Looking for advice please! I had a stroke beginning of this month and I am due to sit my VIVA in 2-3 months time. The stroke has had an impact on my memory and brain in general. I am unable to respond quickly when someone asks me questions and find it difficult to recall things. I am really wanting to sit the VIVA as the PHD has caused me enough stress and I just want to get it over and done with so I can start applying for appropriate jobs. Now my question is, are there any exemptions with the Viva? Will I still be allowed to sit it if I am having memory issues? Would I be allowed to go in with a set of notes and use them when asked questions? Would the university stop me from being able to sit the viva? Thanks a lot


The only question I can answer is that you can certainly use notes during your viva. As for the rest, it's best to check with your supervisors and read up on your university's guidelines. Best of luck in the coming viva.

Avatar for rewt

I am really sorry to hear about your health and I hope you get better soon

It is unusual but someone at my last university had a major panic attack during his first viva and failed his viva because of it, he couldn't answer any questions. After that the university allowed him to do a "written viva" which was similar to an extended journal review process. They gave him written comments/issues and he had a month or two to respond similar to a journal. It was considered very unusual at the time but you might be allowed to do something similar.

Avatar for EV

I think it is worth raising the issue with your department to ensure that they understand the impact that your health issues have on you. Speaking from my own experience, my partner had MND and tired very quickly. His voice also faded if he had to do a lot of talking. He also had serious mobility issues at the time of his viva. The university and examiners agreed to make special accommodations for him, which included holding the viva remotely (he wouldn't have been able to sit at a table at the university), allowing me to be in the room so that if he needed assistance with anything physically - I could do that, and the viva was also relatively short - just over one hour. He passed with flying colours.
I recall that there was a longtime user of this forum Bilbobaggins, who also had some health issues - it may be worth checking her old posts as she may also have had special accommodations.
Best of luck with the viva!


It will depend on your university and your supervisor


Oh, I really hope my university will be accommodating like that. I am so stressed out lately, I am really questioning myself as to whether I will actually be able to sit the Viva.