Used to post on here a lot more, but I've been so busy I haven't really been able to. Thought I would share my viva / PhD experience.
My PhD is quite left-field for for the area - humanitarian law but also statistics. Most lawyers abandon numbers at the age of 16, and so to write a PhD in law with lots of numbers is quite unusual. I had a number of problems within my own institution, with members of staff not understanding what it was I was doing. I was prepared to accept the blame for that, as I am supposed to ensure people DO understand it? Anywho, we decided to go with an external examiner at the top of the field. I thought this was something of a risk, but I needed someone who was sympathetic to the methods.
I went into the viva thinking minor corrections, but thinking there was a chance it could all go wrong and I could end up with majors. In the event, I have received 'minor corrections', with 6 months to complete them. The decision on the external was entirely correct, so one piece of advice would be to put a lot of thought into that.
Then I received the examiners' report and I was a little disappointed. I would say my 'minors' are at the upper end of the minor scale / lower end of the major scale. My sup thinks that it isn't that bad, and probably it isn't once I actually get involved with them. So I will leave it a short while, before cracking on with those.
After browsing this forum, it appears that doing a PhD is usually a terrible experience. I would say that my PhD has generally been quite smooth (subject to what I said above about people not getting it). I submitted on time, with no mental, family, or supervisor breakdown! I've also been appointed as a full time lecturer at my PhD university, with no publications (although some in the pipeline). So everybody, it can be done.
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