No sign of viva date :(


Sorry rant ahead. No sign of my viva date and I'm on the verge of bursting into tears! :(

My examiners received my thesis in November (although I submitted in October), but this waiting around for a viva date is really just an awful awful state of limbo. My university is simply saying that I need to just wait, keep calm and try and remain positive. Supervisors said in late December its going through normally.

I can't bare this anymore!! I would just like to know either way (ie if I'll have a viva in Feb or March or whether their pulling it from examination), for the simple reason that I want to move on with my life.

I don't have a job at the moment so I'm literally sitting here waiting for news on my viva date and trying to distract myself with reading for my new course, going on long walks, looking after my dad and working on my thesis. I feel incredibly unhappy, miserable with virtually no motivation and worried about the outcome.

Does anyone have any tips on what to do (other than work on the thesis ) during waiting for a viva date?!

I'm constantly receiving emails of PhD students who have passed their PhDs (no corrections, major and minors) and I wonder if I'll be in their shoes someday.

I don't think I can take much more of this! At least with a date, I know I have something to work towards, but without a date, I simply don't know what will happen with my thesis :(


There's not much you can do, so basically you need to not worry about it. That is crap advice though cos you can't just not worry about something, so maybe set a date for your viva and act as if that date is the date it will be on. If people ask, say that date. Make the date a good two months from now and it will almost certainly be either then or around then, if not sooner in reality.

You can basically then act as if you DO have a viva date.


i know exactly how you feel. i hate how unversities put you in this position, you're just left dangling making it impossible to move on.

i've got my viva on wednesday after sumbitting nearly 4 months ago. i've struggled to fill the time and time has moved so slowly. i have been job hunting, but that's been rather depressing on the whole, so not sure i would recommend that as a past time.

I'm afraid to say there is nothing you can really do. there is nothing wrong with giving your internal examiners a little nudge every couple of weeks, but i suspect that has already occured to you.

it's not forever though, it will be over...someday


Hi Pineapple29. Cheer up! You are substantially better off than many PhDs, including me. I am due to submit in April, and every step forward seem to correspond to three backward. I would much prefer to be waiting for the viva, but I suppose that the grass looks always greener elsewhere!
If I were you I would prepare for the viva now. It is very likely that you will have little time to focus on it once after the date is made known. Try to focus on new projects in the meantime. Is there anything new going on in your area? a conference you might want to take part in? something that you want to prepare for publication? You need to find a long term goal without giving yourself strict deadlines.
Days are getting longer and milder: take a nice, long walk in the morning. It will put you in a better state of mind for the rest of the day. And take care of yourself, that means healthy eating with some well deserved exceptions if needed.
Good Luck!(up)


======= Date Modified 22 Jan 2011 09:03:19 =======

Good morning :)

Just wanted to say thank you for all your replies. Great advice as always!

I'm still waiting on a date which I'm putting down to examiners receiving it in mid November (and the Christmas break). I'm trying desperately not to think that this delay is due to an arguably sub standard yet very extensive and large thesis. I know there are PhDers out there who submitted the same time as me and have already had their vivas. I know each university is different, but it just adds to the worry. A delay like this occurred when there were problems with my upgrade report, so you can imagine I'm thinking the worst. 

I'm stuck because according to some feedback, I'm overly qualified for research assistant jobs due to awaiting viva and I can't really apply to research associate jobs either without a fully completed PhD.

In addition to viva prep, I'm applying for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology for Sept entry which is keeping me occupied as well as a PCert for career professional development. Also enjoying lots of exercise!!

At least if I had a date I can focus on my viva, it would be confirmation that it will take place rather than having it pulled from examination. Good idea on the phony viva date option though ;)

I'll keep you all updated and I'll try and remain positive :p


I have my fingers crossed for you Pineapple that you'll get a viva date soon.

No great earth-shattering tips for what to do during the wait for a viva date save try and do something as in keep busy even if it's something like de-cluttering cupboards, or the airing cupboard, your wardrobe etc. I find that sort of work can be cathartic. Try and get some fresh air as well as it definitely helps clear the mind. Maybe tidying up all the material/information associated with your PhD would be good, not the physical thesis per se, but the realms of paper, print-outs, articles etc that have accumulated over time?

