where you do not have a medical degree but a vocational pgdip instead. The fact that I have a PhD means that I can be know as 'Dr married' which gives me respect from others for what I do. Quite funny though how the clinicians refer to me as a 'proper doctor' lol. I guess as I have a clinical background the obvious issue of being mistaken for a clinician doesn't really worry me. Outside of work I do use my Dr title sometimes, just depends on the occasion ie formal dinner has Dr on the seating plan etc. I often avoid the title issue by introducing myself using my first and surname without any mention of title.
I started my prep a month before but my prep time was restricted to evenings only. I found by the end of the month that I was going around in circles and not sure what more I could do so I took a couple of days break just prior to viva day. Re-reading my thesis was the most time consuming as I also noted errors, put post-its in to mark key places, added notes for clarity and generally refreshed my memory. Once done, I checked for any new literature then I worked on key Qs, writing down answers for later reading and talked through my answers. Talking through the answers really helps you to express the ideas verbally as this is what you will be doing in the viva. My children and the dog really had an education lol.
In general I would like good health, happiness and prosperity for my family. In the short term, I have started my job so need to get my probationary training period done to earn my full potential, we are buying a house closer to my job so the children will be enrolled at new preschools and we will all have to adapt to a new life (with a nanny aswell lol). So lots of changes ahead for us in 2012 which I hope go really well.
Delta, I wish you the best of luck in finding THAT job, pretty elusive but out there somewhere for you.
I was reluctant to tell many people in case I failed or got major revisions. Many friends and family members felt that I would quit once my children were born as clearly studying at this level as a new mother was ridiculous!! Part of me knew how many 'I told you so' I would receive if I failed, so not telling people my viva date was actually the easiest option. I worried about telling my mother who was hugely supportive and proud, as I didn't want to disappoint her by failing. The thought of my viva alone was looking likely to send me running into the sunset before I reached the viva room door!
In the end the only people who knew the actual date was hubby (naturally as he had to look after the children), my childminder (who was incredibly supportive for my weeks of prep), my mother and father (on condition they did not call or text until I made the first move) and my supervisors. I was happy to keep it this way as these were the people who had truely supported and believed in me :-x
Above all you need to do what suits you the best and makes you feel the most composed. Good luck!
For my viva I did read a couple of books to get different perspectives on it all. I was not in uni at all to see or speak to other post viva students so these books helped me enormously. For the prep, I firstly re-read my thesis to re-familiarise myself and to spot those annoying typos etc. Then I did as Bilbo had suggested and answered key questions about my research, methods, comparisons to others work, relevance of findings in the wider context and future relevance of my work. Additionally, I had post-it notes in my thesis to mark chapter starts and key findings/discussions to help my ham handedness in the viva. While reading through my thesis a few points for clarification were noted and post-its inserted with relevant pointers for me to explain if necessary! Finally, I did check some recent publications and those of my external examiner. Most of my viva Qs centred around my 'novel' methodology and its characteristics compared to previously used techniques. The internal did bring out a recent reference that was a re-publication of one I had already mentioned in my thesis (authored by a dif person in the group) so was put for 'my interest only'. The external pulled out another reference that he thought wasn't cited, but it was one I also pulled out of my bag and could happily discuss in detail where it was cited. I guess I was lucky on those two, phew! That said there was a question that had me in knots, as the way I had interpreted one of my method characteristics was correct but the different interpretation by my external was also correct. Neither of us would back down so agreeing on a differing opinion was how it was resolved. I have harshly kicked myself repeatedly for this 'discussion' every time I think back to my viva :-(
Anyway, not sure my ramblings will help in the slightest but I wish you all the best of luck in your vivas. Above you need to believe in your research :-x
Hi Artsista, it is very challenging to study for a PhD whilst also looking after children/family. It can be done as many parents will show but it takes a lot of commitment and compromise. I was studying part-time for six years on my PhD, the first three years were child-free and relatively smooth. The latter three years of my studies coincided with the birth of my eldest followed 12 months later with twins. I am the primary child-care provider as a stay-at-home mum and had just one afternoon a week of child-care that we paid for. I was self-funded for my PhD (fortunately this was saved up in the first three years to pay to completion) but had little funds for childcare. Hubs worked long hours or away so my only study time was evenings 7.30pm til bedtime 11.00pm ish. We had no family around due to several house moves/relocations due to hubs work. I would say it is possible but some compromise needs to be made. If you can work during school hours and supplement with some evening/weekend time then that is fabulous. You will have to try to fit it in where you can around the children, accepting that during periods of illness/upset then your time will be reduced but at other times harmony is restored along with your productivity. I found it to be quite an emotional guilt trip over spending enough time with my children or on my studies! That said I did complete my PhD in the allotted time frame despite some academics having reservations that I could even complete it. It was hard work and very pressured at times but I would also say that I did it for my children, hopefully setting an example for them in the future.
I guess my tips would be: 1. accept compromise over time spent studying/ spent with children - the time will even out
2. keep lists of things to do which aids focussing on your project at short notice
3. do menial tasks when the children are about as this is still very productive
4. keep your desk in 'work' mode ie don't pack things away so you are always ready to start when the opportunity arises
5. have regular supervision (skype in the evenings if necessary)
6. have a pad for jotting down areas for consideration at a later time when children are in bed!
7. remember this is a short phase (3yrs) where you will be busy, after which your children will quickly forget your time studying
8. don't let anyone tell you it is not possible with children!!!
Just to say 'happy christmas' to everyone! I know last year I was writing my thesis and managed to send out the final draft to my supervisors on christmas day (my personal goal!!) before enjoying a large glass of wine. So this year I will spare a thought for those busy studying and wish you all the best for the new year! Good luck to those preparing for final submission and vivas. (gift)(tree)
Well done vegangirl for passing your PhD. That in itself is a great acheivement. There is much comfort to have the least corrective work which means you can just finalise your thesis. However, to attain a PhD with no corrections, minor or major revisions is not on the certificate and should not be a consideration on a CV. A PhD is not a graded award and therefore equal credit should be given to those who had no corrections or those who resubmittied post viva. The prestige is to have accomplished a PhD not necessarily the way it was examined.
I think there is always anxiety of achieving the standard set by the examiner over post viva comments whether minor or majors. I would suggest that for your revisions you should set up a word doc to explain what changes you have made to every comment they have given. This will help them to find the changes and justify your decisions. I would also expect that your supervisor is checking the progress of the revisions too. Assuming that you have addressed all of the comments and have justified your responses to them, then the standard should have been achieved. I know it is hard to doubt yourself at this time, especially as the comments can seem a little vague. I know I was worried too! Good luck with the revisions, not long to go so well done (up)
I had nothing on the soft bound cover or spine of my 'submission' thesis as it was not required for my uni regs. The date was the submission date and not the exam date. Once I passed the viva the thesis was hard bound in all its full gold lettered glory, but the date remained as the 'submission' date and not revised to the exam date. So my answers to your Qs would be
a) submission date eg 2011
b) keep it simple for the submission copy and go for gold for the final post viva copy!
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest