Occasional user and long time lurker. Just passed my viva this morning and wanted to thank everyone on this forum. Am working at a distance from my uni so this forum was often a point of solace and solidarity. There were points along the way where I thought this outcome was unforeseeable. I just want to encourage anyone who is struggling that you can do it just, in the words of Churchill, keep buggering on :).
Okay; So this is how it went down Charliebrown. Have had some Cava so hope makes sense :). My sup gave me the sage advice of defend but don't be defensive. So went in and all made big effort to make me feel at ease. First question was the predictable what was your motivation for choosing this topic. Then a question on conceptual/ theoretical framework. I started to relax but something in me thought - no, stay alert. Then they opened the thesis and started with - right, let's look at page 69, here you say... can you elaborate. So was like a funnel shaped approach general, then specific, then towards the end general again. They went through each chapter with quite precise questions then said ok, what's the story of your thesis, what's new, how will it affect practice and policy and finished with how will you disseminate your results and what will you do next. It was tough but fair. I had a mock viva and only two of the questions came up but I would recommend it so that the first time you are in that situation is not the actual viva. I read some of the "how to survive your thesis" books but ultimately I relied upon knowing my work and being passionate about my topic. The only thing I did take from the book was identify parts of your thesis that are highlights and aim to guide your answers towards them if poss. People say enjoy your viva and it's an opportunity to share your work with eminent academics. It was that and part of me did enjoy it but it was tough and thorough. Overall though, I guess I am glad it was a challenge as that makes me feel it's an achievement worth attaining. I spent the week before rereading my thesis 3 times and made note of 5 studies that were the backbone of my work. These became a solid reference for today and I was so glad I had these in the bag. Listen, pause, breathe then answer.
Congrats zipidee!!! And thanks for sharing your experience with us!
All the best for your next research steps!!
Congratulations Zipidee!! Wonderful news for you and a really interesting and useful guide to the viva. Thanks and well done! :)
Congratulation on your success. Your Viva went good and your tips are very useful. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Thanks everyone! And really good luck to everyone! I so encourage everyone just to stick at it. I had moments of real self-doubt and I'm not any intellectual just determined to get a job done. I work in the area I research so felt quite passionate and invested in my research and interacted daily with people who had participated and helped me. This kept me going or kept me sitting at my computer at any rate! And back here now working on my minor revisions and trying to take my own advice :). Sometimes the hares make a very impressive start but it's often the wee tortoises who steadily and slowly reach the finishing line. Hope that makes sense and helps at least one person :).
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