It must be torture for you hearing about others who have had their viva but hopefully you'll get a date soon.



======= Date Modified 24 Jan 2011 22:17:26 =======
Thanks Ady for your advice!

Lack of a viva date 3.5 months after I submitted surely has to be a very bad sign!!?! (Although examiners received my thesis 2.5 months ago).

Supervisors said there is a possibility of an MPhil, but most likely a revise and resubmit. I just wish someone would tell me whether I'll have the viva or not!!! No response from my university, other than please wait.

Feeling very tearful :( The wait continues.......


Lack of a viva date has got nothing to do with the quality of your thesis - it's more of an admin decision than anything and quite often out of hands of the examiners so at least that's one less thing to catastrophise about;) (I passed with v. minor corrections and waited 4 months, there were people in my department who had no corrections and waited six months or longer - it's all got to do with the examiners' availability, room availability, whether the forms have been filed correctly etc.) and who told you you are overqualified for research assistant positions - was it feedback from actual applications?


======= Date Modified 25 Jan 2011 09:48:44 =======
Thanks Annie- you've really helped put things into perspective. I just hate all this waiting around!! I wanted to have this PhD finished with by the time I'm 30 (which is not going to happen now) but it would be great if I could put this thesis to rest by the end of my 30th year.

I recently enquired about research worker/assistant positions from the people advertising the positions at a top London university. With my background [(BSc, MSc, MSc, PCert, PhD (well assuming I pass)] and 7 years psychology graduate experience, they felt I was overly qualified for more 'junior' level research jobs and that such jobs would add nothing in terms of my career progression. Although I can see their point, rejection still hurts!

I'm looking at practitioner doctorates in Psychology for September entry at the moment. I would love a split research/client practitioner job eventually!


but then again, you might be pleasantly surprised if you just apply for the jobs - I mean, that was just informal feedback without applying for the jobs, right?


Yep, informal feedback. I may just give it a go anyway. I'm running low on my savings as it is due to months of no regular income! I think there's probably a compliment from this initial feedback in there somewhere ;)


FINALLY got a provisional date for my viva from my viva will definitely take place between early to mid March;

There's absolutely no mention of pulling the thesis from examination by my examiners apparently

Let the serious preparations begin!!!!!!!!


That's great news for you, Pineapple29! Could I be cheeky and ask why you were so anxious about your thesis being pulled from the examination? Sorry if you've mentioned it before.


======= Date Modified 25 Jan 2011 20:53:30 =======

Thanks Walminskipeasucker. I'm just very concerned that it has failed to reach PhD standard as the thesis was too extensive (over the word limit by 20,000) and contains mistakes throughout. I also have my sups words of a 'possibility of an MPhil (but most likely a revise and resubmit)' in my head all the time which is also really adding to my anxiety levels.

I heard that examiners have pulled a thesis prior to the viva for failing to reach PhD standard- which is why I'm rather anxious at the mo!

In my defence, I know the my thesis very well, I know in hindsight what aspects of my thesis I would change, I'm also very aware of my thesis limitations and where my work fits in with the wider literature etc etc. I know my internal examiner was also very positive about my thesis when he marked my upgrade report.

I will start seriously preparing though- at least collect as much info as I can on how to prepare for types of questions and start organising all my papers etc etc. I really REALLY want to pass with a revise and resubmit. I've put far too much work in this thesis to fail at the last hurdle. I would be over the moon if it was a revise and resubmit!!!

I still feel very shakey!!!


Glad you have a viva date (approx) firmed up. Excellent news.

Don't start preparing too early though. I found it helpful to prepare just a month or so before my viva, and I didn't get a date confirmed until 3 weeks beforehand. I was guessing too! So at the moment you would be perfectly entitled to have a bit of a rest/recovery from getting a date at last!

I'm happy to share my usual viva advice if that will help, but you may already have read it on here before :p